How much time do you spend thinking about your own training needs?
If you are like most business owners and leaders you may spend time thinking about the training needs of your team, but you probably don’t factor yourself into that. Your training may consist of spotting an interesting video on Youtube, or Facebook or an article on LinkedIn but thats not a very pro-active way of meeting your own training needs now is it?
I find training is one of the critical factors of any successful business transformation. Well-targeted training can make the difference between something that ends up being just okay, and something really good. If you consider your training needs along with other peoples training needs, you may well be able to create something tremendous or even unbelievable.
If you look at yourself and what you do on a day to day basis, you would probably accept that you don’t know everything. You may also be right in believing that people who do think they know everything are usually wrong.
Undoubtedly, we all have something extra that we can learn to make us even better at what we do. Also, if you spend the time to learn new things then you’ll find you can push the boundaries of what you can deliver further than ever before, to make things even better than they were. Moreover, this skill of learning new things is something that you’ve been doing all your life. You can’t go for very long without learning something new.
What I find when I start working with many organisations and with the teams involved, is that initially we go through a learning process. This learning may be simple and an unplanned element, where we are learning how we work together. Alternatively, this may be something a bit more formal, where we are learning specific methodologies and management structures for the company before we start the main work.
This initial learning and development portion of any transformation is such an essential and crucial aspect of being successful, growing the business and being profitable. Furthermore, it just makes perfect sense that we should be looking at what we need to be learning to make sure we’ve got the right skills ready for what we need to do tomorrow.
Training is not just about you!
Alongside your own training needs, you also need to think about what skills and training your team members need? You can’t expect them instantly know how to do something new. There are many businesses that I have worked with previously, that expect their staff to know instantly how to do something. They put the new workload onto the people and don’t even allow them the time to go away and learn. Whether that be through formal training or study, practice and development for themselves.
By getting hold of the correct learning tools, being able to study the right techniques and then trying it out in an open and safe environment, before moving onto a living, breathing and real environment – you shorten the process. I know that seems counter intuitive, when you have ‘not time’ for training, to include training can seem painful. However, by not training, there is a greater likelihood of things going wrong. And that always takes longer in the long run.
The benefit of having a training plan for your team
By having a good, well-considered training strategy and environment, staff can learn with confidence. If things do go wrong, they are in that safe environment, and they will not get penalised for ‘making a mistake’. This kind of learning, this development and training environment, this safe place to practice and learn whether this is external or internal is critical. It can reinforce so many additional skills, so many factors that ultimately make a success of anything that you’re doing.
Subsequently, this aspect of your business should be something that you are looking at on a weekly, daily or monthly basis to ensure that you’ve got the time allocated for learning and development for you and your teams, so they have the time ability and confidence to do what they need to do well. And so do you!
I’ve heard it said that the more I practice, the better I am!
This is so true and self-evident. If you give people the skills, and the opportunity to implement those skills, when it comes down to the crunch of performing, they will do it well. If we look at a profession like doctors, for example, they spend their entire life in practice and learning because they’re always looking to hone their skills becoming better at what they do.
So, I’m going to leave you with two thoughts.
Are you going to spend the time and effort to take your training needs to the next level? Are you also going to be inspiring, encouraging and allow the time for your team to acquire the skills they need? Alternatively, are you going to ignore training, learning and practice and then complain when you are not getting the results that you wanted?
I love this quote from the well known philosopher – Dr Seuss: The more you read, the more you will know, the more you learn, the more places you’ll go.