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

Where Are Your Training Monuments?

what are the highlights of your training work?

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

I recently joined members of the family in Washington, DC, for a week of monument-viewing and museum-prowling.

And they certainly have monuments there, huge, magnificent, awe-inspiring structures. Of course, the physical structures are there to remind us of the actions of the people they commemorate. For sure, many of these monuments are inherently impressive, but the ideas and actions behind them are the real story.

Now, if you were to send a visitor on a tour of the “monuments” to your training work for your company, what would be on the tour?

There might be some physical, or at least virtual, stops along the way. Perhaps you have a learning lab for certain things, or a state-of-the-art seminar room, or other tools of the trade that were the products of hard fought budget battles.

But the real “monuments” to your contribution to your organization are harder to see. If your sales figures are better than they were before you developed your sales training program, put those on the tour. If the safety record is better, or customer satisfaction is higher, if meetings are more efficient or turnover is lower, and training has contributed to that change, put that on the tour.

In short, the monuments to your training work are the enhanced results your internal clients have enjoyed as a result of the training you have created and delivered.

And I suggest you make this more than just a thought experiment. I suggest you create a list of monuments, that you take that “tourist’s map of training monuments” seriously.

First of all, if you can't come up with any monuments to put on the map, what does that say about your training function? It could mean that you are delivering a lot of training, but not producing measurable results. Or you could be making a significant contribution, but one that you, and all your clients, are taking for granted.

Second, the monument tour is a great opportunity to have a chat with your clients, to make sure you both see the same monuments. On the one hand, it is easy to get used to good safety records or high productivity or low rates of ethical problems in the workplace, so that everyone forgets how vital ongoing training is to maintaining that contribution.

On the other, sometimes your clients have insights into your contributions that you might have overlooked. They see benefits to your training that go beyond, that add value to, the core training objectives, and given that they are on the front lines, their insights are particularly valuable.

Finally, engaging all of your staff in creating the tourist's map helps focus their attention on the clients, the company, and the real purpose of training. It helps them connect their activities to the real world of the business they are helping to succeed.

Monuments, I was reminded, can be inspirational. Make sure you, and your training staff, know where to find your own inspirational monuments to your training work.

© 2013 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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