In my previous articles, I have always had talked about the changes training paradigms going on in corporate sectors all over the world. From e-learning and social networking to flexible hours and highly advanced MOOCs, we have the proof that training is changing, yet it is important to continuously examine the same in terms of numbers. To my disappointment, many businesses are still reliant on traditional training paradigms, which is also one of the results of their fears of incorporation of newer technologies in their training scenario or apply contemporary training with poor efforts. In this post, we would examine the changes taking place in corporate training and the factors that are still preventing the companies to be a part of this change.
Businesses all over the world are spending billions of dollars annually for training their employees. These training programs are based on all types of training, from a 1 day in-house Excel excellence workshop to a yearlong change management initiative. Globalization, advancement in the field of communication technology and consequential socio-political transformations have changed that nature of today’s workplace. Globalization is a wide shift across societies, technology and economies that is also bringing the world closer, increasing the complex interdependent networks number, influencing capital markets, developing and utilizing technology, and promoting exchange of information regarding how people work. Managing all these complexities have turned out to be quite hard in such rapidly changing times and need changes in skills, behaviors and most importantly mindsets.
It is to be noted that applying the changes that are taking place in training, is not enough. It cannot be enough unless it justifies the objectives business hold behind the training sessions. When it comes to justifying learning, the task of the management is to make employees want to learn new things, by highlighting the “why”, i.e. why learning is important, why it is interesting and satisfying. Why employees should sacrifice their efforts, attention and time, should be quite clear at the workplace and in their mind. Unfortunately, this is not considered as important as the training itself. This leads to apparently changed training, but actually unchanged one. If this “why” element is addressed expertly, the training itself becomes contemporary, easier and more effective, since learners would definitely find books, courses, one-line materials, innovation of technology in learning, something mandatory and beneficial for themselves. During my years of training being a professional corporate trainer, I have observed that there are various mutually inclusive reasons behind failed efforts to change training paradigms; in spite of the fact the most advanced technologies are being applied.
- Not figuring out if training is the optimum technique
Training might not always be the best technique for achieving learning at a workplace. Employees might take it as stop-down of knowledge management and not show much initiative. It would be good to investigate if regular work-group talks, quality circles, mentor programs or any other way than management planned training, are there to ensure the same required outcomes. Let me tell you training should not be confined to any hard and fast rule structure. It can be in the form of the mentioned alternatives, which is actually proving to be the most contemporary forms of training and development nowadays.
- Not determining and specifying goals clearly
Often businesses don’t communicate what they desire from a training and development program in a clear way, before deciding and announcing a particular training session or course. What changes training effectively is determining clear learning results and goals that are co-related to the organizational goals from the start. If the organizational goals pass through any change the learning outcomes must also need to be, through periodic check for redefining their alignment with overall business objective.
- Not engaging trainees
If management thinks that there is a particular issue in a department and a trainer from outsourced, comes and puts the solution of slides and teaches it to some people for few minutes and then adds his some words of wisdom to it, does it really able to facilitate real learning? If employees are not engaged in design of training and learning, there is a risk of not achieving employee motivation. This motivation is actually the well spring of learning. If there is no motivation, there is no learning.
- Commitment from senior management is not enough
One of the key success factors of corporate training being aligned to business strategic objectives is completely reliant on the active support of senior management. Corporate strategic goals vary from time to time, and just top management knows that. In most of the businesses, if employees identify a lack of support and enough involvement from top management then they consider such training sessions as passing fads of least importance.
- Too complications involved
Almost all training programs aim towards behavior modification. It is too stupid to assume that human behavior can be changed after they hear some words during a presentation. Employees also get fad up of fancy management theories, which are in trend for certain time only, and need to be replaced by another model. No matter how advanced your training session in terms of technology, your training paradigms won’t be changed in presence of these loopholes. Try to figure out what your employees exactly need in terms of learning; determine the best suited training designed which also integrates the newer technologies that appeal them to learn new things with ease and flexibility, and not as a burden.
Copyright Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.