Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is Training REALLY Compared to Prison?

It's true. Many who attend a training class will see it as prison. The reason is simple, as is the solution. However, keep in mind, simple and easy do not mean the same thing.

When training is mandatory or not needed, many of the participants will see it as one of three things:
- like being forced to stay in "prison" or "time out"
- like a vacation or time to party
- paid time off from the job they would be doing if they weren't in training

You could be sending employees to prison or a vacation day if you're not careful. But, there are ways to avoid it. Make sure you are sending people to training who actually need knowledge and skill. If they have merely forgotten how to do something or are choosing not to do it for reasons other than a lack of skill, training is not the solution. Get to the root of the problem instead.

When you do conduct training, make sure that the content or curriculum transfers actual knowledge and skill, instead of just fun and games. effective training has a point and purpose built in to each activity. If people are scratching their head as to what the purpose is, then you may be creating a fun day, but no substantial skill transfer.

Finally, I have never been a big fan of Mandatory training. Though there is a need for it at times, overusing the "mandatory" edict can create massive barriers to learning that leave your trainer stuck in the first half hour of a training session. It is better to provide learners with an incentive to attend instead of a "because I said so" order to attend. The more you mandate, the more learners in a training class might begin to see bars on the training room windows.

Until next time...

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