Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. Let’s take a look at two professional trainers. Let’s call them Joan and Jack.
How Joan and Jack Are Similar
Both Joan and Jack are energetic trainers who get their audiences laughing. They will both do whatever it takes – using props or quacking or asking trainees to do silly things – to illustrate a concept or get everyone engaged. And when trainees leave at the end of the day, they feel energized and happy.
How Joan and Jack Are Different
A few weeks after training is over, the performance of the people who trained with Joan has really improved. The performance of the people who trained with Jack hasn’t changed at all. They went back to “business as usual” the moment training was over.
In other words, Jack’s training is frivolous. Joan’s isn’t, because it gets results.
How to Avoid Wasting Money on Frivolous Training
- Define outcomes and make sure your trainer can reach them.Do you want your salespeople to contact 25% more new prospects? Do you want the people who deliver and install appliances for your store to give true “white glove” treatment to customers? Or do you want your hotel front-desk staff to delight guests with exceptional service? Your trainer should explain his or her plans to break those processes down into individual steps and address them directly through training.
- Help your trainer know who your trainees are.A good trainer will want to know about their ages, prior experience, educational level, current jobs, and all other factors that can be leveraged to engage them more fully in training. A concerned trainer will also want to be aware of any factors that might cause them not to engage.
- Work with your trainer to develop meaningful metrics.If you work together to define what you will measure after training is completed, chances are good that your training will accomplish much more, because its goals are well defined.
- Monitor sessions and make sure that training stays on track. If you are a company training director or a member of senior management, you might not want to attend sessions, because your presence could put a damper on trainees’ ability to relax and learn. If that is the case, ask a few trainees to check in with you at lunchtime or other breakpoints to tell you whether the trainer is hitting the benchmarks you created. If not, a quick check-in with the trainer can often get things back on track and avoid wasting time and money.
It’s All About Getting Your Money’s Worth and Getting Results
If you are a training director who wants to record serious results from serious training, it’s important to work closely with professional trainers who don’t only entertain, but educate. That’s the difference between training that’s frivolous and training that offers a good ROI on your investment.