Runaway Train Never Going Back
Management loves, and loves to tout about, training. Management distrusts training, because it highlights broken people, systems and processes. How can you love and distrust something at the same time? The dichotomy is a simple reflection that as it is designed today, many if not most training programs are ineffective and are nothing short of last-ditch efforts at salvaging un-qualified employees. This is especially true within the technology sector, a group of professionals that may benefit the most from training yet reaps the least as a result of mandate, motivation and momentum associated with training. There has to be a better way.
A quick examination at the average person clamoring for corporate training will yield some funny and painful stereotypes: People who abuse training as vacation time away from their job. People who are required to undergo training, the result of an issued edict to address some chronic or systemic problem. Last but not least, people who are truly incompetent, and despite countless hours of training, shows little signs of improvement and continues their mediocrity in the work place. Of course these are anecdotal, but there is enough resemblance to real life that most won’t disagree with what’s been depicted. None of these should be the prominent figure in the training picture. People who are genuinely seeking betterment of themselves should have an opportunity, and the tools, to help achieve those goals. Companies should be able to rely on training for those improvements, and with measurable results to justify the investment made. The overall process should be flexible, and adaptive, so that the impact adds to the whole as opposed to detracting from efficiency and productivity.
It’s not an impossible scenario, but one that requires doing the right things, with the right kind of resources. Management has to become smarter in selecting the appropriate training platform. Human Resources prefer continuing education to be more than a slogan on a pamphlet. People need to take accountability of their own advancement. The truth is, anyone can train given the right combination of incentive, pace and guidance. Before you sign up, or sign off, on next year’s training budget, make the choices that will yield the desired results.