It’s a common misconception that employees will enjoy training because it gives them a chance to kick back and get away from their desks. But in reality, your training is probably causing conflicts like these for your trainees:
- “I get 100 emails before lunch every day, some of them critically important… what am I supposed to do, just disappear during training?”
- “I’m onboarding three new associates this week… and I’m expected to go sit in a classroom all day long?”
- “I’m hoping to close a big sale next week… and my company expects me to go to another state for training?”
You get the idea. Training can cause conflicts for executives, middle managers, salespeople, front-line staffers, and just about everyone else. If you don’t address the problem, you’re only causing people to resent training before it even begins, and to resist it even more after it starts. But there are ways to resolve the conflict.
Here are some proactive and humorous ways to resolve conflicts between work and training:
- Ask Employees to Help Design the Training that Will Work Best for Them: Do your middle managers really want to travel away from their home offices? Do your salespeople want to leave their territories and sit in meetings without immediate access to incoming phone calls? There are alternatives. Videoconferencing can let you run a virtual group training class for only an hour a day, for example. Interactive online training can allow salespeople, customer service people, and other staffers to fit training in and around their other work. And you can mix and match different delivery systems to minimize the conflict between learning and work.
- Help Trainees Stay on Top of Work During Live Sessions: Have you ever been in training classes where attendees are secretly checking their mobile devices and hoping nobody will notice? Everybody becomes irritated – the trainer and the trainees too. But there are some straightforward ways to help trainees stay on top of work during live sessions. For example, you can encourage trainees to take notes on their laptops or tablets, or you can provide them with a list of tasks they can work on during breaks.
- Use Humor to Break the Ice: Humor can be a powerful tool for breaking the ice and getting people to open up. You can use humor to lighten the mood during training sessions, or you can use it to help trainees feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. For example, you can start a training session with a funny video or cartoon, or you can use a humorous anecdote to illustrate a point.
Remember, training doesn’t have to be a chore. By taking a proactive and humorous approach, you can help your trainees get the most out of their training experience and minimize conflicts between work and learning.
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