• Entrepreneurship

Great managers – how to maximize the effectiveness of training

Guest Blogger | March 26, 2013

Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, tthompson15@verizon.net

Training is often one of the actions needed to improve a person’s self-sufficiency. Training programs are usually either offered internally by the company or externally by third party sources. Many training programs (particularly internal programs), fail to perform two key components and, accordingly, the performance of the person being trained falls short of expectations.

The two key components most often missed are:

  1. A test that the person is now self-sufficient in the function that s/he received training for, once training is completed; and
  2. Identifying “super-users” or “performers” of that particular function who have taken the performance beyond its basic requirements and can offer additional tips as to how to further improve other teammates’ performance.

The classic examples of not doing item number 1 above are:

Scenario 1:

Imagine new software is being introduced into the company. The provider of the software conducts a one-method-fits-all type of training for all employees who will use the software, but fails to include tests for self-sufficiency. Guess what…many of the newly trained employees, who are still not totally familiar with how to use the software and did not have to demonstrate their lack of self-sufficiency, are set loose on the software. Issues arise and most often the finger is pointed at the software rather than the training. If the time had been taken to determine which employees were not self-sufficient before launching the new software, much angst (and probably expense), would have been saved.

Scenario 2:

Picture your new sales people having just completed training. Now think about the failure to include tests of self-sufficiency (say by way of extensive role playing), which results in new sales people practising on potential clients and existing clients – often with very mixed results. Do you really want your prospects and existing clients to be the guinea pigs for testing the self-sufficiency of new sales people?

Item number 2 (identify “super-users”), is most applicable for situations such as new software, where a number of people are being trained. Quite often, very motivated and capable people develop ways to do things much better than the basic training covers. Efforts should be made to identify these people, acknowledge and reward them, and pass their tips onto other people who can thereby improve their self-sufficiency. Again, ‘sales’ is another area where “super-users” should be identified and their methods shared with other teammates.

Training is often classic proof of the saying, “There is never enough time to do it right the first time, but there always seems to be enough time to do it right the second time.” Do it right the first time, particularly by ensuring that people must prove that they are now self-sufficient after training is completed.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me at tthompson15@verizon.net ©