I have been running my training company and consultancy for a few years now. I have had my share of ups and downs in trying to make workplace training successful, however, the one thing I have learnt over time when providing training is to ensure your participants say positive things about your company at the end of the training day.
Why feedback is so important
Positive feedback is the overriding criteria we use when selecting trainers to partner with or employ. We are fortunate in that we have a core of fantastic and loyal trainers who consistently receive outstanding feedback form their participants. Having happy training course participants ensures you receive repeat business in either follow up courses by the participant or referrals for the same course from the happy participant returning to their workplace and spreading the word. This focus has enabled us to become the national training organization with an expanding array of training courses now offered in every capital city across Australia.
Whenever I engage with a new trainer I impress on them the importance of receiving a positive online review at the end of the day. I don’t dictate a training style but I do insist that positive feedback is an absolute must.
We almost take it for granted until something goes wrong and here is how one went wrong for us recently.
We received a call from an unhappy client who reported the following after a recent training day:
– The class size was 18 – more than what we recommend.
– The class duration was only 2 hours starting in the mid afternoon after other in house training had completed. The class was tired and disinterested in the excel training.
– The content was beyond the ability of most of the group – the training pre assessment we provide to gauge the ability of the cohort was not used.
– The participants couldn’t follow the content and the trainer was only engaging with a couple of participants at the front of the class.
– This reflected poorly on the training coordinator who was assigned to coordinate the training (part of the reason our advice was not followed was that the company’s National Manager was in attendance and the coordinator was more interested in following the instructions of the manager than following our advice).
Complaints against our company are taken seriously but on reflection the training day was set up to fail. Even the best trainer would have had difficulties with a tired, disinterested, large group of staff made to do training they had little engagement in.
What was the fall out and how to make workplace training successful?
For day 2 of the engagement we were set to train Excel Beginner to a different group within the company. We assigned our core trainer and we were meticulous to ensure:
– that the pre assessments were completed
– attendees whose pre assessment results were strong were advised not to attend (and attend a later session more suited their level)
– we had a suitable class size to maximize the effectiveness of the training.
– we ensured there was sufficient time allocated to achieve the desired outcomes
What were the results?
The reviews at the end of day 2 were glowing – a huge relief and vindicated my belief that the environment in the day 1 of the engagement was set up to fail.
I probably wouldn’t take on an engagement like this again where the client ignores our guidance. The risk to our reputation is not worth it. We’d ensure that clients follow our advice and draw on our experience to ensure we all get the outcomes we want.