Let’s Check This Off the List As Well – Actual Training Reloaded

I am again writing about training, based on a personal finding and a short online exchange of ideas I had with a good friend.

These findings came from seeing hundreds of images – most of them “live and hot”, necessarily taken to capture the moment – posted on Facebook and on social media in general from various seminars where almost invariably all participants are on either their laptop or their smartphone. I concluded – maybe I’m wrong – that their interest in the subject of the event and in the speaker is generally low, and participation is either a kind of work obligation, or a “to do” checked off a list; so, there is some sort of social agenda behind each of these reasonings. A kind of “I’m going to be seen” mentality. Not being familiar with this kind of seminar, neither as a regular participant nor as a speaker – in general, I tend to avoid such events, but that’s another story – I tried to unravel this phenomenon. The friend I mentioned before explained it to me simply: many companies tick off the training needs of their employees by paying for participation in such standardised events / seminars. It seems to me like a waste of the allocated funds, just to tick off an objective in a journal. It is a mere formality, without immediate or medium-term utility.

I find dedicated trainings much more useful, the “tailor-made” ones, made with specialists in the field, with a minimum initial training for the audit. Why an audit that is already initiated!? For the speaker to customise his training programme after finding out what are the real needs and objectives of the company or brand in relation to the employees. I also wrote about the subject here.

The training needs of some companies are dealt with by some sectors of the organisation, either at the department level or at the human resources department. For example, they could sometimes be part of the package offered to employees. Most of the time, however, the problems are detected by seeing and doing, thus a need to improve or acquire knowledge arises, which is clear and substantiated. For example, a multinational company with subsidiaries in Romania asked me to hold seminars and trainings for its middle management to improve – big surprise – their “skills” on making internal presentations to external partners, after the company’s management attended my presentations for a Branzas project. What really happened!? The management knew, somehow, that the company’s presentations are, and I quote, not right – according to their long, boring and irrelevant phrases. When they saw a different example before their eyes, they realised that things could be done differently. This is a good example of reactive learning, but it is preferable that once a problem is detected internally, the solution is actively sought out. I suppose – perhaps correctly – that if the management of that company had not attended my presentation, they would not have had the initiative to find a practitioner for training, the problems of their presentations remaining in limbo.

It is worth emphasising once again that a training programme, customised to real and specific needs is much more effective than sending employees “in bulk” to various forms of public seminars.