Year after year, senior executives and their HR teams invest money into training in an effort to prompt change within an organization. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have come across leaders who are left discouraged by the ineffectiveness of these costly initiatives. The common thread is the lack of understanding that training is a personal activity and that employees are people first and employees second. It is only by unlocking potential in people, that one can unlock potential in businesses. However, in order to unlock this potential, we need to understand what drives human behaviour.  

Adopt a people-centric approach.

By looking at the environment, culture, workplace behaviour, the organisational structure and dynamics of the daily running of the business, organizations can identify what needs to change. However, to be a high-performing, successful company where talent and potential can flourish, they need to start by understanding their employee's individual drivers and blocks. Only by supporting each person's needs, strengths, attitudes and behaviours, can qualities like autonomy, creativity and greater accountability thrive. For the most part, initiatives failing to address the individual don’t lead to better organizational performance and can have a detrimental effect as a whole, dragging down sales and daily routines, lowering morale and increasing a company's expenses. 

 Where does training fit into this?

In order to develop your people's potential in a culture of high performance, organizations need to be equipped with the best practice knowledge, tools and theories that can be tweaked to your company’s growth, size and needs. A strong and capable leadership pipeline needs to exist whereby managers are astute and equipped to help you run your business effectively. Providing personal impact training and facilitation programs; such as discussions, interactive projects and role-playing are just some of the ways you can engage your employees and encourage their learning and skill development. 

Where do I start?

It all starts with the employee. In order to maximize learning initiatives for both employees and management, there needs to be a greater focus on the employee's needs. One of the biggest mistakes companies are making is spending more time choosing workshop content rather than focusing on the people attending the training. When this happens, the focus is on skills and behaviour instead of what drives behaviour. The motivating belief seems to be that learning is largely an intellectual pursuit and not a continuous process, influenced by the employee's emotions and personality. To resolve this, organizations should be focusing on designing and developing an experience that reaches out to the whole person in terms of an emotional, inspirational and aspirational quotient.

Your people are your brand. Invest in them, provide them with a framework for development and drive a culture of high performance and you will see a tangible return: loyalty, dedication, motivation, contribution and most of all, success for the business.

What are you doing to ensure your employees are understood, engaged and developed?