We have discussed what goes into developing effective training experiences and some considerations for how they should be delivered. Yet the biggest question must be answered; how do you roll it out and who should attend? I go back to the statement that has haunted me my entire career in training, “Fix it! Send them to training.” Yes the magic, silver bullet that training is perceived to be. But send “them?” How will it be effective if the group that is often referred to as “they” are not also in the know on what is being taught, or in support of the changes taking place? The important question to ask now becomes how will this training be supported?
How Will This Training Be Supported?
For many companies over the years, I have developed culture pieces that often include values with supporting behaviors, which go beyond, and Mission and Vision. They must be actionable and measurable, but how well do Senior Leaders, let alone line-level supervisors, know exactly what is expected? Not only do they usually not know what the expectations are, they are not prepared to model the desired behaviors to “walk the talk.” All too many times we are in a hurry and dive right into the intended target while forgetting about how this will take root in the organization.
Walk The Talk
“The leaders’ exhortations to employees ring false when their subsequent actions contradict their words.” A CEO once asked, “Why do they do what I do and not what I tell them to do?” Another asked, “Do I really have to change, too?” “These are scary questions coming from leaders,” says Susan Heathfield in Walk Your Talk, for About Money. Remember, it all starts with WHY and that WHY has typically come from the same leaders (they) that want to bypass responsibility. How often has a trainee returned from a class, all fired up, and shares their new learning with a manager only to hear “This is the first I’ve heard about that?”
According to Machiavelli, “There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old system and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one.” So how do you get your leaders involved, to become champions of your training and any initiatives that are crucial to the continued success of your company?
Learn The “Talk”
We recommend a “crash course” in whatever the new content or initiative may be. Host a “Senior Leadership Workshop” that not only covers the new or modified content, but also outlines the role of the leaders in modeling the new behaviors. They must learn how they can best show their buy-in and support by being a champion of the initiative. You also need their feedback before you launch for buy-in as well. So, in essence, this is the audience where your training initiatives commence. This is usually the group that will complain the most about attending training and ask “Can’t it be done in 30 minutes or on-line?” Do I really have to state the answer? Yes! They must first learn the talk that they need to walk. It is up to you to figure out if this becomes mandated within your organization.
Let’s Get Going
You’ve educated and informed your leaders of their role AND have gotten their feedback for buy-in. So let’s get this training off the ground already! Do you know how you will roll this out? Are you a 24-hour business? Do you operate in shifts? Can you close your doors and get the training all done at once? Do you mix disciplines and go by department? It sounds to me like there is some more work to do for an effective rollout.
Are you ready to get going on your new training program, but not sure how to mobilize it? SGEi can help you develop a training program unique to your brand. Contact us for a free consultation today.