A company’s implementation of a new training program hit some rough patches. Part of the problem was the laissez-faire attitude many salesmen, support and technical staff had regarding training with the new system.
Some company officials admitted that training sessions were poorly attended and upper management looked the other way. In their defense, the staff was busy working on a large pipeline and probably felt justified skipping out on the classes. Especially when their bonus checks arrived.
Here’s how project managers can convince highly skilled, highly paid employees—such as Salesmen—to take training seriously.
Responsibility and accountability must be seen from top to bottom. Destroy the notion that training is “beneath” anyone in the organization. That means the CEO and all of the senior management need to attend these classes, too. It’s extremely difficult to justify blowing off a training session when top executives find the time to attend.
No matter how experienced the employee, there’s always something new that can be learned, advanced or questioned during these training sessions. Often, specific configurations for individual situations—can be hashed out and clarified during these classes. If someone is so knowledgeable about a particular topic it truly would be a waste of their time to make an appearance, they should be drafted to moderate any of the seminars.
Companies do not invest in training to boost their egos; they invest in training to boost the business. Most training is often vital to the company’s dealings with its customers. “Failing to be up-to-date with any company procedures and/or industry issue can give any company a bad reputation,” says Kaitlyn Corizzi, a Trainer for Lengthen Your Stride! In Englewood, NJ. “Not only that, consumers may have serious questions about your entire organization.”
Management needs to convince everyone in the organization that understanding the new systems, and participating in the training, is crucial to maintaining the company’s relationship with its customers.
Because Salespeople and Technical Mangers are often the organization’s cash cows, they actually might need the most training. They may need it to correctly take applications, log their hours, schedule their assignments and gather their fees. If they don’t know what they’re doing, they’ll waste valuable time that could be spent out making additional sales.
Convince your staff that for every minute spent in the training session, it will save them an hours in the office or in the field dumbfounded on having to figure out how to submit a file. Nothing motivates these top earners like the prospect of having more time to generate more business.
Everyone can learn more. All top Salespeople are in their positions because they are capable and experienced. Even they will admit they might learn something—even if it’s just a time-saving tip or workaround—from even those most basic training classes.
Having the opportunity for even a few hours to learn about a new form, the latest changes in the law or just a procedural change will show your staff how this eLearning system will differ from any previous system, and how it is worthwhile for anyone in the organization.