Death-by-Powerpoint. Training guides followed page by page. The drone of the trainer’s incessant voice inducing head bobs from attendees doing all they can to stay awake. We’ve all been there. I’ve got the whiplash to prove it....
Let’s face it. The “butts in seats,” traditional model of corporate training is washed up. It’s counterproductive for anything more than saying your people completed training. Completion of training is a fancy way of saying, “We told them what to believe, and we spent a lot to do it.”
Think about that statement. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, it should, because it is!
What are the trends in learning and development? Used to be that organizations could send their people to conferences and external training sessions once, twice, sometimes three times a year. And while the expense of these trips was perhaps not outrageous, when you consider travel, lodging, and meals on top of the cost of the training session itself, costs add up quickly.
Fast forward to the past five years or so. Development dollars are shrinking in most organizations (in some, leadership development has slowly increased, but for a much more limited portion of our organizations...true talent management has taken a back seat to strictly “hi-po” development). At the same time, external training providers are charging more for their sessions. It’s simple economics. These providers are also feeling the financial pinch. Their profit margins are shrinking with less participants, forcing them to raise their prices and to provide more generalized training to “reach the masses.” The end result....fewer workers are being sent to training and those who are sent are receiving watered down, generic content. The composite impact of training is plummeting.
What are some solutions to this debilitating trend?
Want a competitive advantage in your industry? Focus on moving from training your leaders and employees to developing them. Insist on learning solutions that draw from the latest empirical research and provide learners safe opportunities to apply these concepts in their own work environments. And forever reject “solutions” that do not reflect the unique aspects of your organization that have made you successful. Don’t settle for “ordinary,” instead seek out impactful learning and embrace “Staying Great!”
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