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Are You and Your Staff Really learning?

I’m posting early because I’m going to a conference next week and it reminded me of something I suggest to managers/leaders. When you send an employee to any type of outside training, do you take full advantage of it? Do you reinforce the recognition aspect to your employee (i.e., you’re investing in them by sending them for training and providing the time off)?

Over the years, I’ve been to lots of conferences and trainings and learned some really valuable lessons and heard some great speakers. But I’m sorry to say often the knowledge has been lost. I’ll come back to work energized, but the reality of the day with emails/projects/people waiting takes over and months go by before I remember there was something I learned about something that I was going to act on!

Employees want opportunities to learn and grow and it’s great when you provide them! But we have to take advantage of the trainings by making that part of the job, also. When you or they return, present the information to someone (it can be one on one, or to a department or whatever based on the information) so the knowledge is shared, with the expectation that something new be brought into the workforce (i.e., a new process, technique, whatever). This will reinforce the knowledge and provides an opportunity for the employee to learn or reinforce various skills (such as presentation, teaching, leadership) and receive additional acknowledgement for having received the training!

If the employee comes back and indicates they didn’t learn anything of value, that’s also good to know. Maybe that particular training shouldn’t be offered, or a different trainer/venue is needed. Alternatively, if you send someone to training and every time they come back, they indicate that they didn’t learn anything, that’s telling, too!

Employees want to learn and grow and we need to offer those opportunities. But we also need to capitalize on them and reinforce what the employee means to the organization! Take true advantage of the opportunity--you may learn something!

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