Overcoming Training Hurdles

Overcoming Training Hurdles

Being a Trainer on your own is never too easy. However, if you know the ropes, you will navigate your way to success. The Ten hurdles faced by Trainers and the means to overcome them have been highlighted.

Reena is an enthusiastic Trainer. So far, she had worked in a very large company, where she had to Train Middle level Professionals. However, the story changed when she ventured out on her own, along with a colleague.


While in her previous company, she had to enter a well-laid out Training Room with all the infrastructure, down to the toffees in front of the Participants, neatly set up and all set for the Participants to join.


However, when Reena started on her own, she was unpleasantly surprised to realise that Training is far more challenging on the ground. But not one to be deterred, she dealt with the challenges resolutely and was all the better for her experiences. But what were these challenges, and what did she do. Let us have a look.


1. Value of the Programme


Earlier, Reena did not have to explain the value of the Programme to the attending participants. It was understood, all programmes were handpicked and relevant, and the Participants were keen learners. However, once on her own, Reena fell back on the basic principles of Adult Learning and started with a What’s In It For Me (WIIFM), to the participants. This helped immensely and participants, more often than not, were hooked. Of course, overselling is a risk here. So, remember, commit, but try to overdeliver.


2. Inattentive Learners


Reena found Learners are very distracted nowadays. Very often, they can be seen peering at their phones below the table. So, the Content needs to be engaging to hold attention, but also, from time to time, particularly when you are at a very important juncture of the programme, ask participants to keep their smartphones at a common place and collect it back at an appropriate time. Surprisingly, most agree with this proposition and Reena was able to get the full attention of the class.


3. Trainee’s Learning Capacity


In her changed situation, Reena found that Learners outside large companies, varied widely. Some were brilliant and accepting, and others unaware and reluctant. So, Reena rejigged her module design and started developing designs to address common denominators, with interesting asides thrown in for the brighter ones. This way, the question of OTTT or Over The Top Transmission was preempted.


4. Stakeholder Expectations


Once you are in the Discomfort Zone of being a Consultant, managing stakeholder expectations can be a challenge. But you need to make clients realise that a single Training cannot be a magic wand, nor are Trainers super human, each has her own style and more than one style is effective. Every Trainer does not have to be a high energy, buzzing bumblebee. Sedate, but very knowledgeable Trainers too, pack a punch.


5. Participant Does Not Apply Learning


Participants can be a stubborn lot and even after the most interesting Training, may not choose to apply the learning. Here, it is important for the Trainer and the Organisation to see the Learning as a Programme rather than a one-off Training and structurally create opportunities for Participants to implement their Learning. Very few will ever do it on their own, so the Organisation needs to encourage an ecosystem of learning and application.


6. Measuring Impact


Well, this is a perennial question. While it is difficult to do justice here, but it is good to have prior agreements on what is it that the client wants as impact and initiate the programme after agreeing on it. Of course, follow Kirkpatrick, but more importantly, if the client is bent on seeking RoI, make sure you capture the impact over a longer span of time, perhaps, 6 months to a year.


7. Opportunity Cost


Clients are often reluctant to release participants for Training. Who will do the work at hand? Well, sharpening the saw argument really works. Try it.


8. No Retraining Required


How would you make sure that no Re-Training is required? Well, this is something that comes up often. Hence, factor in follow-up interventions in your costing. Even if the interventions are small and of very short duration, they make a difference. Also, make it a point to recognise the Participants, who go the whole hog and finish all the tasks associated with the Training. They need to be given certificates, recognition and motivation, if you do that, emulation will follow.


9. Is Training fixing something or improving a Situation?


Now, this is quite a handful. The answer, however, is simple. Training typically comes in when there is a clear gap between what is required for the employee to do and the employee is missing the mark by narrow margin. If the margin is too big, then it is not a skill gap, it is a Recruitment Error and should be dealt with accordingly. Training is here to improve performance, not create performance out of the blue. Remember that!


10. Repeat Orders


The heart of a successful Training consulting organisation lies in winning repeat orders. It is an unmistakable sign of success on the ground, programmes are well received, feedback is good and it is hitting the nail in terms of business impact. One more thing, it also necessarily means, that you are resonating well with the client L&D department and they appreciate the work you are doing. Remember, just as Training companies look for good clients, good clients too are on the lookout for Good Training Consultants and Organisations, offering Quality solutions at reasonable price points will win clients, anywhere, anytime.


Dipankar Das is the author of Cracking the CSAT Code at the Call Centre. He has worked in diverse organizations, including Genpact, Concentrix and Tata Projects Ltd. He is currently Vice President and Global Head of Skill Development at iSON Experiences.


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