Annual Means Every 12 Months

In my book The Training Physical, I suggest that corporations conduct a Training Physical annually from the completion date of the first Training Physical.  Readers learn quickly that to explain the concepts in this book I compare many of the commonly known features of a human physical with a Training Physical, and that includes seeing your doctor every 12 months.

As I have blood drawn every 3 months because of medication I take, I am in the doctor’s office more often than once a year.  Yet I overheard someone this week when I was at the doctor’s office saying they were getting their annual physical and it had been 4 years since their last physical.  This is why I want to emphasize that evaluating the health of the training function is on a 12 month year, just like the calendar.

Because most companies are working off a 12 month fiscal or standard calendar year, and most strategic plans for training are based off a 12 month timeframe, I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel by suggesting “annual” meant anything but every 12 months.  Yet, I would bet that over 90% of the training functions in corporate America have never had a training evaluation, and those that do take the time, seldom make it an annual event.

Just like the patient I overheard at the doctor’s office believed that the results of their physical 4 years ago was somehow fixed in time, many corporations believe that once they “fix” the issues discovered in a Training Physical then they are good to go from that point forward.  Actually, with the rapid evolution of training in the past 10 years, it may be wiser to evaluate training even more often than once a year.  Things are changing so rapidly because of technology that most training functions are operating in the proverbial dark ages right now.

So if you have not seen your medical doctor and/or your training doctor in the past 12 months, pick up the phone and make an appointment and get yourself checked out!

The Training Doctor


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