Hospice Care for Training Departments

Whenever I hear the word hospice, I am immediately drawn into what appears to be the final days of someone’s life because of a serious illness that there is no other treatment or cure that can turn things around.  But I am learning that it also is when the patient no longer wants treatment for the illness and is prepared to die.

Each week I am confronted with training departments that I joke are on life support and if they don’t begin a treatment process soon will be cut from the company budget.  Yet hospice is an even later step in the process.  There really is no turning back, and the inevitable is coming.

One company in particular that I have been unable to steer into changing their behaviors began a year ago when they submitted to a Training Physical, followed by a detailed training plan.  About half of the items have been addressed so far, and yet because the remainder of the treatments are being ignored, my patient is not getting better.

I talked with my own doctor recently and asked how he copes with people who don’t follow his treatment process or fail to take prescribed drugs.  He looked at me and said it is hard enough to watch a patient die, but when they could have helped themselves and won’t he struggles with what else he could have done.

I’m watching a client die because they refuse treatment, and I may need to put them into a hospice type environment before long for both of our sakes.  I really hope they change their minds soon!

Power of a Training Plan

I just got back yesterday from speaking at a conference of banking HR & Training Managers about the power of strategic training plans.  The program was titled “Beer Budget Training Plans that Produce Champagne Results.”

I shared with my audience that to achieve Champagne Results, they needed to make sure they were targeting the skill sets needed for employees to perform the tasks required to achieve the bank’s strategic goals.  We discussed what all is involved in creating a strategic training plan.

However, where I really got attention is when I talked about the other component of Champagne Results.  That is that the plan MUST be Implemented.  The longer you wait to implement training, the longer it takes to build the skill and therefore the longer it takes for the return on the investment in training.

Wow!  I think I had all ears at that point, because when you realize that your whole purpose is to support the business so they can achieve their goals, how is that possible if you have not implemented anything?

So my suggestion of the week is simple.  If you have training to begin that needs to show results in 2011, then you should be training now or at the very earliest opportunity next year.   Demonstrate the power of the learning function by creating a strategic training plan and implementing it!

If it is Broken, Fix it!

Daily I am puzzled at training departments that are underperforming and just happy as clams that no one is noticing.  The incorrect assumption is that if no one notices, then nothing needs to change.  Yet of all functions, the training department should have a simple motto to live by.  “If it is broken, Fix it!”

Training is all about improving the skill sets of employees so that they can perform their jobs.  Each time there is a training intervention it requires a change of behaviors to mark the training as successful.

So why on earth would a training department avoid improving their own operational health?

The Training Physical is of course a book (www.thetrainingphysical.com) but it is also a process that diagnoses the health of a training department and reports the necessary treatment to improve and become healthier.

I recently decided to offer a Free Training Physical as a contest to encourage those where money is an issue to get help.  Details are at http://thetrainingphysical.com/contest.html

You will see that I require the CEO to enter the contest by answering 3 questions.  Why the CEO?  Simple, with the CEO as the sponsor I have discovered “what is found to be broken, gets fixed!”  When middle management signs up for a Training Physical, they are only interested in the results, nothing changes, and a year later the department is in worse health!

So the contest is meant to not only provide a company each quarter the ability to get better, but get the necessary treatment along with a diagnosis.  What a concept, huh?