According to scientists the “lifecycle” of knowledge currently lasts around five years, which means that alumni of the best universities enter the labour market without proper theoretical preparation. In order to face up to professional challenges each employee ought to invariably care about their professional development. That is why trainings have become an integral part of our lives.
Training as one of development activities
We should remember that training is the most common activity which hones competencies, yet not the only one. Depending on the employee’s development goals and preferences of learning methods it is worth considering training in a job position, mentoring, coaching, position turnover, etc. Before we decide on the implementation of a training, it is worth analysing the needs of its potential participants very carefully. For example, managers often report to the HR department that they have diagnosed problems with their employees in the area of communication. However, it is necessary to look carefully at the situation and check what exactly is an obstacle to effective communication. Often, these are reasons independent of employees’ competences (e.g. low level of managerial skills of superiors). In this case, managers should receive appropriate development activities (e.g. training or coaching). Implementation of a communication training for employees in a similar situation would only stick a plaster to a dirty wound. The situation would probably improve for a moment, as employees with new skills would try to communicate as best as possible, but in the long run management errors would cause the problem to return. In addition, such training could also increase the frustration of employees, because their awareness is increased and they even more clearly perceive the incompetence of their superiors.
Preparation – first steps
However, if the diagnosis shows that the training is the most effective, in a given case, method of competence improvement, it should be clearly defined what participants should learn at the level of: knowledge (theory), skills (application of theory in practice), attitudes (willingness to apply theory in practice).
Having the above-mentioned information, we can choose a trusted training company that will choose the right trainer and create a tailor-made course program. The trainer should be a person with experience in conducting group trainings and an expert in the subject of the training. It is also good if the trainer has already had the opportunity to work with participants from our industry and understands the specifics of their functioning. After choosing a trainer based on the description of a professional profile, it is worth getting to know him or her personally, to verify whether he or she is a person with passion, appropriate knowledge and dynamics of action that will be able to convey knowledge in a convincing and professional manner and motivate participants to implement it.
The selected trainer, as an expert in their field, should carry out an in-depth analysis of needs by conducting interviews with all stakeholders (participants, their superiors and the HR department). The goal is to get to know the situation, challenges and expectations of the training as best as possible. In addition, during the meetings the trainer has the opportunity to verify the level of competences of the participants and get to know their self-esteem and awareness of the areas for development. Conversations with stakeholders also allow for a better understanding of the culture, structure and language of the organization, which significantly increases the effectiveness of the trainer’s work during the training. Based on an in-depth diagnosis, the duration of the course is determined, their formula (e.g. 1- or 2-day), working methods (lecture, case study, sketches, game, workshop work in groups, etc.), and, above all, the program. In order to ensure high effectiveness of training, the trainer should also propose implementation measures relevant to the subject of the training (e.g. tasks allowing to implement new skills as part of everyday duties).
The key is to get rid of the box
When analysing the training selection process described above, the answer to the question posed in the title seems to be relatively simple. It is worth spending time and resources not to buy a so-called „Box product”, but get the best customised, comprehensive training service that really helps participants to increase the efficiency of tasks.
- alumni – absolwenci
- invariably – nieustannie, niezmiennie
- to hone – doskonalić
- obstacle – przeszkoda
- wound – rana
- in the long run – na dłuższą metę
- awareness – świadomość
- willingness – chęć
- to convey – przekazać
- self-esteem – poczucie własnej wartości
- relatively – stosunkowo
- comprehensive – pełny, kompleksowy, wszechstronny