The capabilities of your organization grows when your people grow. Your people want to learn and grow. It’s at or near the top of every employee survey that I’ve seen published in recent history. Far too many businesses think that they don’t have the time or the resources to invest in training. Think again, here’s some things you should know:
- Technology has made training ALL your employees easier and more affordable than ever.
- There are practical and affordable training methods that you probably haven’t thought of.
- Your employees are a great source for training materials.
- Your employees can learn in the workflow. They don’t have to lose hours or days at a time tied up in training programs.
Online training has become one of the most practical approaches to training. There are lots of options on the market for online training. They are particularly good for developing technical skills, because the learner can progress at their own pace. Where they usually fall short is in training that’s intended to change a person’s behavior. Leadership training is a great example. After decades of traditional leadership training efforts, employees still report problems with their boss as one of their top reasons for being dissatisfied with their job, which is a clear indication that it’s not working.
Some reasons the traditional approaches don’t work include things like:
- Training is applied with the fire hose approach that results in information overload. The vast majority of the information doesn’t stick.
- The learner is taken off-site and learns in isolation. Few people, if anyone in the learner’s circle of influence has any understanding of the learner’s goals and objectives.
- Even the best intentioned learner falls back into their old habits shortly after returning to the work site without support and positive reinforcement.
Drip Training™ and Dripped & Flipped Training™ are approaches that are designed to solve those problems. Both approaches can be applied and combined with other methods in many ways. The objective for both approaches is to provide a consistent learning experience to all participants over time. For example, you could initially train your entire staff (large group) on a particular skill set and then all new hires (individual participants) could complete the same training so that you maintain a consistent skill level throughout the organization. Alternatively, you could try a small group pilot project, tweak it, roll it out to your entire workforce and maintain it for new hires on an ongoing basis. You get the idea. They can be tailored to meet your needs.When it comes to Drip Training™ the learner receives digestible chunks of information on a daily or weekly basis and then applies the training throughout the day or week. The training takes place over time allowing for gradual behavior changes. The learner’s progress is based, at a minimum, on 360º before and after assessments. The training material can be any combination of articles, books, video’s, along with anything else you choose. This example assumes that the entire workforce has already received the training and will support the learner with positive reinforcement.
Dripped & Flipped Training™ is intended for groups and incorporates Drip Training™ as described above so that each learner can obtain access to the training materials at their convenience. The flipped part is taken from the education field where the learners work on the “problems” or “case studies” together in a group setting rather than sitting through long lectures. Rather than working through theoretical problems, I recommend that the assignment be a small pilot project that the organization plans on rolling out upon successful completion of the program. This approach allows team members to continue with their regular assignments, learn the material in digestable chunks, get together periodically to apply the learning (in much the same way that they would for a meeting), work through the issues, and continue to move the organization forward in ways it might not have otherwise done.Our world is changing far to fast to think that our current education system can prepare today’s workforce for the 40 plus years that they will be on the job. If you want your organization to stay relevant you must find ways to up-skill your entire workforce on an ongoing basis. Educating a select few here and there won’t be enough. There are at least a dozen other practical low cost training approaches that you can deploy in your organization. Were you aware that there are subsidies available in certain circumstances? Certainly, if IBM qualifies for them your organization should at least explore the opportunities.
Regardless of your size or industry, you need to incorporate a lifelong learning mindset in your organization. If you would like help with that, click here to contact us.