How much does training matter? (Cont’d)

At the end of my last post, I raised a question to myself – whether one should be a trainer or human performance technologist. This question is important especially since training alone is low in effectiveness. A quote re training effectiveness:

“…..companies that offer training alone experience a 22.4% increase in productivity, but when combined with coaching that figure rises to 88%…..”

[Source: Gerald Olivero, Denise Bane, and Richard Kopelman, “Executive Coaching As a Transfer of Training Tool: Effects on Productivity in a Public Agency,” Public Personal Management (winter 1997).]

It is frustrating to realize that what I do for a training course would have limited impact to the organization. Frankly, such a thought has been lingering in my mind for quite a while. Again, the question is whether I should still focus myself in training.

I first look at the task nature. I still find myself fond of facilitating group learning. I simply enjoy doing this. This task is more challenging than most people think. When we look at the trainers around us, the quality does vary. And when I look at the masters e.g. Bob Pike, I can see how much more a good trainer can do for the learners. And I believe I can be one.

I think the next question is how to make my training produce impact as planned. First, pick topics which focus on changing individuals e.g. personal skills, mindset (e.g. 7 habits). It is more feasible to have impact on individuals than organizations. (See my previous post) Second, if the topics aim at changing organization e.g. management skills, do it only when there is ‘support’ mechanism e.g. coaching culture. Third, maintain a ‘human performance’ perspective though I am a trainer. In other words, before the plan to put in place a training, help the stakeholders to ascertain whether training is the right ‘human performance’ solution.

I know that some would consider my above thought is idealistic. I guess I am.

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