Maximizing Training Effectiveness

"If they have not learned, then they haven't been trained."

One hallmark of great organizations is the way they perceive training. Ordinary companies see training as a "necessary evil," something that must be done to fulfill the metrics. Successful companies, on the other hand, view training as a necessary tool if they are to reach new heights in performance and bottom line results.

How do you distinguish one from the other? Here are some indicators . . .

  • Cost-conscious. Some companies simply ask for "quotations" with the intent to compare costs. Unfortunately, some training providers knew this pretty well and tend to fit into the card, sometimes calling training as a form of "entertrainment." They may have good form but greatly wanting in substance. While cost is one major criterion when you scout for good training, it should be considered with other relevant factors like design, methodology, delivery and measure of effectiveness.
  • Time-conscious. An executive in one organization said; "We can't afford to waste so much time in training, we have so much catching up to do in operations." The manager of another company has a different line of thinking; "We have to spend so much time building the skills foundation of our people. It can only be done through training, that's why we have an in-house 'academy' to make sure it happens." Who do you think is more successful?
  • Self-conscious. A business owner once told me; "The problem with training people is… when they become good, they leave. That makes me feel like we're just being made a training ground for their future employment." There are so many factors how and why this happens. But to be simple about it, how about not training people, having headache every night because you have a bunch of incompetents, and best of all – they don't leave. When the entrepreneur heard all these, he fell into a deep hypnotic trance for a long while, and suddenly bursts; "Let's discuss how we go into training my men."

Training is not a "cure-all" and should not be perceived as panacea to all corporate ailments. When you begin to put it in its proper perspective, only then can you see the real value of this intervention.

Most of all, training is not a "one-time event" that brings miracle solution to a stubborn and sticky problem. It is a process, and just like any process, may take time to produce the desired results. But rest assured, it is time well-spent.

As a leader, what's your role in developing people . . . in training?