The Magic of Training - Strategies and Pitfalls

by : David Keating

Well it must be magical, because millions of companies pay billions of dollars for it. Curiously, the same companies find they can do without it when their funds run low. In fact, repeated anecdotes attest to the tendency of companies to cut back first on training when profits dip. Logically the only conclusion that we can draw is that companies see training as having no contribution to make to profit generation in the short to medium term. Longer term they recognise that a trained workforce is better than an untrained one. Short term they would rather not spend the money.
But it's in the difficult times that any company needs trained people to get it out of trouble. People who know how to drive productivity up, or accidents down. People who know how to deal well with customers.
The reality is that companies suspect that half their training is wasted, but they don’t know which half. And when hard times come along, as they always do, the 50% chance of deriving benefit is outweighed by the 100% certainty that money spent is no longer in the cash account.

One secret to training, as leading and highly admired companies have found, is to be really clear what skills are needed, and why. Also, what results are expected, and whether they have been attained. Then, how much money has to go into creating the desired outcome. If you know the elements of this crucial equation there is really no reason to cut back on training when your market dips.
There are two other secrets. The first is motivation; not the company but the potential trainee. Unmotivated, no trainee will benefit. The trainee has to really want the training. Maybe it's the key to their next promotion. Perhaps it will keep them alive if the factory catches fire. Or maybe it will allow them to work in an area they always dreamed of getting into. Any professional trainer will tell you that the highly motivated trainees are the ones who will benefit most.

The final secret is in the way that training is done. It absolutely, definitely, without question must be flexible enough to focus on the unique capabilities and learning style of the individual trainee. Any training regime that uses a 'one-size-fits-all' formula to deliver training is actually selling an 'our-size-fits-nobody' programme.
Nowhere is the influence of these secrets (which are not really secrets at all now that I have written this piece!) more evident than in the difficult and time-consuming area of language training. Here, however, is a link to a young English language training centre in Jakarta that has the secrets of training in its DNA, and is growing very quickly as a result.Aim for English - customised training solutions in Jakarta