Hi I’m Zach and I am a people person, plain and simple. I love to work with people and help them achieve those “ah-ha!” moments in life. So it’s not too surprising that my career wound up in training — I started my career over a decade ago at EMC Corp and oversaw the training creation, development and implementation for the Sales, PreSales and Partner organizations and for a time ran our production team based in Bangalore, India.
During that time, I learned a lot about how to do engaging employee training and how not to do training. One thing I valued most was learning to create engaging and dynamic content that not only pulled in the audience via eye candy, but also had depth to it. In today’s training culture, there are a lot of companies that get training wrong…just plain wrong.
Training has become this laborious task that must be completed to maintain certifications, job status, titles, get belts and badges, etc. Simply put: We’ve lost the heart in training.
How many people actually take what they’ve read on a screen and applied it to their everyday job life from then on? How do you quantify that?
What I’ve seen at the companies I’ve worked at is the tools used to house training, whether offline or online, become graveyards that are full of incoherent thoughts that are poorly tied together in the hopes of disseminating some type of knowledge to the trainee. The trainee winds up confused, disengaged and misinformed. Misinformation is then spread, and nobody is aligned on core job responsibilities, company culture or even product information. When the training wheels fall off — I mean really fall off — your entire company can go entirely off course.
So how do we avoid this?
Well, simply put, training must be intentional.
What do I mean by that? Training needs a mission and a vision. It needs to be deeper than vague objectives, let’s see a few examples:
Clear and specific
You will learn RG lingo!
Learn and understand specific terms related to our business and products.
You will learn how and when to use those words.
Effectively leverage your new vocabulary in conversations with customers around our products and services.
Training should leave the employee with some sort of action to complete when they close the application window. They should come to a training module looking to get background and how to’s or even step-by-step guides on how to complete a task. Yes, just like what you find on YouTube.
My vision is to create training that empowers a workforce to be the most prepared (and effective) team members to increase business productivity, and ultimately, employee engagement. We’ll explore just how to do that in my next post.
Zachery is the Boston-based Learning and Development Manager at Reward Gateway. He has over 10 years of experience in L&D and also enjoys spending time with his family, being out in the wilderness, loves fine whiskey and is also an endorsed musician with Outlaw Drums and Sovereign Cymbals.