Interesting statement isn’t it? As corporate trainers, most of our time and energy is spent on business activities that will lead to sales. We are looking at ways to shorten the sales cycle so that we can contribute our unique offer. It makes sense that we orient ourselves to the senior manager, the most likely decision maker who will express immediate interest in buying our training solution. Their focus will be directed on performance outcomes that make them and the company look good like; increased revenue, reduced time spent in business activities and employee retention.
Employees want to be involved.
These outcomes make sense from an investment perspective; however, they are not necessarily paramount to the employee who will be participating in your training program. It doesn’t matter how impactful your training promises to be, if it doesn’t have relevance to the trainee’s goals and career aspirations, and if they haven’t been consulted, I believe we will have less of an impact as trainers. Receiving buy in from the employees who are participating increases training results.
How do we create more buy in or “meaning” for the individuals we are training?
Chris and Dan Heath, authors of The Power of Moments, share an interesting building block known as Moments of Connection. They use different workplace & community examples emphasizing how having individuals participate in their programs strengthens and intensifies the results. Chris and Dan identify a term ‘perceived partner responsiveness”, suggesting that our relationships are stronger when we perceive that our partners are responsive to us. Supporting partners from a place of responsiveness or attunement, utilizing, caring, understanding and validation in our approaches, is what makes the difference. To capture more of the details of Moments of Connection and other building blocks, I highly recommend reading The Power of Moments.
Within the world of training, ultimately, we are embarking on a partnership, a partnership between employer, employee and trainer.
How could I take this new insight and incorporate it into my process?
It starts with a question.
The key addition to your process as a trainer, is to build open ended questions into the needs analysis stage of your corporate engagement. The primary focus of your question design is to extract feedback from the individual that answers the question; “what matters to you?” or “what do you want?” You can then tie this theme into the specifics of training and what they want to develop within their workplace activities.
For example; “By attending team communication skills 101, what changes would you like to see in your meeting management style?” or “looking at the modules of team communication skills 101, what do you see that would add value to your skill set?”
As trainers committed to transforming the workplace for individuals and corporations, having a deeper understanding of optimizing training results will ultimately benefit us all.