Training Before Starting a Productivity Improvement Program
Before you start a productivity improvement program, you may feel it is necessary to up-skill your supervisors and your managers. There are several ways of doing this, so let’s look at the options. Firstly, you can hire an external trainer to run your training programs. Secondly, you can enroll your supervisors and managers in to public courses where they mix with other people from other businesses. Thirdly, you can design an in-house training program led by one of your senior people.
Each of these options have positive and negative points. However, training is expensive and you need to be absolutely sure that you are going to get value for your money. Packaged training programs are one of the least effective ways of training.
Generally speaking, packaged training programs are centered on the trainer and not the group members. Often they are delivered in spite of the group members who have different styles of learning, different speeds of learning and different levels of comprehension.
The size of the group is very important. Obviously, the larger the group, the greater the diversity of the group members. This is one of the limiting factors of group training. Off-the-shelf training is ineffective because it fails to recognize the needs of the group or the individuals. Remember the objective of education is to fill with knowledge, training is to inspire action. If there is no change in behavior after the training, you have wasted your money and a lot of time.
Unfortunately, with this sort of off-the-shelf packaged training there is another sad consequence. The people who attend this sort of training very often become more cynical because they know it is ineffective.
Before committing to any training program it is wise to ask this question. “What will the trainer do to ensure that the learning is translated into workplace behavior?” This question must be answered to the satisfaction of the person purchasing the training. It is fundamental to the whole reason for the training, yet, there are many trainers who believe their job finishes at the end of the course. In reality, the training doesn’t end until people are doing things differently in the workplace.
The very best trainers help the trainees to draw up individual action plans and provide follow-up training in the real world, on the job. So the training is broken into two parts. One, the group training and, two, the individual coaching on the job. This is a very successful way of ensuring that there is transfer of learning into workplace behavior. These effective trainers also offer long-term support so that they can coach the trainees through changes which occur in the workplace.
Whilst this process may seem to be more expensive it is actually much better value because the results will contribute more to your business. If you want to train your supervisors and managers prior to a productivity improvement program it is strongly advised that you look for trainers who have a long history of success in this area.
Before engaging a trainer, make a list of the results that you want and make sure that you share this with the trainers you are evaluating. Get confirmation from them that the results you expect are reasonable and achievable. Agree with the trainer how these results are going to be measured. Finally, always talk and negotiate with a person who is going to deliver the training not someone who is just selling the training.