Training - Make it Count!

As with any company managing staff, training is an integral part of the business. Most companies believe that organising training is the responsibility of the HR department and this is correct to a degree. But what happens when your highly skilled staff are enrolled in training that really should be offered to entry level employees? This is not only a waste of money, its also a waste of time that your already experienced staff could be using to actually do their job.

Some of you are aware that prior to starting Absolute Marketing Communications I was employed by a high end consumer electronics brand. As part of my various marketing and PR roles within the company I organised divisional and company events. These included press launches, company and dealer conferences, corporate lunches, Christmas parties and other related events. 

I got an email from the HR manager one day advising that I had been enrolled to attend a one day course in event co-ordination along with some of my colleagues. I attended because I thought perhaps it was an advanced course and I might take something away from it that would help in the planning of future events and because I assumed that my manager was involved in this decision and thus thought it would be relevant to me.

Everyone was wrong on all counts. I attended this course with colleagues that had never organised a corporate event at any time in their careers let alone for the company we were working for.

I spent a day listening to a facilitator educate us on the basics of event planning. Don’t get me wrong she knew what she was talking about and while it was worthwhile for the other attendees, I had put this all into practice before. Her practical task was to pretend we were organising a children’s birthday party. Not to sound arrogant but I have organised events that require delegates to fly either domestically or internationally and ensure they make it in time for our event's proceedings. I could organise a children’s party with my eyes closed! Meanwhile my work was piling up because I’ve had to sit through this. When my manager asked me how the training went, I told him honestly it was a waste of time. When I told him why, he agreed with me.

My point is if you’re going to organise training, make it worthwhile. Don’t leave all the decisions to the HR manager. They need to be involved in the decision especially if their department is footing the bill but you need to tell them what your staff are capable of. If the training’s not right not only is the fee for the course wasted but it’s a days work your staff are being paid for to sit and be told something they already know. Think about involving your staff in the decisions regarding their training. They may feel that a particular course may be of value to them and enhance their value to your company. You want your staff to embrace the opportunity to learn new things not cringe every time they’re told they have to attend training.