Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Getting training out of the black box - Part 2

Now that you know what training is wanted/needed, it's time to share the news.

In chatting with other HR pros, and even through my own observation, I hear a lot about training being available only to a select few.

Excuse me??

We are talking about something that will create a better informed, more productive, more motivated, and more committed workforce, and you are keeping it a secret from most of your employees?

All I can say is you are nuts! (headwag and finger shaking to be imagined here!)

You have someone working on the factory floor who has aspirations of becoming a supervisor and wants to be able to do it well from Day 1 when the opportunity arises, and you are only letting people who are already supervisors in the door to that class?

You have a clerical employee who writes code on the side at home and you are NOT going to tell her about the database application class because it is not in her job description -- yet! Are you kidding me?

Stop thinking of training as a limited resource!

I will say it again! Training increases productivity, improves morale, and boost employee commitment. It is a tool like almost none other you have in your HR toolbox. So open up the box, and take it out!


Publish a training schedule and let people pick the classes they want to attend. If there are a few people who NEED to attend a given class, put their names down first. Then let ANYONE sign up for the rest of the slots. ANYONE!

Send out in-house e-mails about upcoming training. Post signs on walls. PUBLICIZE IT! Think school dance -- the more signs, the more excitement, the more people attend. Same principle here, except your company benefits from all the people showing up and getting training! Pretty cool, huh? And you don't even need someone to watch the punchbowl!

Reward people for attending, reward improvement in areas that had been lacking, reward new ideas that came from the training. Pay attention to the after-affects of the training. When people do good things because of it, reward them. Chocolate bars, gift certificates, plaques, whatever you choose. Just follow through.

Tomorrow...your objections to this idea. Yeah, I can see those hands waving out there. And the "But...but..." excuse pouring out. Share yours. I'll share the ones I've heard. And tomorrow, we'll deal with them all.

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