“Tell me and I forget…
Teach me and I may remember…
Involve me and I learn.” —Benjamin Franklin
Let’s be honest: we're all busy. There isn't enough time to get everything done, so we have to prioritise. Backlogs, to-do lists, roadmaps, orders of business – they're all ways of writing down the things we haven’t gotten to yet.
Let's be honest again. The easiest thing to de-prioritise? Training. It’s just not as important as that deliverable deadline that isn't going to budge. In fact, taking staff away from productive work for training? That's just getting in the way of getting work done, right?
Let’s be honest one last time. If your business isn't moving forward, then you're being left behind. Maintaining the status quo isn't enough: every organisation is competing with someone or something. You need the edge, and you need to empower and upskill your staff if they're going to have that edge. What you did five years ago doesn't matter. What you do next year is the key.
So, training is critical to success, but what exactly do your staff – and your organisation – stand to gain?
Morale and motivation
At DB Results, everyone has a career development plan. Everyone. Career development plans give people a chance to consider where they want to be, what skills they want to pick up or improve, and how to achieve these goals. Like a business case for a project it can change over time, but if career goals are never written down, then how does anyone know where a person is headed? Training and capability uplift are then traceable indicators that these goals are being achieved.
The self-esteem boost that comes from setting a career development goal, meeting it, and then repeating and embedding that new skill becomes infectious. Equally, giving people the opportunity to learn new skills and improve existing ones means that they stay motivated. They have more diversity in their daily role, and know that they’re heading towards where they want to be.
Many employers make a commitment to develop staff, and it might even be written into employment contracts. Meeting this obligation proves to your staff that you’re serious about their development, and then holds them to account to see that development through. After all, it’s their career!
People often think of training or development as a need to address weaknesses or skill gaps – that is, identifying something that a person lacks and then building a plan to address that gap. But is that always the best option? Why not just acknowledge a skill gap, choose to delegate that gap in future, and instead truly maximise a skill to a high level?
With new skills and the increased motivation that comes with achieving them, those staff are going to do wonders. By increasing training output, and aligning that training so skills are consistent across the board, performance increases not just at an individual level, but across entire teams. And by helping people play to their strengths, you’ll have stronger teams overall.
By showing that you are valuing people, you then empower those people to commit and deliver in return.
Brand and reputation – being an employer of choice
Finally, you need to follow through on that training and development commitment made at the recruitment step. Word spreads when that promise is being delivered… and when it’s not!
At DB Results, we’re proud of our record of committing to developing our staff. Our clients all know that a DB Results consultant is never delivering onsite alone. Instead, each of those consultants is a portal into the knowledge, skill and experience of the entire organisation.
We constantly strive to be an ‘employer of choice’, and committing to developing our staff is a critical part of that.
How do we maximise the benefit of training?
So now that we know why training is critical, how do we ensure the training isn’t just a one-off burst of uplift that then drops off again? At DB Results, we follow a well-worn idea of the 70/20/10 model:
- 10% of training is traditional instructor-led training: people in a classroom learning new ideas, concepts and skills.
- 20% of our training is self-led: we have a huge library of training material made available to our staff to work through in line with their development plan.
- 70% of training is delivered on the job: there’s no substitute for the process of learning through doing. Being given the chance to perform a new skill, getting constant feedback on how the new skill is being performed, and then repeating that cycle is a guaranteed road to success!
Making a commitment to training is such a simple idea, but one that makes our people happy, motivated, and the point of difference that so many others experience when working with our people. As consultants, we’re onsite to be a point of difference, and without training and development that would never be possible.
So… when are you scheduling that next training session?