Should Training be a One-time Event?

Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to get myself involved in various corporate training programs and was able to observe the application of new principles and technologies to make training seamless. But, in spite of employing top-notch technology and high standards, many companies fail to achieve the desired success. However, the unfortunate part is that, we, as trainers fail to come up with any practical solution to this problem.

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Last week, I asked my Twitter followers what they thought was the biggest flaw in the corporate training programs. One of them came up with a really insightful response. According to her, considering training as a one-time event is the greatest mistake to its successful accomplishment. Training is not merely a course or a job aid that provides employees some basic knowledge about a given project. Rather, it’s an ongoing process that involves improving an employee’s performance, by providing resources to help them develop new skills and techniques to cope up with a given situation. A proper training should offer the employees opportunities galore to share and discuss the subject matter with colleagues, and provide resources for self-directed learning.

As a trainer over the past few years, I have felt that delivering training can peak employees’ performance for a short term, and will start fading as the months pass by. Most of the times, after completing a training program, we do not offer follow up coaching and the new knowledge acquired evaporates over a period of time. Quite obviously, it becomes difficult to sustain the peak performance level, which was achieved initially. As time passes by employees move back into their old ways, and a full-fledged improvement cannot be reached. It’s imperative to use what they learn, and hence, employees should be given continuous support and encouragement to apply what they have learned in their day-to-day work processes.

As a corporate trainer, I believe that supporting a constant learning process will extend your gaze from a specific problem solving skill to create a corporate culture that promotes knowledge sharing thereby opening up avenues for a widespread development. I would encourage my fellow instructors to learn from this common mistake and consider this as an opportunity to improve your organization’s performance.

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