Scrap Your Employee Training Plan

Scrap Your Employee Training Plan

The word ‘training’ can mean many different things depending on the participants and situation. For pet owners, it means teaching a puppy, kitten, and even goats (yes, you read that right) how to behave properly and perhaps some tricks—with the reward typically a treat and the praise of their owner or trainer. For athletes, the concept of training involves a well-designed plan that incorporates different exercises, as well as necessary ‘rest’ days—the reward ideally is successfully participating in an event or achieving a desired level of fitness. In many corporations, the concept of employee training is traditionally received by participants with reluctance, apathy, and even angst—despite the valiant efforts of those who are leading and sponsoring the training agendas to bolster enthusiasm and reward training completion.

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It’s time to change the perception of employee training. No longer should the word ‘training’ be in the lexicon or on the calendars of companies who wish to truly augment their employees’ skills and advance their organizational prowess. In the Parker Avery point of view, “Advancing Proficiency Through Sustainable Learning,” organizational change management (OCM) expert Kathi Toll outlines why and how companies must focus on sustainable learning and true proficiencyand scrap the word training forever. Below is an excerpt from this publication.

Keep this phrase top of mind: training does not equal learning. After investing millions of dollars and thousands of hours in customizing a new technology, redesigning an organization, or reengineering business processes, a slight 12 to 20 hours are typically dedicated to the education of the employees. Adult learners are hands-on creatures; listening to the most energetic facilitator or watching someone else do the new task does little to help an adult learn, let alone become proficient at the new skill, but that clashes with our instant-gratification society. We assume that as adults, we should figure it out and move on.

However, adults simply do not retain information after attending a training session without a well-crafted support plan in place. The entire concept of training must be re-framed—because someone attends a few three-hour training sessions for a new system does not equate to proficiency in using the new system. Instead, what if the training session was poised as the ‘opening act’ for a new learner? It is their first exposure to the information, but it cannot stop there.