Posted on September 1, 2011 by Katherine Razzi
Employee training is only effective if its desired results and actions are allowed by management to be practiced by the employees.
This is a powerful statement I happen to believe in. All too often at various training sessions I attended in the past, I heard less than mediocre enthusiasm, seen rolling eyes, and heard negative responses. I’m not surprised when I hear someone comment:
- I think this is a complete waste of time and money.
- Who’s going to remember all this?
- I doubt we will be allowed to practice what we learn.
- I’ve learned a lot on a personal level but not on a professional level.
- This is not going to help our situation at this company
The list of negatives goes on. However, I was very delighted to hear just the opposite at our last company-wide training session which was scheduled over 3 days, for 3 hours each day. The training was very interesting and engaging. There were plenty of questions posed to us individually. In essence, we were asked to voice our opinions and experiences without criticism.
My personal experience with training leads me to believe that the techniques used by the instructor inspire one to learn how to think more than to learn what to do. The hopeful outcome that any instructor wishes to ignite is for trainees to have an Alleluia epiphany. As teachers will tell you, this is a wonderful euphoric moment for them knowing they have “gotten through” to their students.
Training in the workplace is no different. My observation of most of the people, especially in the work groups I participated in, was that they seemed very honest, open and interested in change in order to improve the way we do things now. We did not dwell on faulty current processes as much as we were eager to learn from the instructor how to improve. In my mind, this speaks volumes.
While in college, studying for my degree in Applied Behavioral Science, we took various personality tests which are still popular to this day; Keirsey-Bates and Myers-Briggs; MBTI®, to name a few. In this training session, we took the “DiSC” personality test. The practicum here is to discover more about ourselves and how we relate to others. As a company that studies human behavior and advises best practices in the workplace, I believe this to be one of best foundations of communication. After this particular exercise learning about DiSC, I found a comparison of personality tests online. My MBTI® score is ENFJ; sensing, intuitive and feelings, a natural pedagogue, and the DiSC score is “i” which equates to the MBTI ENFJ.
Once we were knowledgeable about our own and others’ scores, we found it much better to relate later on when we were in problem solving teams. As far as taking what we learned from the classroom to the real world, we worked on a real company problem which we had methodically concluded was top priority. All notes and flip charts were saved and the entire session was videotaped and individual teams were recorded at their tables.
I believe our training was a huge success. I felt good about learning something new. I felt enlightened to be on the cusp of change. I had several epiphanies myself; one of which was learning how to brainstorm in a newer and better way than the old Quality Circles. I learned a lot about myself and my colleagues as well.
Finally, training is only as good as the trainer. Mr. Dille, was our instructor and being an “I” (from DiSC) himself, he is highly knowledgeable on the subjects he presents; lively and enthusiastic, funny, attentive, timely, and made us want to learn more. Mr. Dille returns in October to continue more training sessions with us, and not only am I looking forward to it, but I strongly feel it’s worth every dime!