It’s not training. It’s retraining that you want.

In the military, the drill sergeants tear the “civilian” apart to rebuild a proud, physically fit, and dedicated member of the armed forces.  They do this by placing a significant amount of physical and mental stress on the recruit, and teaching this person the fundamentals of military rules; and the policies, etiquette, and customs of the military service.  The military knows the challenge of dealing with a person is getting the old out to make place for the new, starting with the thinking process, and at the same time, reinforcing the new behaviours and actions.

Well, we can’t subject our employees to that kind of training but the key to whatever program we are putting them through is meant to retrain them to follow your company’s processes and procedures, and obtain your desired outcomes.  They already come with training from wherever they came from.  Some immediately know what is wanted and can adapt while others need a lot more work, to get them singing your same tune.

So, after sending your team for training, do realize that it will take time, effort and reinforcement.  If you plan to attend training or if someone in your team is, identify the following:

  • What is the problem?
  • How will training help? (training need not be the only answer as there are other means of improving work performance)
  • Establish some learning goals, prior to the training
  • After the training, identify two, at most three areas of measurable improvement
  • Get support to ensure these areas of improvement can be realized.

Last, but not least, more is not necessarily better.  Some companies require that their employees fulfill X number of training hours.  However, employees can only master one thing at any time.  Perhaps a better idea would be to require the employee to teach or facilitate the learning of others in the area that they are working on, and include it as part of their training hours.  As Confucius once said, “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand. “  By teaching, the learning will be anchored deeper and the habit will be built more easily.


Photo credit: Jen Sorensen


2 Comments for this entry

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