How to Identify Weak Spots in Team Training

Instructor: Nathan Hurwitz

Dr. Nathan Hurwitz is a tenured Associate Professor in Theatre and has three books in print, two textbooks and a coffee table book.

This lesson looks at strategies that team leaders can use to analyze current training methods and processes. It also looks at common obstacles in employee team training and ways to overcome these common traps.

Watch Out For Obstacles

The only way to keep up with the constant and insistent change in the world of business is training. There are common obstacles, though, that can arise in training. Understanding these obstacles will help you anticipate and overcome them. Check out the following things to look for and implement in business training.

Selecting the Right Training and Trainer

Of the training programs available, some are excellent, some good, and some outdated and useless. The trick is to find a training program that fits your needs and implement it as needed. Becoming enamored with one training program and requiring it across your organization will not yield success. Identifying individual training needs within a department, however, is the best way to individualize training and meet specific needs.

Then, who is going to implement the training also depends on your specific needs. Internal trainers understand your organizations' industry, market sector, and business model. Outside trainers bring professional training skills and perspective but can be cost-prohibitive. Choosing the trainer should be done on an individual basis. Onboarding training should be handled internally, while new systems or software training likely requires the system or software vendor.

It is also essential to keep trainers consistent. If using outside trainers, use the same training group for each department.

Assuring Engagement with Training

Required training can sometimes feel like an imposed waste of time, as employees do not always perceive needs in the same way that managers and executives do. So, the training will be successful in direct proportion to the degree of buy-in from the employee. To do this, it could help to share with every trainee the objectives and relevance of the training to the organization's goals.

Then you can establish specific overall goals and benchmarks for each training exercise. Articulate your goals at the beginning of each session, followed by what you specifically hope to get out of that day's session.

Checking in periodically with employees to get feedback as to the effectiveness of the training can also help. The more employees feel a part of the process, the greater the chance that they become stakeholders in training.

Cultural Differences

You will likely need training for people in different locations, sometimes globally, and from different cultures and backgrounds, particularly in a large organization. How do you achieve consistent achievement of outcomes using similar materials across these boundaries?

Make sure that your material authors have considered this. The content may have to be multilingual and also multicultural. It can also be useful to deliver the training in collaborative group settings where diversity is present.

Generational differences are also a cultural difference. Baby Boomers learn differently from Gen-Xers and Millennials. As with any other culture, you can consider their individual needs and even use those in different groups to pass on information to others in the same category.

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