How many "C"s in Training?

How many “C’s” in Training?

None right. T. R. A. I. N. I. N. G.

Wrong (maybe)

Having spent most of my professional life in people and workforce development, I’ve been involved with training quite a lot. I’m also fortunate in that I’ve been a Student, a Trainer, a Coach, a Consultant, an Advisor and a Business Owner, so I’ve had a chance to consider the situation from multiple perspectives, and across multiple organisations.

Based on that experience I figure there are typically three reasons employers train and they all start with “C”. The number of C’s you include in your training, directly impacts the value of the training received by the student and to delivered to the organisation.

And I’m not talking about CONTENT. I’m talking about your MOTIVATIONS.

The first C is Compliance.

A lot of organisations provide training, particularly around Safety and Induction purely for Compliance reasons.

They have created some form of system that meets requirements, and they ensure everyone who starts undertakes the system, and “meets minimum requirements” but that’s about it.

Compulsory Professional Development training is another great example. Professionals and Professional Service Firms go along to these training days not to learn anything new, but because the professional body said they have too. Most think “well at least I’ll get a free lunch and a chance to network”.

The motivation is mostly about COMPLIANCE. If they learn something – its an unexpected bonus.

Employers who are delivering training mostly for Compliance, tend to view training as a cost and a burden. In conversation they are dismissive of the training, and really do see it as an interruption to business.

When training is viewed this way by management, it tends to be viewed that way by staff and participants, which ensures very little value is ever realised.

Given that management put little value in the training, participants tend to put even less value in the training and go along reluctantly, sit at the back of the room with their arms crossed and hardly get involved before morning tea.

Training only for compliance has the potential to be a waste of everyones time and money. In my mind compliance is the poorest excuse for training.

The Second C is Competence.

People who engage training for a Competence reason, often see it as a necessary evil.

They see that there is some value in the training, but mostly its about getting people up to a standard. They might be a trades based company that develops a lot of apprentices because they recognise the value of the trade, but then do little else to further develop the resource.

People who view the purpose of training as Competence might say somMulti-ethnic business groupething like “what if I train them and they leave?”. Sure they want to grow the competence of their employee and their team, but they don’t necessarily want to risk over training them, just in case.

When training is viewed this way, an organisation tends to have a competent workforce, and people can certainly “do their job”, but often they struggle to “do the bit extra”. In a lot of cases growth is stifled because even though the organisation has a great team, they just lack the “x factor” needed to get to the next level.

Perhaps there is some value in training your trades people in customer service?

Training for the sake of COMPETENCE is certainly better than just training for
COMPLIANCE, but its still only half the picture.

The Third C is Commitment.

Commitment to training is where real benefits are gained. Benefits that pass not only to the individual, but also the organisation.

Sure your motivation for training in Safety, Induction and Compulsory Professional Development might be just to meet compliance requirements, and you can reluctantly participate because you HAVE too, or you could choose to have true commitment, and to use the situation to learn something useful.

What if your safety training not only met the minimum requirements, but did actually teach people to act and behave safety in your work environment. And what if you actually wanted people to learn what was being taught, instead of just getting them to do the induction because “that’s the policy”?

People who have a commitment to training get excited by the fact that they (or one of their reports) will be attending training and they look forward to them returning with new skills and ideas. They share what they have learned, and they expect others to do the same.

People who are committed to training participate to get a good outcome, not to be compliant.

In my experience, nearly all “Industry Leading” organisations have a commitment to training, and that’s not a coincidence.

You can see these people in training programs. They’re the ones asking all the questions, getting involved and taking it all in. No matter how boring, repetitive or mundane the subject matter may be.

Most people train because its a compliance or competence requirement. If it wasn’t required, they’d probably just get on with their day job. People and employers who are truly committed to training, would train anyway. And they DO train anyway.

Whats your principal driver when it comes to training? Is it to comply, to
be competent, or just a deeply entrenched commitment?

Personally, I’m a permanent student of business and spend an incredible amount of time and money each year on personal and professional education. I have a true commitment to learning (and training). I’m also committed to my team and my organisation.

We actively look for opportunities to learn, to grow and to be trained. And we’re recognised for this. Just last week we were invited to study at the Disney Institute in their Business Excellence program. We have two staff members attending in the first half of next year.

How committed to training are you? Not sure, well maybe ask yourself, if it wasn’t really a requirement, would I still do it?

I’m interested in your thoughts.


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