I remember it like it was yesterday – bored numb sitting in a dark room for 2 days (not straight, they did show us mercy and let us leave for the evening!) listening to a trainer tell us all about how to sell the new range of products our company had just launched.
We have all been there – 30 people cramped together in a small room (why are there never enough chairs by the way?) participating in ‘training’ which is designed to improve our knowledge or expertise of a particular topic or field (or in this case, product). Looking around the room at people on their phones, doodling or otherwise distracted I couldn’t help but feel there must be a better way.
The trouble with this model isn’t just that it is boring and expensive (cost of trainer, room, not to mention an entire sales team not selling for 2 days) but there is absolutely no way of proving whether the training had any affect.
Sales may have improved after the training, yes, but how do we know this wasn’t because we changed the commission structure or our reputation improved with better customer service? The short answer is we have no idea (although to this day I think it was because we dropped our prices ??).
The reality is that each year businesses spend a staggering £44 billion on training interventions just like the one described above – well intentioned yes, but one-pace, off-key and crucially disconnected from the people and organisations they are trying to help.
What we know about learning thanks to pioneers like Nick Shackleton-Jones is that we FORGET nearly 95% of the things we hear about 2 weeks after we heard them & that we only remember things that have meaning or connect with us in some way. That is a way of me saying that someone telling you how do to something, via powerpoint or otherwise, does not work – we learn because we need to learn and we learn best of all through, yep you guessed it, experience.
So what do we do differently?
We start by becoming problem solvers rather than order takers.
We challenge and test the assumptions provided to us and use modern technology to reduce cost, obtain feedback, prove value and ultimately maximise return on your client’s / employer’s investment.
So where in the past employee induction might have been 2 day, 100 person event with key speakers, swag bags and ‘learning outcomes’ – we now use the same resources to create a 90 day experience via automation, campaigns and feedback – we might even involve the line managers! ??
The opportunity that exists for the learning and development industry now is enormous. We have never had more information about performance and tools at our disposal to truly prove the value of what we do.
If you are creating content the best thing to do is to keep asking yourself ‘is this addressing the problem, and if so, can I prove it?’, if you are constantly challenging your work in this way then you are on the path to creating truly connected and engaging solutions.
If you want to get started with this type of intervention in your own organisation why not book a call using the link below?