Around the country, students are getting ready to go back to school. Many of us are culturally programmed to feel a little thrill or desire to learn at the beginning of a new school year, even if we are not students and do not have students in our lives. Whether or not you have this feeling, some of your employees may. However, it is not safe to assume that back-to-school season automatically means your employees are all ready to learn how to improve their personal effectiveness at work.
According to a recent article in the McKinsey Quarterly titled “Getting more from your employee training programs,” not all money invested in employee training is actually money well spent. Indeed,
Companies around the world spend up to $100 billion a year to train employees in the skills they need to improve corporate performance-topics like communication, sales techniques, performance management, or lean operations. But training typically doesn’t have much impact.
For better or for worse, throwing money at a problem will not solve it without strong leadership to help make a lasting change in long-term employee performance. For this reason, taking the time for management and leadership training is essential. As a business leader, you need to improve your own personal effectiveness before you try to influence the growth of the employees you manage. That is the first step in preparing your employees for effective training. As the article in McKinsey Quarterly asserts,
The most significant improvements lie in rethinking the mind-sets that employees and their leaders bring to training, as well as the environment they come back to afterward. These are tasks only senior leaders can take on.
Basically, both managers and employees need training, and both the employees and their managers need to be well-prepared to learn and apply new skills. Before spending money on employee training, be certain in invest in and set aside time for management and leadership training to provide a more solid foundation for employee growth through training.
4 Ways to Use Management and Leadership Training to Improve Employee Performance
1. Discuss and incorporate strategies to inspire employee desire for learning and employee belief in the effectiveness of their training.
2. Plan to demonstrate employee need for new skills by highlighting their strengths and weaknesses through an online personality test.
3. Brainstorm and create incentives for employees to incorporate their new skills and improve their personal effectiveness on a daily basis.
4. Inspire managers to model the same new skills that their employees will also be learning in order to challenge the status quo.
How will you inspire your employees to learn?