• Graham Carter

Training isn't always the answer

You may be wondering why someone with many years experience in training would say this.

Surely, with the rise of digital learning and on-the-go learning solutions such as podcasts there has never been more need for training to up-skill, re-skill or give people the skills they need to do the job in the first place?

Well, kind of.

I'm not disputing that we need to provide people with some training to help them to develop and apply new skills and knowledge, but how many times have you been on a training workshop/course and come away feeling excited about putting the learning into practice... only to be repeating the same habits and delivering the same results days later, having "not had the time" to put these new skills into practice?

Or maybe you wanted to but the additional support you needed to change habits and embed new ones, embracing the struggle that we all experience when trying to do things differently, was not there because your manager was too busy or there was an urgent problem to be solved?

The thing is, sometimes training is the obvious solution to fixing a behavioural, knowledge or skills gap. That's what we think, and so we diligently go about sourcing training courses externally or developing in-house materials, delivering the workshops, and then following up with the attendees to see how valuable they found the learning.

However, the obvious solution is not always the right one. Intuition can be a wonderful thing, and a manager's observations may suggest to them that there is a very real training need and that if this is addressed all will be good with the world. Because they want the best for their people and want them to succeed.

What if there is a wider issue affecting other teams within the organisation that is affecting the motivation, engagement and application of the team? How might the team dynamic have been affected by recent recruitment or departures and could this explain recent changes in performance? Why did those sales figures take a tumble for the third month running?

How would you feel if you invested in training only to see minimal improvement in your team's performance, or even a drop in their output? Poorly thought out, misdirected or inappropriate training might mean this is the result.

This is where taking a step back, getting another perspective on the challenges you are facing from a learning and development specialist can help. Through performance consulting they can work with you to identify the root cause(s) of the problem and put together an evidence-based, tailored package to address the issue, support the team, and deliver real change.

And yes, sometimes this might include training. But not always. In this excellent article, Angela Wilson outlines how different conversations and perspectives to solving the problem can reveal some quite simple answers and interventions.

Why not contact Evolve Consulting to discuss your own challenges and find out how performance consulting could help you and your teams to be better today than yesterday.... and even better tomorrow.

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