Training Department Closed

I have taken a lot of flack in my book over a statement I made that I don’t believe any company should lose the training function, but some training departments should be closed for gross incompetence.

Associates of mine jumped me from every direction that I was being too hard and lacked empathy for my fellow trainers, so I needed to remind them that incompetent trainers have two choices.  They can improve their skills, or find another career.  If they are not willing to improve then they are doing more harm than good in a training role.

Companies that go through the audit process sometimes uncover that their training department needs to close, or at the very least needs to rotate staff out and bring in new talent.  I encourage this when I find personnel that lack the heart of a trainer.

I coined the phrase heart of a trainer as someone who deeply wants to help people learn and are continual learners themselves.  If your training department lacks this heart, then it is time for emergency surgery!

I do recommend that we try and treat the illness first before jumping to amputation, but if that is the last option to curing the department I will endorse it.

I look forward to hearing your side of this issue!

Celebrate Success!

I’m often asked to pick one thing that will be the best action to remain a healthy training department.  Being a big fan of employee recognition as a motivator, I always respond Celebrate Your Success!

Any training function that is standing around waiting for the company to congratulate them on their outstanding achievements should be wearing a good pair of shoes, because the wait can be a long one.  Of course companies celebrate big wins, but if a training department has one of those a year that is not enough to motivate everyone for the whole year.

As training leaders, you need to create and foster constant recognition for achievements of due dates, creativity, problem solving, and successful implementations.  You want your team members to participate in rewarding others, and that includes rewarding up.

One of the most memorable moments I’ve had as a training leader came when the staff recognized that the company was taking my efforts for granted and missed a pivotal chance to pat me on the back for implementing a large initiative.  They took matters into their own hands and throw us all a party one day to recognize each other and pat each other on the back.  That was 6 years ago, but I remember it still today.

So what can you celebrate this week?  Share what it was and what you did to show appreciation.  How has it improved the health of your training function?

Choosing To Stay Sick

I sometimes wonder what is worse between these two scenarios.  Choosing to not find out if you are healthy, or ignoring the treatment of a diagnosis and staying ill.  I ran into this wall once again with a small company currently in bad shape.

The CEO of the company read an article I wrote on making sure your training team is skilled in training before expecting them to magically train others.  He called me about a new initiative they were planning to train their customers in a brand new service they offered.  They had chosen the trainer and another person to write the materials.

I offered to speak with both of these people, and I’d say they found good and caring people who wanted to do the job well.  This is something I feel brings you half way to success!

However, neither person had done this work before and a lot was riding on complete success.  I suggested to the CEO that they should work with a training delivery coach and an instructional designer to review the work.  A very small investment to ensure that the training would enable the clients to grab on to this new service and run with it.

The response was priceless, as he said they think they are in good enough shape.  Thousands of dollars will be spent on development, training, facilities and marketing and they essentially are going to give it a go with one foot in the grave.

Like my doctor tells me, I can’t make you take a prescription, I can only tell you how it will improve your health.  You have to decide if you want to get better or stay ill.