Both companies and government agencies alike spend a lot of money on training every year. And if you are going to invest your time and money into training, you must be sure to train on what matters most and ensure it sticks. The question then becomes “How do you know what matters most to your business?” Intuitively, you already know the answer to this question–optimizing the performance of your people is the most important to an organization because without them nothing happens.
If I were to ask you to describe your most high performing individuals, you would probably not mention any aspects of job-related technical skills, but instead, you would highlight characteristics such as: team player, gritty, fiercely determined to solve problems, great communicator, flexible, adaptable, focused, resilient, optimistic, trustworthy, emotionally intelligent, and so on. Your best salesperson is not the best because they know the Miller Heiman sales model better than anyone else and used it to hit their number this year. Yes, technical skills are important, but this person is most likely the best because he or she is determined, adaptive, and optimistic enough to work through the challenges and complexities of the job to hit their number every year. These winning characteristics are mental and emotional attributes that form the foundation of high performance, and they can be trained. Organizations often limit their potential by only focusing on technical skills and overlooking the tremendous value in training the mental and emotional competencies that support high performance.
Fast forward-now you have received training at a conference, online, or at a workshop of some sort, and you return to your usual work and ultimately change nothing. What most find is that after participating in a great training session, they quickly return to business as usual with no realized behavior change. For this reason, training reinforcement is the most valuable portion of any training program because it serves as the accountability measure to develop routine habits. Consider lifting weights to build strength–do you lift for one day and expect life-long results? Training in business is no different, so to maximize the investment and make the training stick, the most successful training programs offer an aspect of application, consistently over time.
So, I put it to everyone spending money on training, ask yourself, “What do my top performers look like, and what am I doing to help them get (or stay) there? If there’s a disconnect, then you may be wasting money on training. Every organization has talent and solid products or services or you would not be in business. Getting your people to bring their “A” game to work every day, consistently over time, is what ultimately gets the best results, and it can be trained.
For more information on training services contact HigherEchelon.