Your Team is Incompetent or…

Working with clients it’s common to hear that their team is “untrainable” (which spell check tells me isn’t a word) or that training doesn’t work for their organization (find more examples here). Because of this, organizations shy away from implementing any new efforts simply because the interpretation is that it doesn’t work. With that in mind, they’re also readily willing to accept that in order to be prepared for changes in the future, they must be able to provide their teams with relevant information to allow them to adapt. Quite the conundrum.

Is it really that bleak?

The general conclusion is no. More often than not, the problem is preparation for training, whether that be for new hires or updating existing team members. In the hopes of making things better, high level position holders in an organization overlook some of the important factors of what they’re really trying to accomplish…like why are we training.

Build Goals and Expected Outcomes First. Then work out the details.

I’ve always been a big fan of preparation, no matter what the activity is. By understanding “why” I’m doing something, I’m less likely to stop in the middle of trying to attain a goal. The same thing should be true of your training regimen.

Define what you want to happen and why that’s important. Identify the desired outcome(s) of training and what that means for your organization, the teams it will be administered to and the individuals within the team. By getting down to the individual level you have the ability to build buy-in from those who are actually implementing the lessons your administering.

Define what information is important and include it, omit what isn’t. Don’t get caught up in the “more information is better” rut. Clarification is important, overload is detrimental. Providing clarity for relevant information to those enrolled in your training ensures that they not only know what to do, but how to do it.

Define who needs to be involved. One of the biggest gripes we’ve heard from employees required to attend training is that it doesn’t apply to them. Why would anyone do this? Placing individuals in extensive training sessions is not only detrimental to the value of the session but also takes them away from what they should be doing, adding value to the organization.

Understand who needs to be present and who doesn’t. Enroll accordingly.

Retain Engagement Post Training

Once training has taken place, make sure that it doesn’t go to waste. We are constantly bombarded with information every second of every day. I can rarely tell you what I was working on even an hour ago.

How can you help make sure that your well thought out training is retained?

Provide followup reference material! And while we’re on the topic, please remember that we live in a digital age. Most of us don’t carry a notebook or reference manual everywhere we go, this isn’t true for our smartphones.

Consider a knowledge management system (KMS) that assists with and goes beyond training. This platform should house all of your critical information that allows your team to succeed even when they run into an unfamiliar problem. Best of all, it will be with your team no matter where they are. If you’re looking for a suggestion, here’s one.

By changing the way you look at implementing training and measuring the outcome, you may be surprised to find out that your team was never the issue. They were looking for help, they simply weren’t getting it.

Looking for more suggestions about improving training? Here’s a good start.

Andrew Vick — HowFactory