All too often, organizations face the need to cut back on expenses and one of the first line items you decide to cut, again all too often, is training.
At PSC, we see this as a grave error of judgment – and not just because we’re in the business of training. It’s an error because if your organization isn’t learning, it isn’t growing.
If you eliminate training, you automatically increase the learning curve for your employees, forcing them to figure things out on their own and struggle to do more with less. Not to mention the impact on company morale and motivation. Only a select few employees take it as a personal challenge to get in there and analyze and innovate fast solutions. The remainder just want good information so that they can move forward with assigned tasks and do their jobs from a place of knowledge and confidence.
Lack of training leads to mistakes – and mistakes made along an unnecessary learning curve can end up costing more in the long run than you would have invested in training.
And that’s exactly what training is – an investment in the future of your organization.
So let’s talk about some of the many benefits of training. This series of thee posts will cover: (infographic)
· Training Methodologies – Part 1
· Learning Outcomes – Part 2
· ROI Results – Part 3
With 30+ years in the training business, we have found the most effective methods for creating a training environment that results in a true learning experience. The key to our success has been designing seminars that offer hands-on, sleeves rolled up, active engagement in customized problem solving exercises. We deal with workplace situations the participants actually face every day – not generic scenarios that don’t apply to their world.
We’ve found five methods that create an optimum learning experience every time:
1. Role-Play/Simulation. Role-playing is an immersive exercise that involves learning by doing. Even the introverts in class become active participants. They’re presented with real-life scenarios and act out their responses, followed by an analytical discussion of results, consequences, ideas for improvement, and conclusions.
2. Conference/Lecture. Lecture counts for only about 9% of our seminar content. Long lectures can get boring and the information shared is challenging to retain. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” Our facilitators share their expertise in pragmatic ways – sharing their knowledge through practical exercise and experiential instruction. They facilitate learning rather than teach concepts.
3. Individual Work. Participants complete some of our in-class exercises on their own, then compare their conclusions with other class members. Some seminars include a field exercise which the participants return to the workplace to perform on their own and then bring their results back for follow-up analysis and discussion.
4. Group Discussion. We form small discussion groups of 3 – 6 people, depending on the size of the class, and assign topics and issues for dynamic interaction.
5. Class Discussion. Results of role-plays, lectures, individual work, and group discussions are analyzed as a class, with key learning points expanded upon by the facilitator.
Our training premise is that pragmatic experience trumps organizational theory – and we’re right about that. Active engagement is high on our list of seminar effectiveness priorities and is one of the comments we hear most often. Here are just a few comments from past leadership seminars:
“Our speaker, Calvin Swartz, was phenomenal. This was one of the best training sessions I have attended since being employed by [organization]. I also thoroughly enjoyed interacting with my peers from the various Regions. I have been reenergized and ready to accomplish more successes in my career.”
“This was one of the best sessions that I have attended. We were provided the opportunity to give specific situations that we deal with on a daily basis and figure out ways to make our actions more tangible.”
“The entire training was superb. Cal was very motivational and provided many different perspectives and options. His time management of the material and lessons were right on target, never leaving room to get bored. He responded well to the different personalities of the class and recognized the need for changes in mode. Overall I would rate this class A+, the best training I have ever received under [organization]’s leadership training courses. I learned techniques I plan to utilize.”
Your Takeaway: Training is not an expendable line item in your company budget. It’s a crucial investment in the future of your business.
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Next week we’ll discuss Learning Outcomes – the goals of training that result in benefits for your staff.