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Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Danger! Better Times Ahead!

when things get better, sometimes they get worse

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

Boy, it has been fun, hasn't it, this Great Recession thing? Nothing like a couple of years of delivering services through a greatly reduced budget to get your attention.

Okay, maybe it hasn't been that much fun, and maybe, as the economy creeps forward, you are looking forward to a "return to normal" the same way, here in the far north, winter-weary gardeners pore over seed catalogs with visions of fantastic blooms dancing in their heads.

As they say, be careful what you wish for. Once the purse strings loosen a little bit around your company, you could easily find your training services being less effective, contributing less to the organization's success.

The first threat comes from your internal clients, who may value training differently as they see business opportunities on the rise. Banks, eager to book loans, will be less interested in training focused on sound practices and careful risk management. Manufacturers and resource-related companies (mining, logging, etc.) may discover less patience for careful procedures and highly standardized practices designed to protect workers and the environment, and to improve quality.

In short, no matter what type of business you are in, when it really looks like there is money to be made, there are corners to be cut, and lessons to be unlearned. Sales hiring and training go way up, and some of those "sound practices" designed to protect the company fade out of sight.

The second threat comes when your own training budget starts to inch upward. You've learned a lot about delivering quality training on a shoestring. You doubtless plan to apply what you've learned to squeeze everything you can out of any additional funding.

But that's much easier said than done. Truth is, everyone is tired of the struggle of operating on insufficient resources, and the temptation to loosen our belts a bit, if you will, is not only overwhelming, it is insidious. We won't splurge on lots of new hires and new projects -- well, most of us won't, a few will head in that direction as soon as they can -- but little by little, we may use the resources we have a little less carefully.

You might have thought the recession was the worst thing that could have happened to your training department.

Maybe so.

Or maybe you should be more worried about the recovery.

© 2013 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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