While undergoing new system changes, the training component is often underrated, and as such, miscalculated in budgets. Upgrades and enhancements to any organization, large and small, involve change management practices while introducing such changes to these organizations. The natural reaction to these changes are taken negatively as processes are redefined, time to learn and adapt, as well as the indirect threat to employees that cannot keep up to these changes.
How do we as an industry manage these issues? Training is meant to bridge gaps between old and new practices, creating a smooth transition for any system change. However training also has the impact to make or break any transition. If training is executed in a poor manner, employees will find any way possible to avoid learning and practicing such changes. At the end of the day, we need the employees to support the system changes in order for it to deliver its expected successes.
Conducting a needs analysis is crucial in order to assess current knowledge of the employees and increase their ability to adhere to the changes and become successful. This does not take a long time as this can be completed by a simple survey, or a brief Q/A session prior to the training. It is the responsibility of the trainer to know their audience. Generic training sessions are often not successful as they tend to target individuals with no knowledge. These sessions are detailed and loose the attention of their audience. If a trainer assessed the current abilities of their trainees, the training session becomes relevant.
Characters of a good trainer:
- know adult learning principles - acting as an enabler of learning, rather than a provider of knowledge
- Do not read off a piece of paper or their presentation notes (i.e. PowerPoint)
- Set clear and achievable objectives
- Vibrant personality, does not speak in monotone
- Know their material
- Stick to the topic at hand and do not loose focus.
Characters of a bad trainer:
- Is not prepared
- Is not specific in defining the training goals
- Ignores the competencies of their audience
- Conducts training while reading of their notes
If training is successful, you gain the support of the employees. This is the key indicator towards successful change management.
Does anyone have an example being involved in a poor training session? I’m interested to hearing these stories and possibly learning from them.