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Are Your Training-Bound Employees Hostages, Vacationers or Participants?

By Tim Deuitch

We're always looking to see tangible ROI for our training investment, and true ROI begins with the event itself. I focus on the three keys to helping managers turn their employee into active training Participants. This video blog focuses on the manager's unique roles in boosting it's value, relevance, and reinforcement.

00:00  Hi, I'm Tim Deuitch with Strategic Enhancement Group and thanks for joining my video blog today. My topic for today is about ROI of training. How do we get the best results from our training experience? The focus that I'd like to take us to today is on the role of the manager in making our training as strong and as effective and lasting as possible. You know there's three types of people that attend a training session. There's the participant, that's the person that's excited to be there and imagines themselves learning new skills and ways that they can get their job done and better results. And then there's the vacationer, the vacationer is the person that's delighted to have the training, it's a great diversion from their day to day, and maybe they'll learn something, maybe they won't. The third type of person in the training is the hostage, that's the person who goes to training because the manager says or the organization says "It's time for your training, time for you to go there and learn something".

01:06  The reality is of course, that we want everyone in the training event to be a participant, an active participant and the manager determines so much of our ability to bring that about. So three different approaches the manager really needs to take, one is in the pre-work of setting up the training itself. The manager has got to ensure that the training itself is aligned perfectly with the roles and the requirements, the accountabilities of the participants involved. The tighter that alignment is the more the participants will be active and committed to the use of the skills and ensuring success.

01:51  The second piece of the pre-work is relevance. The relevance of the role plays, the relevance of the examples used within that training, and that all needs to take place in the pre-work. It's extremely difficult to pull off relevance if you haven't prepared for it in advance. The second item is for the manager to demonstrate value. Managers can't possibly walk the talk of being at every training session and so forth. But, what they can do is kick it off, even virtually they can kick it off through a Skype medium or something to that effect, or certainly in person. The presence of the manager tells the participants this matters to them individually and to the organization. Another is the re-communication of the expectations of the training, why we're doing this, and what we want the result to be, how it will change the way we move going forward.

02:48  The second piece, and I have a client that is really, really strong at this, is working on role play. That the manager sort of leaves what they're doing in the day to day basis comes into the training and participates in the role play dynamic. I have a client, as I said, who has multiple managers come in when it's time to role play. It's not just helping to do role play but, it's helping to reinforce that this is a cultural dynamic, this skill set that we're trying to bring about, so very important. The third and last piece is reducing barriers. Post class, the manager needs to take a frontline position on coaching and reinforcing the skills to ensure success. And this again, it's not just to be a good coach, it's to reinforce that the investment in the training and the investment in these people is critical to our success and the manager proves that by paying attention and reducing the barriers of time, so that we can coach and reinforce the skills the way we need to.

03:59  There it is, those three items. The pre-work of the manager, the demonstration of the value at a training period and then reducing the barriers post-training, to ensure that the coaching and reinforcement take place. In closure, what we're really interested in here is to ensure that between participants, vacationers, and hostages, we are maximizing the number of participants in our training and the manager has everything to do with bringing that about.

Best of luck and let me know how I can help you achieve your maximum ROI when training!

Published: July 23, 2015


Tim Deuitch

Senior Performance Consultant

Tim brings over 25 years of experience working closely with business leaders throughout the Twin Cities and the USA. He has worked within a multitude of workplace cultures and economic cycles, helping leaders and teams improve their effectiveness and results. Since joining SEG in 2007, Tim has continued his work as a change agent, helping organizations meet their goals. Tim graduated from Warren Wilson College in 1983 with a B.S. degree in social work.

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