Back in the days when I was a manager overseeing tech folks, a team member came to me about a training class she wanted to take.
It was relevant to her work, and we had the budget to do it. She was hard working and smart, and I wanted to keep her, but I said no. Why?
As a boss I had spent a lot of money over the years sending people to training classes which were a total waste of time and money.
I have since learned the key to making training programs an incredible investment for companies, and learned exactly what I had been doing wrong.
The goal of training is:
- For team members to gain critical skills and
- To use those skills to help move the business forward.
We’re talking about getting people to change what they DO after a class.
According to persuasion expert Dr. BJ Fogg of Stanford University, there are three elements in getting people to change.
- Motivation – Why do they want to change?
- Ability – Do they have the skills and opportunity to change?
- Triggers – What will remind them to use the skills and motivation?
- The person must have some motive to do things differently.
Everyone’s favorite radio station is WII-FM – “What’s In It For Me?”
Why do they want these new skills? What do they want? How will having these skills help them get it? What’s wrong with what they are doing now?
- BEFORE the class, as you’re deciding whether to pay for it, invest some time thinking about what’s in it for the team member.
- Ask them to think about why they are motivated to do this.
- Will the class teach the skills your team member needs?
This is what most training programs focus on. Specific skills in a particular area. Most of the time training companies do a decent job of this – but not always. It’s a good idea to make sure that the topics are relevant and that there’s a refund policy if the class doesn’t deliver the value promised.
- How will the team member remember to use those new skills instead of “what they have always done?”
I have rarely seen any formal system or program to help team members with this part of the puzzle. We all know that accountability matters. Having someone who can help you overcome your resistance and to whom you are accountable makes the difference between success and failure.
Champion athletes do this. Weight Watchers has used this principle to build an almost $2B business. It works.
We have an easy answer!
We offer a system tuned to adult learners – triggers to help them remember what they were supposed to be doing, accountability programs and support with open Q&A to help them firm up their grasp on those new skills.
- Post-training support
- Ongoing educational system
- Deep Dive techniques
Back to the story
Getting back to my team member, six months before her request I had sent her to a different class. After that class I didn’t see her apply a single thing that was supposed to have been taught in the class!
I had observed this with her before, too. I think that I failed her. I don’t think that anyone had ever set an expectation for her that she would be held accountable to USE the skills taught in the class. I had that expectation in my mind, but I didn’t communicate that to her – until I told her why I was saying no.
Without a comprehensive system of Motivation, Ability, and Triggers, you’re probably wasting those training dollars.
Give me a call to talk about how I can help you with
- Project/Program management,
- Leadership Development,
- Strategic Planning,
- Product Management,
- Communications, and more.
We offer a powerful system that will equip your team with skills and empower them to perform in amazing ways.