In challenging times like these,
Organizations are often tempted to cut employee training and development programs. Even some of the most experienced leaders I’ve met feel training is something they can do without in a tough economy, or at a minimum cut it back to the bare essentials (compliance, onboarding, job skills, etc.). When revenue is decreasing and operating costs are going up, I can see how this looks like a no-brainer.
your people to
And you’ll likely start to see why training and professional development should be the LAST line-item that takes a cut. When times are tough, money gets tight – I get that. But right now, organizations are asking leaders, teams, and individuals to innovate like never before.
To enact change rapidly, and make sure it sticks.
To collaborate much more broadly.
To assist team members and external clients in working through massive changes to how their products and services are created, delivered, and supported.
Those types of initiatives require a training approach that is structured for efficiency and designed to enable your teams to drive the business to long-term success. It has to be customized, widely bought into, rapidly deployed, and universally adopted and executed on.
Effective training will not only improve workers’ skills; it will improve morale, which helps reduce expenses by contributing to employee retention. When job roles, expectations, success factors, and a host of other critical factors about your business change as rapidly as they have, and will continue to do so, your leaders will be the ones who make or break the effort.
WHAT DOES YOUR LEADERSHIP TRAINING LOOK LIKE?
Now is a great time to examine your training. Traditional training tends to be transactional, event-based, and often is just a single session or two conducted over a short period of time with limited follow-through and validation after the fact. That’s been appropriate for some things but highly ineffective with other focus areas, like driving true transformation in your culture and how your teams operate.
CONSIDER A NEW APPROACH
I suggest you take a new approach to training that is transformational. This training is longer in duration. It’s conducted across the organization with consistent follow-through. It’s action-based and has high levels of accountability.
While the training and development effort is underway, make sure you make time to get feedback. This will tell you how well the program is received and it will give you valuable insight into its effectiveness.
Engage people by asking for their opinion and suggestions. You’ll likely find they have a very keen understanding of the work they do, the opportunities tied to it and the paths for improvement.
Remember, it’s one thing to train your people on a specific task, issue, or organizational initiative. It’s another thing entirely to develop, nurture, and effectively prepare your teams to proactively identify opportunities, to naturally innovate and optimize, and to consistently work towards enhancing the value of your organization. Training your leaders and teams to transform requires the transformation of your training approach and methodologies.