Do you really understand training (and learning)? 3 ways to create real change ...

Are our training efforts sinking like a ship? Have we lost the passion for training because we failing to create real lasting change?

In this article on apprenticeship development, we see a continuing trend where employees' development is being left on the sidelines of their employment journey and then we wonder why it's so hard to keep talent.

Do we not care a jot anymore?
Have we so little time for people that 70/20/10 (the practical development ratio) has become 100% on the job learning with a small chunk of compliance training being the only piece of training we get (and that's only because it's compulsory). Or is the pressure to deliver and perform in the short term completely so powerful that it's turned our heads from the concept of longer term development or any development at all unless it's business critical?

It seems we have to acknowledge this as the reality of many modern, especially mid size and smaller organisations who simply use the 'we can't afford it' cliche to deny their vital staff vital training.

So what is training?
The70/20/10 ration shows us that there are so many ways to learn, 42 at least, from on the job to coaching to reading, to pier to pier group online support. Putting that together with learning styles (whether you believe the theory still holds water) it means your learning solutions should reflect a multi style, multi personality environment to be engaging and of any use and fit in with the day to day practicalities of balancing learning and doing.

Balancing Learning Vs Doing
I'm a great believer in practical learning. Skills are best developed in the workplace, learned from a model in the classroom or from a book. Knowledge is best shared in multiple ways but attitude and confidence are essential ingredients in a dynamic that comes from individual (or sometimes group) support in the form of a good line manager or coach.

Creating real change in confidence or attitude
This requires a more intense experience than classroom situations allow, this why I suggest regular doses of individual support by a great supportive line manager or a positive coach is essential to create real change (works faster in an open minded individual).

Limits of classroom learning
It has it's place. Sharing problems and overcoming barriers to implementation, bonding groups together in the learning process, can all help, but often it's the knowledge bucket which gets filled up here, so that's it's limit unless is tagged along with other practical projects or focused in house exercises which really push the boundaries of conventional application of learning. It doesn't suit everyone and little is done to ensure learning goes in (personal impact) and then transferred back into the workplace (business impact).

Technology usage
Technology is useful but often is overused for compliance training and is rarely engaging enough for enquiry learning.  So use it carefully.

So what is training (real learning)?

  1. The successful transfer of knowledge
  2. Supported strong skills development and growth
  3. Coached to shift attitudes and build confidence

Are 3 headline ways to ensure we get what real change in training and understand what real learning is all about. Built to suit different personalities in an organisationally relevant, contextual environment, is the key leading the way in building strong talent.