Do you remember that fable – one of Aesop’s, maybe – about Emperor who wore no clothes, and nice young man that paid ultimate price for audaciously pointing that out?
Now, let’s fast-forward a few millennia, and recast this fable in a 21st century look and feel. To make things as simple as possible, let’s just go ahead and assume that entire world of training is one big Emperor, and multitudes of people who experience that training are, collectively, that Nice Young Man.
But this is where similarities between these two tales should stop.
In old-fashioned version, as you know, that exasperated young man – a kind of early ancestor to whistle blower -- pointed out that Emperor wore no clothes; and he suffered dearly for it. Eventually, however, other folks caught on – Knights and Dukes and Lady’s and other important regal people – and things turned out okay in end. The Emperor was dethroned; or at least, given a bathrobe.
In our modern version, however, things are not unfolding with such bold, visible steps. Today’s Nice Young Employee – which, as noted above, is collective mass of modern trainees – isn’t saying a word. Not even coughing. S/he isn’t even excusing himself from training room right before ice breaker, and returning seven and a half hours later during evaluations.
No, s/he’s doing something altogether more devastating than his ancestor who merely inspired a revolution. S/he’s detaching himself from your company, bit by evil bit, second by agonizing second.
I agree with you.
It really doesn’t get sadder – or more ironic -- for training and HR professionals than this. Here you are investing in someone, spending time to develop their skills and increase their capacity, and there they are, playing hangman on handouts, mentally crafting opening lines of their next cover letter, and popping red-striped mints every 15 minutes to maintain a sugar sustained semi-wakeful state that will invariably lead to collapse by about 2:15pm.
Future historians will reflect upon this phenomenon as “an interesting development in early 21st century”.
Current Sales Managers (and those who love them), however, choose a somewhat different approach to summarize this, and it goes like this: AHHHHHHHHHHH!
Why so many H’s?
Because Sales Pros know – better than they deserve to – that there is an ironic wisdom emerging here that goes like this: if your staff is not effectively trained, then they might leave your company. But what happens if your staff isn’t effectively trained, and they don’t leave your company? They’ll become an albatross to themselves and to your sales success.
So you lose on both ends. Something must be done. And quick!
The Problem, The Hatred, and Blame
So what’s problem? Why do your employees fear training? Is it your fault?
These are important questions, and they can all be answered in a row: problem is that your trainees aren’t approaching training with right perspective; your employees hate training because of this same reason; it’s not your fault at all.
At least, it’s not intentionally your fault.
And there’s another really good question that many will ask: can it be fixed?
The answer: yes, absolutely!
Your task is to get biggest bang for your training dollar; and for that, most of you will look outside your company walls. This is perfectly normal and largely successful (when it’s successful), because people who know how to train are invariably going to be in a better position to do it than those who don’t.
So far, so good.