Is it better to have one-on-one executive training or to opt for a group setting? The answer is a clear, emphatic, definitive “It depends.” Sorry. But consider this: is a personal trainer the best option for losing weight? It would seem like it, wouldn’t it? But why are support groups, like Weight Watchers, so effective? You can see that there are benefits to both a personal coach and a group setting. It is the same with executive training.
Posts Tagged ‘effective training’
Gary Pollice, Professor of Practice at Worchester Polytechnic Institute, recalls when one student noted that, while the class was interesting, it felt more like corporate training than teaching. Pollice realized that this was true. He writes, “[T]raining focuses on the skill; the definitions imply a narrower focus than teaching and possibly a shorter timeframe…” whereas, teaching implies “deeper knowledge and a longer timeframe. We often hear the term “lifelong learning, but I can’t recall ever hearing about lifelong training.” Instead of providing leadership “training,” organizations can benefit by integrating leadership programs that focus on teaching.
Why are so many consultants enamored of reports? Don’t let them fool you: it’s because they’re easy. Don’t think so? Ask a teacher what kind of work her students prefer: do they like to read and discuss pieces and do creative assignments or do they like to do worksheets? The intuitive answer is the creative projects, but most students prefer filling out boring worksheets because it is easier. It requires much less effort, concentration, and interaction. It doesn’t require that you be engaged. And the report is the consultant’s version of a worksheet. Some set themselves to autopilot and churn out reports that mean very little for the success of your business. You deserve more than a cookie-cutter, worksheet, busy-work approach.
There is unprecedented diversity in the workforce; there is also a gap between the values at one end of the spectrum and those at the other. Traditionalists live to work; younger employees work to live. These workers expect to be happy at work. Their grandparents or great-grandparents would have found this an absurd requirement; employment was a privilege. Traditionalists needed the job; today, the workforce needs Gen Y. Keeping them happy is not just nice; it’s a must for attracting and retaining top talent.
Is it money that makes people stay at their jobs? Is it money that makes them leave? Surprisingly, no. Most often, people leave because they feel they are not valued or challenged. They are not getting the proper training; they feel they are not developing as a professional. Many companies are hesitant to offer extensive training because they fear it will prompt employees to look elsewhere for higher paying positions. In reality, training is one of the best ways to increase retention. It is also one of the best ways to implement change.
We have been discussing the 2011 Global Leadership Forecast, a survey conducted by Development Dimensions International (DDI). This large scale survey, encompassing thousands of respondents in 74 countries, revealed dissatisfaction among Canada’s business community in the efficacy of their leadership development programs. One interesting statistic gleaned from the Canadian Highlights report is that just 32 percent of companies with over 10,000 employees reported that their development programs were highly effective. By contrast, 44 percent of businesses with less than 500 employees felt their programs were highly effective. Why the discrepancy?
What if the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command trained in big lecture halls? 300 candidates sitting in a room, hearing lectures, seeing some slideshows and PowerPoint presentations. Maybe there is a question/answer period or a group learning activity. At the end of this “training,” do you think any of these candidates is qualified to be a member of CANSOFCOM? You would feel a little less safe, certainly, if this were the case. This is not effective training for Special Forces, and it is not an effective training model for executives. You do battle on a very different field, but you too need rigorous, hands-on, comprehensive, training.