Training investment: common sense before exuberance!

It is great to see how organisations across the UK have been refocussing on developing both staff and teams since the start of this year. But, as with other investments of either money or time (or both) sometimes it’s easy to mess it up.

I thought you might like to read this short article about a few team building exercise that didn’t quite go to plan. As I said in the title of this blog sometimes a little more common sense is required alongside a little less exuberance! Click here to read.

And exuberance comes in many forms…

Tunnel vision

Sometimes it’s such incredible passion or excitement over one type of training that everything else gets forgotten…

  • Plenty of team building, but no skill building, or
  • Loads of e-learning, but no budget for any coaching, or
  • Loads of leadership development, but no time spent on inductions for new staff

Blowing the budget 

Sometimes it’s foolishly driven by a belief that the more you spend, the better the results…

  • Is a £20k per person, two week leadership course in some far flung capital city really going to deliver what you need, just because a big name is running it?
  • Is a whizz, bang, hugely posh simulated exercise going to really develop those commercial skills for your managers or will it just impress and overwhelm the whole learning experience?
  • Will a free bar at the conference really raise morale and develop the team? Or will it just encourage excessive drinking?

Difference of opinion

And sometimes trainers and managers take the view that everyone has to be perpetually out of their comfort zones so that behavioural change can be ‘beaten’ into you…

  • Just because you, the trainer, like a high ropes activity does not mean that that is appropriate for a team building event.
  • Just because you think that fresh air and 3 days away from Wi-Fi is good for the soul, does not mean that staff with a phobia of places without pavements or care duties at home will also value that.
  • Just because you want to get people to be more creative or imaginative in the way they work to guarantee you a competitive advantage, does not mean it’s time to organise a stand up comedy training session.

But it’s not just about doom and gloom and you can’t do anything fun… of course not… so here are a few of my top tips for a good investment of time and money in training and development activities:

  • Blended learning is great. It means that you can have lots of different learning activities so there is bound to be something for everyone, as well as lots of opportunity to embed and reinforce learning. (Not sure what blended learning is? Just email us and I’ll give you a quick summary)
  • Remember that not everyone is just like you and whilst you might not think so, it really would be a weird workplace if that was the case. So embrace different personalities and different views rather than seek to just impose your own.
  • Don’t make it all so insipid though out of fear of upsetting or irritating someone. There will always be one person who doesn’t want to or who can’t for some reason fit in. Accept that and find a way to ensure that you include them as much as possible.
  • Whilst thinking about the needs of the whole group, also remember that dumbing it down to the lowest common denominator will achieve as little as bullishly delivering the most expensive or the most outrageous training. What you need is balance!
  • Don’t involve actors, comedians, magicians, clowns, ex soldiers, singers or musicians unless you know the person or company you are paying will be able to properly relate their skills to the people in your organisation. If your staff wanted to join the army, they would have done!
  • Don’t be wowed by the packaging, be that the name or brand of the organisation you are paying for your training, or the size of the box the training game comes in. At the end of the day, the success of your training will be down to the substance, not the packaging.

Any thoughts or comments? I’d love to hear them. Please leave your comments in the box below.

Leave your comment