Can You Provide An Example of How Not To Set Up Training?

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Here's an example of how to ensure that you don't get a return on investment (ROI) for training in business.

Case One: A manager is approached by a training vendor who suggests the manager train all her staff in more effective communication techniques using the vendor's training seminar. Since the manager has had a vague idea that communication in her division should be better, after asking around about the trainer's reputation, she hires him. Employees arrive at the seminar with almost no information about why they are there, but still spend an enjoyable day with the trainer, who is entertaining and fairly skilled. They evaluate the seminar as worthwhile.

But, nothing happens at work. Nothing gets better. The training, and it's investment seems to have had no impact. Not a surprise really. So little thought was put into the process up front.

While both manager and trainer were well-intended, neither was very clear about what was intended. Or what was needed. Or what would be likely to address any specific business issues. Not only that but employees attending had no idea why they were there, or how they might use what they were "learning" at the seminar when they got back from work.

When none of the players understand the point and specific desired outcomes of training, you simply don't get positive outcomes, except by accident.

In the worst possible scenario, the trainer, using a standard communication seminar process might also have completely missed the mark, bored the heck out of the employees since they already knew what she was teaching, and then got completely panned in evaluations. Along with the manager who arranged the training.

The answer of course is that training must be planned properly, and you'll see in other parts of this section, how training and performance management go hand in hand.


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Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


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