The Best Performance Enhancer…

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Sections of this topic

    …is you, the company training director.

    What's new or should be new in training is you. You make the difference.

    It’s not quite what it seems. There’s always what we say and what we communicate.

    Training is still the same even after all these years; it’s been the same forever only we sometimes forget to use it well. The learning theories are the same; the training methods are the same; the evaluation methods, the same. Adult learning hasn’t changed any. Right? Attitudes toward training are the same, or at least seem to be. Trainers are the same, too. However, they, like the company, should be continually evolving with the times, growing, developing and tweaking the program with a constant consistency.

    I can only think of one thing that is new and getting newer everyday, and that is because it is constantly evolving: technology. Can we start by agreeing it is new, but it is not the end all or be all there is? Technology is our “assist” in baseball vernacular–assisting in training implementation most often. But there should be one other new thing: you! Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

    Forget the lack of funding for the moment. What’s new or should be new in training is you. You make the difference. You look for ways to make a difference–always. You look for training opportunities that work, that jazz employees and do the job of training them. You can’t be lazy now; you have to seek out the best. Look at results and expect results. Put people and company first, and visualize for others the results in terms of profit or nonprofit funding. As efficiency increases–promotions, raises and bonuses will follow.

    Are you promoting continuous learning and corporate universities? Do you really care about the training programs and the people in it? What do you suppose those in the training programs think about it, and what do they think about what you think about it? Do you think they care? If they care about that program, do they care about other training programs? Do they just care about training for selfish reasons or do they care about the company? Do you?

    What would you change if you could? What would you innovate? Where would you start? Developing training methods or designing training plans? Order new assessments? Explore human performance technology? Bring in gifted and talented speakers for professional development day or offer off-site training for managers? How about a leadership retreat? Do you know what you need or what you want employees to learn? Do you know why you want them to learn these things? The real “why,” not just because your boss told you to? Do you think about new ways of implementing training every day, or are you more in the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Nobody said the company is broken, but it should be constantly growing, solidifying its base, diversifying its holdings, and modifying its products and services.

    You should be doing whatever the company is doing and more just to keep up. Can’t do that much thinking? Delegate it. Yes, delegate it. Thinking is work. Nobody has all the ideas and nobody can do it all, but you said that to yourself or scoffed it out loud as you read this, didn’t you? “Who does this idiot…” I admit it. I was trying to get your attention and make you think. Sometimes writers like to do that.

    For a look at the human side of training from my Cave Man perspective, please check out my book, The Cave Man Guide to Training and Development. Happy training.

    Okay, now. Let’s say had an unlimited budget for training? (First time for everything, I know.) Would you train others at all, or just buy people off the shelf? Remember, the last company president the company bought off the shelf? How’d that work out? Would you hire contractors by “big lots” and put them to work fixing your company? What if you could mold your teams, managers and leaders into the perfect human resource?

    I think you get the general idea. What’s new in training should always be the trainer, the training manager, the training leader. By the way, I could be wrong about there not being any new theories. If there are, you should know them, studied them and decided if they would be applicable in your situation. Have you given much thought to self-directed learning–not only for the company but for you, too? Talent management? If it isn’t in your purview, shouldn’t you have a hand in it? You may see yourself as a director of training, but you’re really a director of performance. You are the mule skinner, but your whip is the performance-enhancing training and education you offer. The motivation? Well, that’s one of the reasons you are always thinking…thinking up new ways to motivate employees to want to take performance-enhancing training, which you are also always thinking about.

    Giving them a performance-enhancing drug would be easy, but probably illegal. It would also be complicated to design in company diversity. But, if your employees needed training like they needed a drug, they’d be as motivated as you’d need them to be. They need the drug to feel good. What would make them feel good about the training. Love of company? Are the employees happy just to have a job, and will do anything to keep it? Perhaps, but resentfully. That means the training won’t stick; we need real motivation.

    That brings us back to the basic question: Why would employees want training? We already know they need it. Could training be necessary for upward mobility or bonus money? That could make them feel good. Could you also make it relevant to their personal and professional goals? Now, you’re talkin’ and I’m proud of you. The company is becoming a big success thanks to you.

    “Here’s a lot of money–reward for making us what we are today and ensuring we will be stronger tomorrow,” says the fictional CEO. Is there some truth there?

    For more resources about training, see the Training library.

    Doesn’t sound like a bad plan to me. For a look at the human side of training from my Cave Man perspective, please check out my book, The Cave Man Guide to Training and Development. Happy training.