Registrato: 30/07/19 11:58
|Unfortunately , at least two thirds of much of the training and development effort undertaken by organisations to develop their people is wasted.
This is such as shame isn't it? Waste of money is bad enough but even more serious is the waste of human energy and enthusiasm. I've witnessed organisations and their people suffer for weeks and months under the latest management fad only to find they're no further forward ? or worse off.
Here are nine vital lessons from hard experience that will help senior managers plan and buy better training interventions.
1. Start at the ?coal-face?.
Ask people in specific departments, projects and teams what they need to help them do even better. This ?bottom-up? approach encourages people to offer their own suggestions for better training, better systems and better communication. Allowing people to express what they see as the solution is motivating because it is ?not management dictating? and because they see a chance of some action! This bottom-up approach often reveals problems and bottlenecks that have been around a long time ? hindrances people have got used to. Remember, most organisations don't have a mechanism for everyday problems to filter up to top management.
2 Work on may fronts simultaneously.
Real sustained improvement comes from the cumulative effect of lots of 5% improvements. For example , a project might be to improve the safety record of an organisation. One way to achieve this objective is to attempt attitude change through technical and behavioural workshops. However, this will not be enough. One has to simultaneously work on the leadership ability of supervisors, improving the quality of safety meetings, improving procedures and making safety literature have more impact.
3 Look for cures ? don't just treat the symptoms
Many training courses only treat the symptoms. We send people on courses because we see something not being done as well as it could be. But what is causing the difficulty in the first place? Yes , tips on time management, team building and brilliant customer care, for example, are useful , but they won't work if the organisation, albeit unintentionally, puts barriers in people's way. Production and operations people often have to struggle because sales and contracts people don't consult them at an early stage about the capacity to fulfil the contract.
4 Accept that some solutions to the problem may be boring and uncomfortable to carry out.
The solutions to improving people's performance are usually straightforward. Some are so straightforward that people don't believe it and they look for something more 'thorough?! ?There must be something else!? That's why consultants and management gurus feel they have to keep coming up with new fads in which to package age-old principles.
Take leadership for example. The twelve or so basic principles of being an effective leader require neither great intellectual understanding nor large sums of money to apply. However, for whatever reason , some managers find it difficult to, praise genuinely, ensure people have accurate job descriptions, talk to people on a regular basis about their jobs , find ways to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and to communicate regularly on topics such as company progress and strategy.
Many change initiatives fail because some managers are not prepared to do the mundane and boring tasks required. No matter how expensive and grandly named and intellectually exciting a people-development programme is, it will in the end come down to doing certain basics. We have to get managers to accept this reality and to motivate them to follow through.
5 Lasting benefit takes time.
As with all interventions it is possible to get some quick results ? and that's good. However, the real and lasting benefits can only come with time. For example, when an organisation installs a new appraisal system , maximum participation and involvement occurs only when trust is established in the second or third year. This means that there has to be sustained action, follow-up and monitoring. One of the biggest complaints from managers on the Performance Improvement Workshops I run, is that ?We'll do all this talking and deciding and then nothing will happen!? It's often the many small tasks that seem unimportant that make the difference.
Another example of ignoring the ?gestation? element is leadership training. What good does it do to send someone on a crammed 5-day leadership course? What chance do participants get to reflect on and apply what they have learned on day one? People need time to develop because it's from application that the really important questions and learning come. Rather do one day per month over a few months.
6 Concentrate on HOW not what.
Experience proves that most people know what they should do to be a good leader, to give a good presentation , to manage their time better, to write an effective report and so on. Their real problem is that they don't know HOW to do what they know they should. This means that lectures and slides and theory about what should be, are a waste of time.
People want practical solutions to help them fix real workplace problems. In any workshop it is the participants who should be doing most of the talking and problem solving. The facilitator is there to guide the discussion and at times add additional advice from hard-earned experience. Lecturing, no matter how entertaining , does not usually change people's behaviours. People have to come to their own realisation of what is required and they do this by participating and having their views challenged. People don't need gurus, but experienced colleagues who can help them to see that they are, to a large extent, capable of and responsible for , solving their own problems.
7 Ignore the pseudo-science.
We humans, as rational as we are, are still tempted to find the 'magic wanRight now in your co.