I looked for years attempting to discover a job where you went in, had your orientation training, went to work, and never had any further training. Not looking for myself, I was naive enough to believe there had to be some job, somewhere, in some field with these qualities. I was seeking help from people from all aspects of the corporate world and from volunteer organizations. There is not one – anywhere. With every job, there are updated trainings for safety, new paperwork, updated software, improved techniques, new products, and more. Continued training is part of every job.
Oddly enough, it is in the church where I find the strongest resistance to training. I have even heard people say things as “I’ve been doing this for twenty years. I don’t need more training.” This type of attitude saddens me and here’s why. All jobs in the corporate world deal with the temporal – temporary things of this life. In the church, we deal with the eternal. How much greater is our need for ongoing, updated training?
When your employees or volunteers attend training what is the follow-up process. Both in the corporate world and the volunteer/church sectors, every organization should build in some type of follow-up for training. This is a great place for coaching leadership, whether hiring an outside coach or training all persons in supervisory positions in coaching leadership skills. Unfortunately, in many organizations, the only follow-up is found in one question, “How was it?” That’s it. Nothing else is seldom said to ensure there is some progress being made in regard to information learned at the training.
Even leaders, CEOs, pastors, and others should have some structure in place to debrief the material covered and a structured follow-up configuration for the individual and the organization. If we are attending or sending personnel to training events without structured follow-up to put the gained knowledge and resources into practice to move either the individual or organization forward, are we not wasting resources. After all, training should not be to add another notch in our attendance belt or to check one more conference off our list. Every training event attended should benefit the individual or organization for years ahead.
Training should enhance skillset development, leadership ability, organizational processes, communication, and any number of other forward-moving attributes. If our learning is not improving our doing, then we must question whether our time, finances, and other resources are being used fruitfully.
Coaching to support learning is highly successful when implemented immediately following a training event and carried out over an appropriate period of months. In other words, the greatest benefit to the individual and organization is when follow-up coaching is implemented for the next weeks and months. Each coaching session advances the individual and organization forward.
With each coaching session, the individuals of the organization more consistently apply the new material/approaches in their work and life. Coaching sessions should not be too closely scheduled nor should there be too much lag time between sessions. To begin to follow up coaching, every two weeks should be adequate in most scenarios. Depending on the advancement these could later be moved to monthly until the new processes, new material is absorbed into the fabric of operations. Always end a coaching session with an action step to be implemented by the coachee(s) before the next scheduled session.
What is your first step to building a training follow-up structure in your life and any organizations you are involved with?