Company training can increase profit margins by 24%, and employees say training is their top consideration for recruitment and retention. Studies show, however, that a dismaying 90% of capability-building programs are ineffective and fail to produce tangible results.
So training is crucial, yet, most of the time, it doesn’t work. Let’s look at some current critical concepts to improve training —helping your people help your business.
Rank-and-file personnel understandably have everything to learn and usually benefit the most from structured formal training. Middle management might need to fill in gaps in their skillsets, so coaching sessions work best for them, enabling more individualization and adaptability. Company leaders can still evolve and grow through peer learning, sharing experience insights and best practices among one another.
Focus on application, not just explanation.
Top college athletes devote over 35 hours a week to practice, and Juilliard students spend six to eight hours a day practicing. But somehow, a vast majority of companies seem to think they can hold a one-time training event that will miraculously teach their personnel new skills. It’s just not enough to tell your people what they need to do and how to do it. Enabling trainees to apply their new knowledge — ideally, until it becomes second nature — is key to making it stick.
Get them invested.
While training is crucial to many, in theory, employees can and will find it bothersome in practice. Timing and approach are everything. People will welcome training that answers their current needs — like stress management workshops in times of uncertainty — and engage more when empowered to participate truly. For example, team members can take turns leading peer sharing sessions, getting them involved in the process of learning.
Make It Fun.
At a recent boot camp, teams were provided with arts and crafts supplies and toys and tasked to create a model city, as well as a children’s book. The unorthodox atmosphere opened their minds to new ideas, along with the value of short work cycles, feedback, and communication. 25% of the participants went on to new roles and opportunities — including promotions —within six months, while the company reaped an overall US$30 million in savings.
Incorporating even one of these ideas could get your business growing to the next level.