How often do you find yourself watching a TV programme or listening to a radio broadcast and not really engaging with the content? There are certain programmes that you DEFINITELY tune yourself into – for me, it’s anything historical, animal/environmental related or cookery. Poldark, Blue Planet II, White Princess or Bake Off and the tablet and phone are left to one side and an enthusiastic hour or two of escapism and interest is driving the agenda.
However, there are other programmes and series that sometimes are just “background noise”. TV soaps, First Dates, Eastenders…all entertaining but not thought provoking. It might be a habit to always have the Archers omnibus on a Sunday morning. You’re listening but also having a conversation with the kids, cooking the dinner, ironing, thinking about that difficult issue at work.
Sometimes the same can be said for training. Mandatory training events are often the ones that people disengage from because they know “they have to do it”. But a recent conversation was had with a member of staff who had to attend Fraud training. Yes, it was mandatory but the delivery was done in an engaging, entertaining and informative way and the delegates continued to buzz with what they’d learned for some long time afterwards, sharing the stories and what they had taken from the session.
If your staff don’t feel that the time they spend in the training room, or indeed on Webinars, online learning or distance learning isn’t either relevant to them, they will quickly disengage and metaphorically (or in some cases actually) start looking at their tablets and phones and not engage with the discussions or the learning.
Your training provider needs to provide:-
ATTENTION – they need to get the attention of your staff from the outset. Yes, they need to be entertaining, but the reality is, relevant and challenging questions get people’s attention and help them to start thinking in a focused way. There’s should be no opportunity to start thinking about “other stuff” when you’re in the training room.
IMPACT – simply put, how will this workshop/programme/training make a difference to my working day, career progression? Everyone attending should be able to have an action plan of what they’ll implement, change or resolve as a result of the training. If they’re struggling to identify 3 simple changes, they’ve not been engaged sufficiently to commit to the process.
UNDERSTANDING – In order to really understand the content and impact of training, full attention, commitment and willingness to learn or change needs to be part of the delegate toolbox. They should be encouraged by the facilitator to demonstrate their understanding of what has been discussed and challenged to find methods of implementing the learning back in the workplace.
We tend to think of education as only being that which we learn in school, college or University.
But how many of us in the last week have paid attention to the impact of plastics in the oceans from watching Blue Planet II, really understanding the consequences of our throw away cultures?
We learn when we are engaged in the subject matter – ask yourselves, if you’re training provider is only providing an entertaining and fun day out of the office? If they are it’s a disservice to your business and your staff.
Resolution for 2018 – Be more Blue Planet II and less First Dates!