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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a leadership development expert and author of Contagious Leadership and newly released, Make Difficult People Disappear.

What can you learn from the leadership lessons of 2012 that will make you that “lean, mean leading machine” in 2013?

With the New Year comes a renewed sense of skill building. What training do your employees need and how can you bring them up to speed? Evaluate their needs and then follow these steps to ensure that development doesn’t drain the budget, your time, and your results. After all, if the training you bring in to develop employees is draining your budget without an ROI, or draining your time with little results…well, you’re doing it wrong. These steps will help.

Attack the Real Issue

Our training clients are very savvy and they usually know what they need, but on occasion one will ask for something like time management training or something simple, only to later reveal the issue was employee motivation, emotional intelligence or something more complex. Ask yourself what the real issue is by using one of our initial client interview questions: “What do you want them to do different after these training programs?” If the answer is use their calendar better, then time management is where it’s at. If not, find the topic you really need to target. The real issue resolved will result in a better return on investment.

Allow for Learning

So you’ve scheduled a class and brought in training for your managers. That’s where it starts, not ends. In order to practice new skills, you want to allow for learning time. Getting better takes practice so getting frustrated with them because they don’t do it perfect on day one after the class, will cause them to say “forget it!” and likely view you as a pain in what rhymes with class. When you allow them to practice and encourage their growth, you’ll see better results and long term retention.

Schedule Follow Up

If you send employees to a training class and grumble that they’re gone for a day, insist that they go back to work right away and fail to establish pre and post objectives for learning, don’t be surprised if they start to think of training as your “campaign of the week”. Schedule pre training meetings to clarify what you want them to learn and post training meetings to ensure they got it and know you’re paying attention. Even consider giving them homework. If they know you’re a part of their training, even if you’re not in the class, employees are more apt to do as you asked and learn what you feel they need to grow.

Employee training and development should not be a drain on the budget, but a springboard to development. Following these steps will help you stay involved and increase the results you see, as well as the ROI and new skills you seek.

For more information on leadership development and training provided by Contagious Companies, go to ContagiousCompanies.com.

I’m Monica Wofford, and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!

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