Allow me to give a “shout out” to some QBQ! training clients. Please bear with me, there’s an important message coming.
Dave Field of Interprint, Inc. in Massachusetts—2005
Debbie Slocum of Husqvarna Construction Products in Missouri—2006
Jeff Clark of Toshiba America Business Solutions in South Dakota—2012
Don Burstow of Burstows Funeral Care in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia—2015
The dates shown denote when each client began using “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” training.
I mention these executives because they do what most management folks don’t:
They select and implement a training program—and stick with it.
New research shows the corporate world’s investment in training is increasing. I use the word “investment” and not “spending” because training is an investment—unless it’s done wrong. Then it’s just a cost.
And take it from a guy who’s about to mark 30 years in the training field, there’s a lot of cost in this arena. The all-too-painful truth is this:
Most training fails.
In the Outstanding! book, there’s a chapter on why training fails and what makes it succeed and here’s a clue:
So, with that assertion in mind, let’s explore …
5 Management Mindsets That Kill Training
1. We need something new!
This past winter, a banking institution implemented our training with the entire staff. The client facilitated the program in-house and everything went great! But, the other day, they let us know that even though QBQ! was a hit, “we’re moving on to something new next year.”
So, what was valid last January isn’t valid this January? No longterm commitment to the material leading to much-needed retraining and repetition?!?
That would be like parents informing the child, “Last year we taught you about honesty, but this year we’ll be going in a different direction.”
That certainly wouldn’t be strong parenting, nor is it how we build an outstanding organizational culture.
When an executive’s “been there, done that” thinking gives him/her the attention span of a gnat, they end up training people one year on the blue program, the next year with the red program, and the following year it’s the yellow program!
This approach creates confusion at best and cynicism at worst. What does cynicism in employees sound like?
“Well, here we go again.”
“Why are they doing this to us?”
“Don’t worry, wait ten seconds and it’ll pass.”
Management, stop pursuing what’s “new” and instead find and implement and what works. Then do this: Stick. With. It.
2. We trained, they got it, we’re done.
Ha ha ha!
Sorry to laugh, but to think anyone learns anything from a single exposure to content is the silliest notion ever. As we say in the QBQ! book, “Repetition is the motor of learning.” One-shot training adds little value to an organization. Remember, a strong culture is built by repeating our chosen values over and over and over and over and … well, you get the point.
3. The training is for others!
Just yesterday, Don Burstow sent this email from Down Under:
“Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” training will continue at Burstows next year as a core value and a personal challenge to each person—including me.“
Don is a leader who understands that just because his name is on the door—literally—he’s not above learning. Plus, he knows that “modeling is the most powerful of all teachers” (also in QBQ!). Don sets an excellent example for all. Kudos to him.
4. Training is the training department’s job.
Wrong! My apologies to trainers and HR people everywhere, but training is the manager’s job.
Returning to the parenting analogy …
Effective parents would never abdicate their leadership role to teachers, youth leaders, and coaches. Right? Well, outstanding managers know their #1 goal each day is to develop their people, and that only happens when they own—and do—the training.
Each executive mentioned above has personally facilitated QBQ! training with their teams. Now that’s leadership! It’s also their job.
5. The consultant we hired didn’t keep the program alive.
This is nothing more than blame and excuse-making. Period.
No training program vendor, coach, or consultant can make a client keep an initiative in place. The outsider can visit, phone, email, message, text, or Tweet a client to death, but that won’t motivate the client to do anything they don’t want to do. If the commitment by management to make the training an ongoing process is lacking, then that’s that. It ain’t gonna happen.
It’s my hope that as you read this piece, you picked up on the theme that training succeeds for the same reason it fails:
So, when it comes to training in your organization, which of our 5 costly management mindsets have you seen? Or, if you have a training success story to share, we’d love to hear it!
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