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It’s Time for an Employee Training Revolution

Submitted by  on May 25th, 2012

Revolution Is a Powerful Word

Man in teeshirt holding red crossRevolution is one powerful word. If you look at how that word has been manifested through-out history – the activity surrounding it has been undeniable. And that’s what I believe is deeply needed in employee training and development.

Why? I have had a unique, bird’s eye view of the state of training over the past 13 years. I have been engaged in training and coaching employees across a breadth of employment sectors throughout North America via the public seminar industry. And yes, I could tell you stories … from the bad, crazy employee or manager story to what the typical employee really thinks of HR.

One perpetual story has been that of how employees feel about training. Here is the essential conclusion: employee training and development must change! Here’s a bit of what I’ve heard:

  1. Corporate training on the whole sucks.
  2. It’s boring.
  3. I usually try to figure out a way to get out of it.
  4. It’s too long.
  5. I wish I could get what I needed quicker, better, faster.
  6. What’s the point?
  7. I had to come.
  8. I was sent when the person who really needed to come is not here.
  9. It’s like torture sitting all day in a classroom.
  10. It doesn’t matter what I learn here, because when I go back to my company nothing will change anyway.

Now as a colleague, I sympathize. I’ve met many HR professionals who are swamped with little to no support; who are thrown into roles or have inherited the sweeping responsibility.

Here’s the point – over the 13 years I’ve traveled, I’ve heard the same stories about training even with moderate changes with the entrée of e-learning, webinars, etc.; as well as unrelenting stories about bad managers and crazy employees that we can’t fire because of the fear of litigation.

All of this served to birth a desire to advocate change in the industry and experience of the everyday employee.

So, What about the Revolution

I looked up the meaning of revolution in Webster’s and below is part of that definition. Pay careful attention to it.

  1. a sudden, radical, or complete change
  2. a fundamental change in political organization; especially: the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed
  3. activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation
  4. a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm (the Copernican revolution)
  5. a changeover in use or preference especially in technology (the computer revolution)

What’s instructive here is to see clearly what a revolution should look like and what’s really required.

The bottom line? … there must be substantive change in how we approach, view, and execute what we want to have happen – even to the point where some might call it radical!

I know this is a more theoretical post. Each reader will interpret it based on what’s going on in his or her world.

Collectively, I hope as corporate leaders we all are experiencing fundamental shifts in our beliefs that training employees, training, as we have known it must change! And, that we must equip ourselves to participate in that change in our part of the universe providing the leadership so desperately needed to make a difference for our internal and external customers and our company’s bottom line.

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Posted in Training | Comments (5)

5 Responses to “It’s Time for an Employee Training Revolution”

  1. Leslie Allan Says:

    Thanks JoAnn for your revolutionary words. How do you think we need to stir the pot up? And how do we get managers and the executive to join the revolution?

    Kind Regards, Les Allan

  2. JoAnn Corley Says:

    3 Items off the top of my head:
    1.Change the conversations that we have.
    2. Ask questions that get people to think
    3. Extol the monetary value – it saves money in a variety of ways. The bottom line is directly impacted.

  3. Edinburgh Computer Training Room Says:

    Training is just like having to attend school all over again. Same droning, lecturing voice or self-absorbed instructor/trainer trying to transfer what knowledge they have obtained to the trainees. Trainees/students should be engaged in a dialogue and not just relegated to the role of listeners/receptacles. And asking trainees if they have any question is not dialogue.

  4. JoAnn Corley Says:

    Amen! And it’s surprising with all the cool technology tools that the same old thing is happening!

    Btw I just posted some tools educators use in the classroom that corporate trainers might find useful as well – here is the link:

  5. Akshat Says:

    Joann I would also like to state that I had been managing training for employees without software and it was a night mare. But now because of the technology I am using training management software for the same and it has made my life simpler. The software that I am using is people quest. It has some really good features. Here it is

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