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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a professional speaker and CEO of Contagious Companies, a training and consulting firm that develops better leaders and trains managers how to become better leaders.

Part of your role as a leader is to develop employees though training, that’s NOT draining.

The leader’s role includes developing others. But development doesn’t just happen. It takes training and for many training can be draining. So, how do you train team members, improve their skills, and increase results without that training being draining on productivity? Here are three ways to give them the training they need without creating a drain on time and productivity or reducing the results your boss needs.

Assess Your Real Needs

More than once, an executive has contacted our training firm and asked for the specific name of a course or to address a specific subject, such as communication or leadership skills. While both of these courses are something we offer, they don’t always meet the actual need that prompted the call. Instead, spend your time assessing the real issue and have that conversation with your training vendor or in house training team. If you’re working with an expert in training, chances are they’ll ask you what specifically you’d like for employees to stop doing, start or continue doing. To make training more effective, you want to devote time to the details of the skills you need and less time on naming the solution. Communication skills, for example, may need to be improved, but the real issue might be a team member’s lack of clarity around their job and for that, the training solution would be very different.

Make Training a Multi-Tasking Event

Meetings are scheduling with great regularity, but do they meet the need? The numbers tell us 94% of leaders say meetings are ineffective, particularly when they’re not leading them. So it’s no wonder that live training classes conducted by someone other than the boss are perceived to adhere to the same stats. But what if you could make those classes meet more than one need and be more effective? You can, by multi-tasking. Forego the meeting and use the data you wanted to discuss as a case study in the class. Change the strategy by making strategic planning a major portion of your training objectives. Conduct your team’s annual SWOT analysis by building it in as an in class exercise. Training should transfer knowledge and skill and if you can include the knowledge you need them to know while building the skills to execute the desired behavior, you’ve added way more bang for your buck and with luck, saved you and the team some time.

Request Real Customization

When hiring an outside training firm, regardless of their popularity in the market, pay attention to the number of questions they ask prior to building your results oriented training program. True customization of your training course, whether for communication, leadership skills, time management or any other subject, should include a great deal of data provided by you and answers to questions that help your key contact get to know you, your style, the company culture, the nature of the actual problem and what you want those attending training to do differently, see differently, say or behave in different ways. Without that data, a training firm who claims to customize your program may simply be popping your company name in the same curriculum they shared with your competition. Without true customization you run the risk of having team members attend training that address irrelevant issues. Training doesn’t have to be draining and as we wind down the year, look ahead with cheer at the possibilities. Maybe now is the ideal time to give those employees a fresh start with training that not draining, and maybe even entertaining! I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!

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