There’s a lot of doom and gloom around current affairs right now and reading Claire’s fantastic latest coaching blog about focusing on positivity reminded me of this.  This got me thinking about the past and a better approach for business about training:

It’s a necessity that when times are hard in the economy and for business, things get reviewed to “tighten the belts”.  One particular trend I’ve seen is with the amount of training and personal development that happens when times are good in comparison to when times aren’t so good.  While I can completely understand the rationale, I’ve always thought that this is hugely detrimental to business in the short and longer term.  One of the primary functions of a business for productivity, safety and profit is to make sure that people are correctly trained by properly trained staff, and importantly, they can be retained.  For businesses that are quality assured, it’s been very interesting to hear that it’s no longer sufficient for a business to just be training; questions are now extended to go much deeper examining the type of training, the assurance of it and crucially the credibility of those delivering the training.  This for me then points to a complete re-think of training and personal development for consistency when times are good or bad. A type of standardised approach to doing this could look something like this:

Training and Development Policy – Be prescriptive with the essential and desirable training and qualifications required for every role and person.  Consider widening the skills of your trainers beyond professional skills and training delivery; you might have a competent staff who have the qualifications and expertise to deliver more to your business and people than you think!

Encourage Personal Development Plans – What are the needs and wants of each individual and are they achievable now or aspirational?  Be honest, objective and supportive with the feedback; using SMART will help with this.

Promote and share Best Practice – Having a culture of internal development and continuous improvement will enhance productivity, safety, profit and retention (people who feel their voice is heard are motivated and more likely to stay).

Let me leave you with a fantastic quote from Richard Branson that I think fits brilliantly to this blog: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.” training and retention rolled into one perfectly; one of my favourites!

Scott Fraser is a Master Trainer at Target Training and delivers our PTT Train the Trainer courses and our Advanced PTT Train the Trainer courses.  You can read more about him here.