It’s quite a nice feeling to complete a fantastic training program with a lot of new learning and excellent feedback from the participants. Everyone is tired and excited. However, this is often where the value of corporate training stops.
A number of studies show that there is no correlation between learning something (knowing it and understanding it) and using it. Without a real plan for application, follow-up and manager support, most of the newly-found knowledge will fall by the way-side in the midst of the day-to-day activities of work life.
The main principle here is Doing – not knowing, understanding or some other fuzzy concept. Knowledge and understanding don’t add value to the organization if they can’t be applied in practice – practice that adds value.
To create value from corporate training, we must fully depend on the interaction between:
• The participant
• The organization/department
• The manager
Quality training must be closely tied to the organization. This is achieved by: 1) using processes and routines that are relevant for the task, 2) using the material and tools available to you within the organization and 3) practical training in work-related ”situations”.
Analogies can be helpful and the one that is perhaps the most suitable here has to do with driving a car. Imagine that you didn’t need a driver’s license before being able to drive on the roads with other motorists (there are lots of things that you don’t need a license for – e.g. being a parent, a manager, project manager, salesperson or some other important role).
There’s a pretty good chance that after a little test driving outside the car lot where you bought the car, you could be off onto the streets. You would learn more as you experienced driving. Yes, most likely there would be quite a few traffic jams, stress, frustration and anger as well as a few dents and injuries as you drove faster. But you would most likely learn as you went.
Training is accelerated learning. A well-planned course at a driving school, including both theory and practice in those situations you will find yourself in, will make you a safe driver faster. You would probably reach the same level yourself after a while with some failures and accidents along the way. But quality training takes you to a higher starting point faster and more safely. It can also affect and promote a culture that best creates success.
It’s true that one training can’t completely prepare you for what you will come into contact with on the roads you choose to take. But it can give you a great starting point for your own behaviours and actions and something to rely on when observing the behaviour of others – “They’re running a red light. That’s not right. I’m not going to do that.”
Time after time, effective training creates value by promoting a culture that strengthens the desired behaviours.