How to make the right training choice for employees?
22.05.2019 4544

How to make the right training choice for employees?

Deepening professional knowledge on the one hand and training of personal skills (soft skills) on the other are two sides of the coin in the success of the enterprise. But - how and when to train employees? At the office, without interruption from production, or send to master classes? How to choose a business coach? What to look for when choosing a trainer and method of training? The questions are answered by an SR expert, business coach Anya Pabst.
Anya Pabst Anya Pabst - Head of the Russian branch of BEITRAINING. Master of Sociology and Slavic Studies. Education "HR Manager", is a specialist in the field of crisis communication. He has experience working with people in study groups of various profiles both in Germany and abroad. Over the years, Anya Pabst has trained over 150 trainers. For more than 7 years her professional activity has been associated with work in the CIS countries - Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. BEITRAINING is an international franchise company and a certified strategic partner of the German and Austrian Franchising Union on the topic of “Professional Development”. He specializes in training and professional development in the field of management, trade, customer service and personal growth.

Updating and consolidation of professional knowledge should be carried out regularly for all employees employed in a particular area. They support the standards of the enterprise and are usually held during business hours. But in the business environment, improving personal skills is indispensable, because often the problem is not the development of new equipment or new standards, but the behavioral models that have become established in the Russian business. This is the lack of a culture of attitude to mistakes or the habit of expressing one’s opinion, the fear of ordinary decision-making employees without coordination with the bosses, and the inability of management to delegate authority to subordinates.

The benefits of external training

Training taken outside the enterprise has certain advantages. So, employees of various enterprises can openly talk about problems that often turn out to be the same in different teams, and can avoid a failure to discuss the “internal kitchen” of the enterprise. In addition, the training should be voluntary, then its participants are open from the very beginning to receive new information, especially if they are aware of the problem and are ready to solve it.

The next condition is that the training should be quite specific so that it becomes clear that it can bring real benefits. Then the participants are ready to ask more questions and seek solutions themselves. Therefore, training outside the framework of the enterprise will only make sense if it is aimed at solving specific problems identified. New-fashioned master classes, including those held by public persons, are often considered by participants as mini-vacations and are of no practical use. People, their problems and experience, especially in retail, are very different. It will be useful to train in a small group, where specific ideas and proposals are discussed that can be immediately put into practice - first at the training, and then in the work process.

In this case, special attention should be paid to the choice of a coach, as well as to the conditions of post-training support, which involves the application of acquired skills. It is convenient to divide some topics into blocks, for example, self-organization training for managers: a workshop for one to two days, then one to two days later for three to four weeks to deepen knowledge and discuss in a group typical cases and difficulties of application. Such training combines the advantages of an “on-site” seminar and on-the-job training.

From problem awareness to coach selection

The atmosphere in the team is formed by leadership policy. Based on the analysis of the work of managers and ordinary employees, the leader identifies problems that need to be worked out, and decides which coach to entrust his employees to. What should I look for in the process of choosing a business coach?

First of all, this is the ability to manage the training process, the possession of various moderation methods and interactivity techniques. Knowledge of group processes and competent observation of participants in the process help to keep abreast and feel how the group is progressing in the study of the material. You can not do without a self-critical analysis of the effectiveness of individual blocks of the training, which is carried out not only on the basis of personal impressions, but also through a survey of participants. The ability to see yourself and your successes / failures from the outside is a sign of a true professional.

The ability to communicate at the adult-adult level is important. It helps to consciously avoid the role of the all-knowing parent, which people tend to play, who are overly confident in their own knowledge and in the lower level of this knowledge in the group with which they work. Despite the obviousness that adults from the business environment should communicate with each other as equals, at times, the temptation to put oneself above the participants in the polylogue of the trainer prevails.

Finally, the ability to manage your own and other people's time during the seminar. The competent distribution of time and the fight against "time eaters" (e-mail, secondary matters, untimely telephone calls) is a separate unit in the vast field of personal skills. For a “soft skills” trainer (Soft skills - the so-called “soft skills” - additional knowledge and skills, such as creativity, responsibility, courtesy, etc.), the ability to effectively distribute time should be a reason for personal pride, otherwise what can he teach others? It is also important that the transfer of knowledge does not resemble an academic lecture, but is based on other principles based on maximum audience engagement, based on interactivity.

A signal for company management can also be whether the training price is calculated for each employee or for the hours spent by employees at the seminar. In the first case, it is more likely that the trainer focuses on the person, the employee of the company. This corresponds to the main goal of the Soft Skills training: a noticeable increase in the success of the enterprise by improving the personal achievements of employees.

Certificate is not the main thing

The purpose of the training is in no case to obtain a certificate. The main goal, both for the group members and for the coach himself, is for each participant to put his knowledge into practice at least during the training process. But this is a minimum task. In the future, it is necessary to focus on changing existing working habits, implementing the knowledge gained. After all, forgetting the new is much easier than returning to the old.

The main emphasis is on honing the theory in the context of work processes instead of endless instructions and repeating common places. But to give truly useful knowledge is only capable of a person who is a specialist in his field, a professional, and has extensive practical experience. In this context, someone who is perfectly familiar only with theory (at the level of a university teacher), but divorced from reality, which changes any theory for himself and always presents surprises, will not work.

In the training of personal skills, first of all, we are talking about demonstrating opportunities that will help a person find solutions to overcome specific problems in his activity. Training is a kind of brainstorming when the brains really “buzz”. In the process of training, the main thing for the trainer should be feedback from the students and accompaniment after training, and not the opportunity to “be smart” in front of a new audience. Good training allows you to take a step towards the authenticity of the solutions found: new formulas and work processes that give visible results.

To achieve all of the above is not so simple, because new solutions must be made part of the everyday work. The opportunity for this provides post-training support, which, as mentioned above, includes the exchange of experience with other participants in the seminar. The trainer is able to evaluate the implementation of competencies from the outside and see what the direct participants in the process are missing.

Another know-how to increase success is open training, which allows the participation of third parties capable of making valuable comments, thanks to a fresh look. In addition, outsiders' criticisms are generally more easily accepted than peers.

What motivates you to learn?

High qualification of a trainer does not guarantee the success of personal training. The most important prerequisite for success is the employee’s awareness that he needs training and his willingness to put knowledge into practice. “I have a problem to work on. If I advance in its solution, it will benefit not only me, but my clients and the company as a whole, ”is the right attitude of the employee before participating in the seminar.

The greatest effect is achieved if the employee himself can decide when and which seminar to attend, and also spends his own resources for training (regardless of vacation time and weekends, or whether it is co-financing). What is given for free is much less appreciated, and with complicity there is a real interest in mastering the skills. In this case, the participants begin to ask questions, realizing that the purpose of the training is to change the mode of actions and habits.

One way such motivation for training participants is to promise management to pay a bonus or increase the percentage of sales to those employees whose results (average check, increase in sales factor, increase in sales) will progress during 4-8 weeks after the training. That is how you can achieve what is called a long-term result after training.

How to check the effectiveness of training?

Competency growth and the degree of introduction of new knowledge is easy to measure. To do this, take into account the performance indicators set by the company before and after the training. Personal skills are more difficult to measure, here the motivation and voluntariness of participation is crucial. If the employee himself wanted this, then, regardless of his personal characteristics, he will quickly introduce new methods into practice.

This article was published in the 149 issue of the print version of the magazine.

Deepening professional knowledge on the one hand and training personal skills (soft skills) on the other are two sides of the coin in the success of the enterprise. But - how and when to train employees? AT…
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