Leaders, Engage Then Train & Realize the Results
by Kate Nasser | 9 Comments »
When companies hired employees with the hopes of retaining them for decades, developmental training plans were feasible and made sense.
The middle years followed where companies were loath to provide training because the employees will leave anyway. That proved to be a dead end reaction to the changing culture of career mobility. Without employee growth during their stay, the company results suffered.
Today the pendulum has swung back to the center and companies once again are talking about training and developing employees.
Yet bringing back developmental training plans is not quite the sweet spot it used to be. This old approach was based on a relatively fixed target of career progression and predicted business evolution.
Where does training fit today in this very changeable picture? When do leaders realize results of training? The new sweet spot has three components yet it can be summarized as …
Engage Then Train Then Realize Results
How Far Along Are You in These 3 Components?
- Empowered Learning Culture. Employee engagement starts and flourishes in a learning culture where all question, explore, are accountable, and learn from mistakes. When formal training occurs in this culture, the participants both apply it themselves and teach it to colleagues through the engagement that occurs each day. Leaders realize the results of the training as it spreads throughout the organization.
- Engage for Accountability. If you mistakenly implement employee engagement primarily as rewards and recognition, you miss the true benefit — employees who are excited to be accountable. From this vantage point, any training the employees receive feeds back into the business in thorough application. Conversely, if as leaders you are delegating rather than engaging, you once again miss the true return on training — ownership to apply where appropriate.
- Skin in the Game. Perhaps the most controversial component is offering advanced training to those who have shown personal initiative to learn some on their own. Of course there are training programs that you would want all employees to take. Yet for the advanced training that everyone hopes for, you must know how you will choose. Current job description has a been a default for years. Yet for leaders to truly realize company results of training, it makes sense to consider initiative and action as an indicator of developmental success.
Before jumping ahead with massive training plans, check your culture first. Are you engaging employees and seeing ownership and accountability? Are your employees hungry to contribute or just hungry for training? Engage, then train, then realize results!
Action: Leaders, discuss these three points with your middle management leaders. Develop an engaged empowered culture and see the fruits of employee training come to life. I am here to help you as I have so many others.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
Related Post: Leaders, 4 Best Steps to Engage Employees’ Initiative
©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
Beautifully said, Kate. Training before engagement most often yields questions about engagement, so the living real exchanges are a great prelude to value and results. I haven’t seen that distinction before — it’s brilliant!
I also support that notion of skin in the game. When people share in the responsibility for their own development, it’s clear that the messages and skills have a better chance of being internalized and practiced.
Thanks for another great post.
Dan, Your words always add so much to these posts. Engagement as a prelude determines the symphony the team members will perform. Beautiful.
Kate, I left this comment for you on LinkedIn. Just thought I’d add it here as well. Excellent post! Now the question is how does one achieve these three important outcomes? One way is through peer advisory groups. I wrote a piece several months ago that I believe you will find aligns with what you’re talking about. http://blog.vistage.com/business-leadership/peer-advisory-groups-will-throw-you-for-a-loop Thanks for the great insights.
Your post about executive development makes many good points. I think the salient one is “practice makes perfect” must be bolstered with peer advisory groups to actually occur. This is akin to many coaching models which use “a buddy” to shed as you say “sunlight” along the way.
Thanks for your contribution to this post.
I really enjoyed reading this post. Perhaps my favorite part is number 2 about engagement. I believe that employees feel more excited and motivated when they are accountable for thier own work rather than being told simply what to do, how to do it, and a good job at the end.
I do agree with you Heather. And accountability delivers results that telling and blaming cannot.
Many thanks for your comment here. I am grateful for your viewpoint.
Powerful strategies to follow, Kate! I especially love your thoughts on “engaging,” “training” and “end-results.” Thanks!