I have facilitated more workshops, strategy sessions and training in the last 12 months than in the first 12 years of my business and executive coaching career. I love it. Teaching old dogs new tricks and watching them look at challenges from a totally different perspective. Learning simple but fundamental basics about running a successful business. I try to make my content as practical and implementable as possible. It’s what differentiates my workshops from standard training programmes. But the process of implementing the new learnings lies with the business owners and businesses themselves.
Training and learning is not about ticking the box. There’s no point in upskilling employees and business owners and exposing them to new ways of thinking, if the systems, ideas, processes, techniques and skills are not being adopted and implemented.
Often a fundamental shift needs to take place within the culture and value set of the business for new learnings to have a positive impact.
Learning is not a once off event on your annual business plan. You can’t offer an annual training course, workshop or seminar and hope to see massive changes. It’s like taking your puppy to one class and expecting it to sit, stay, roll over and catch a frisbee. New learnings need continuous reinforcement, support, motivation and conscious effort. It needs to be part of your culture.
As business owners, we assume too much. We assume everyone is on the same page and that the team understands what is expected of them. We also assume that they have the knowledge and skill to deliver on these expectations. Furthermore, we assume that they actually want to grow and develop as individuals. If you are expecting your team to grow, change their behaviour, thinking and actions, you need to confirm and ensure that you are all in agreement about the process and expected outcomes. Communication is key. Ask lots of questions and encourage your team to engage with you.
Often plans, strategies, processes and new learnings or ways of doing things are not implemented because the team responsible is unsure where to begin, or because the task seems insurmountable. You need to ensure your team has a full understanding of what the business is trying to achieve. They need to understand what is required of them in order to achieve it. You need to ensure that they have the knowledge, skills, time and resources to be able to implement new practices, and you need to give them your full support to achieve it.
Whenever individuals attend a workshop or seminar, they come back to the office with great ideas, renewed motivation and a list of new things to implement. And then the day to day operations take over, it gets put on the back burner and before you know it, they are back to their old comfortable ways. If you are looking to make changes to the way your team works, you need to create an environment conducive to change and learning. Your team will need leeway, time, space and reinforcement to implement new concepts.
If you are planning on training your team, here are some crucial steps to follow:
- Identify the appropriate training content.
- Communicate the intention and objectives of the training prior to the training.
- Discuss the learnings immediately after the training and agree on changes and what can be implemented.
- Discuss the benefits of implementing new learnings and the consequences of not implementing these learnings.
- Put a plan in place to implement the changes.
- Provide the necessary resources in terms of time, money, equipment, etc
- Hold regular meetings to follow up on the progress of the changes, and address challenges and resistance.
- Offer mentorship and support to the team.
There’s still time this year to learn and implement something new to take your business to the next level. If you are keen to jump on the bandwagon and invest in your employees, contact me to discuss the facilitation of a bespoke workshop for your business that will result in a changed mindset for all.