Training And The Business: Social Distance Is Business As Usual

April 8, 2020

This time of recommended social distancing has me realizing that training and the business are socially distanced almost every day. So, why are people feeling so off balance due to this enforced separation in their personal lives when we accept it as normal in our work?

The Traditional Training Model

In the traditional model, people come to our training events, and then they go back to their real work. I don’t know how it came to be this way, but I wonder why it did? Training is designed to help people perform better on the job. So, we remove them from the work environment, and sometimes even from the people they work with daily, and instill them with knowledge. Then, we ship them back to the work environment and let them figure out on their own how to implement it.

Does this approach make sense? Statistics would say it does not. Only about 15% of our training graduates successfully apply what they learned in training and sustain better performance on the job. Hardly numbers to get excited about.

Is There a Better Way?

What if instead, training partnered with professionals alongside them in their work, and together determined the best way for job performance to improve? And then checked in to provide support, and hold the employees accountable to performing the newly learned skills? If this different model is implemented, 85% of training participants will perform better. So why don’t we do it this way every time?

It’s too hard, you say? Unrealistic to scale, you argue? Well, maybe without technology, and without a new view of how training professionals spend their time.

Some instructional design theories say it takes ten or more hours to develop one hour of training content. In today’s flat world, however, training content is everywhere. Just google it. A training professional can harvest existing content and invest the time they save in partnering with employees on the job to help assess what they need help with, and matching the content to the need. Then, they could design methods of support and accountability so the employee has a better chance of using what they learn in their work.

If the training professional and the employee are not in the same physical location, our current shelter-at-home condition shows us just how much we can collaborate with video conferencing, phone calls and email. Technology can take us nearly anywhere.

Let’s Have This Game-Changing Conversation

So, this realignment of training time and resources, and the use of readily-available technology can be a game-changer for a training department. As an industry, this is a conversation we feel training and development needs to embrace.

We hope you will join us for a live-online event to discuss the changing role of training and development so we stay not just relevant, but truly valuable to the organizations we serve. We have been talking about this for over a decade and the conversion needs to accelerate. 

Can’t make it to the event? Visit our website for hundreds of free resources to help make your training a better use of time, money and resources.

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