Manufacture Your Day by UNDERSTANDING THE VALUE OF CONTINUOUS PERSONAL IMPROVEMENT FOR BUSINESS
Yesterday I had a really good conversation about coaching and training, and why a company should or shouldn’t engage in this kind of services.
All of us have been in training sessions – some were engaging and truly beneficial, and others were mind-numbing and a waste of time.
Companies often say that training is an expense and it doesn’t work. This can be very true if you don’t set the expectations and the intention from the get-go.
I know many organizations that start all kinds of initiatives without having a strategy in place. Excitement can fade really fast. Have you ever heard about the “flavour of the month”? This is like playing darts with your less dominant hand, hoping that one of the darts will stick.
If I have conversations with prospects and I get the sense that they look for a quick fix, I have learned to walk away. Band aid solutions don’t work on the production floor and they also don’t work in leadership and workforce development.
Do you want to make a training / coaching initiative a home run?
Here are a few questions for you to consider:
1. What results do you want to achieve?
This is true for participants and for the decision makers. You have to be able to articulate your expectations. You will get what you expect.
2. How will you measure training success?
This can be done by employee opinion survey, absenteeism, turnover, quality, health & safety, or other KPIs (key performance indicators). If you cannot measure it, is has little to no value.
3. What’s the training strategy?
It is important to think about the training budget, time investment and what skills need to be developed. A long-term approach will have a tremendous pay-back.
4. How would you describe your relationship with the supplier?
It’s beneficial to see and treat the coach/trainer as a partner in the process and not like a “shitty” supplier. Be connected and ask for observations that cause stress and frustration day-in and day-out. If you listen and do something about it, you can create some really fast wins.
5. Do the trainees’ bosses work with a coach who will help them to stay connected to the training outcome?
Accountability is key. Managers and employees have to be held accountable. Learning the value of self-discipline and personal excellence is part of the process. High performance won’t come from doing things every once in a while. It comes from consistency and from going all in.
6. Does the training company have a strong follow-up process?
If there is no sense of urgency to implement what people have learned in the training, people will go back to what they are used to do. It is human nature to be complacent. The follow-up process has to be offered as part of the training package.
7. Do you want to create a learning culture?
This means, would like to get people excited about learning and growing? Part of it can be free (reading, videos, TED talks), part of it can be internal (mentoring, train the trainer) and part should always be external to get new ideas and measures.
8. How prepared are you to empty your cup?
It is best to fill the cup when it is empty. Sometimes you have to let go of knowledge in order to take in new information. What used to work might not work anymore. You are an expert at what you do. Try to avoid micromanaging the trainer. Just take a deep breath and trust the process.
A trainer and a coach will be there to set up the process, help you, support you and provide a different perspective but ultimately it’s the people at every level of the organization who have to work harder on themselves than the people around them.
In summary, training and coaching is a must for any company, which would like to get or stay at the top of their game. It requires the right attitude, hard work and effort.
Why do we acknowledge this in the world of sports and not in business?
Choose a trainer and coach, and choose wisely. I just gave you an idea what to consider and what to look for.
Here is to your and your team’s potential!
Food for Thought:
Have you ever thought about what standards and behaviours you expect from others? How clearly have you communicated them and how well do you live up to these standards?