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

The Where, What and When of the Common Touch

do employees know you exist even when they are not in training?

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

In most companies, the only interaction the training function has with most employees is during actual training delivery. Employees take seminars or workshops or on-line courses, and that is the only way they know you.

There's a lot to be said for making training more visible to employees outside of training events. Very simply, building your brand across the entire company, at all levels, not only enhances your value as perceived by the executive levels, it enhances the value -- anticipated and experienced -- of the training you deliver.

So how can you get the word out about training in your organization?

  • Is there a company wide newsletter, or an intranet site for employees? Request the opportunity to provide short training-related items -- a paragraph or two of news, or even a podcast -- on a regular basis.
  • No company wide vehicle? Perhaps individual functions or departments regularly communicate with their own groups, and you can request a little space now and then.
  • If neither of these options exists, create an e-mail newsletter (very brief) and get permission to send it to all employees. (Turn down the counter-offer to do a blog! People have to come to a blog, a company e-mail goes to them without them having to do anything.)

Now, assuming you find or create a vehicle, the "what to say" part of it is where things go astray. You need to share news that is at least moderately interesting to your audience, and that is probably not a list of your recent amazing accomplishments.

You want to build a positive attitude toward training in general, not hawk your wares. Oh, sure, in some situations you might use this vehicle to let people know about a course offering, but that goes at the end of your news item.

Your best news is about other people: how someone used training to get better results (even if you did not provide the training; perhaps it happened in another company). Other options include funny things that have happened in seminars, or trends in your company's industry that will demand change. If you have to be in the training profession to be interested in your news item, do not bother sending it out!

Which brings us to "when," and the key here is regularity. If employees see one or two paragraphs about training on the 1st of every month, that's great. The big mistake is to start out with ambition, putting out training news frequently at first, and then falling off as things get busy. A dependable, realistic schedule will do much more to gradually earn the trust of your readers.

A lot of training department heads fight constantly to win and retain a "seat" at the executive level. But patiently improving your visibility, interest, and respect among the common folk in your organization may do as much, or more, for you.

© 2012 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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