Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Cheapest Employee Training Ever

Focus: Employee Training, Management Success

Audio: 3 mins. 31 secs.
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Cheapest Training Ever                                                                      
Wc: 599
Transcript - print now

Welcome to another bite-size audio lesson on how to be a more effective manager. If you haven’t listened to the T equals F equals B audio I encourage you to do that first, as this particular bite-size lesson is a follow-up to that audio. 

As promised, I was going to give you an audio clip on the Cheapest Training You Could Ever Get for 50 Bucks. You know I had a colleague who was very frustrated with his team and very frustrated with the training within his organization and he wanted to have more of an impact on the performance of his team. First thing we talked about is shifting his attitude and feelings about training.

It’s my belief, and it’s very obvious, that the true trainers of an organization are actually the managers, not necessarily the corporate trainers. The corporate trainers in my view are the corporate educators. The day-to-day supervisors are actually the true trainers of an organization.

Well, once he accepted that responsibility then we talked about the T F B formula. That thinking impacts feelings impacts behavior. We talked about ways of influencing the thinking of his team and one way I suggested was to get them to start reading books, reading materials that directly impact their thinking. I happen to be a training partner to Rockhurst University, which I’m very grateful for, and they have these really cool, what we call “skinny” books, or 60-minute learning series. They are very thin, we call them “Starbucks Books” because you can read them over a “latte”.

I gave him a list of those books and asked him to pick a title that he though his team would be interested in reading and so he picked out the “skinny” book about goal-setting. He bought one book for each of his team members. Now ironically, those books are very inexpensive, between 10 and 12 dollars each, and so he was able to acquire five books for around 50 bucks.

He distributed the books to his team and he asked his team to take the time within the next month to read it and then asked someone to volunteer to give a book report and they would do that at the staff meeting. A month went by and they all got together in the staff meeting and several people volunteered to share what they got out of the book.

As a collective team, my friend facilitated what were all the things that they learned from reading the book and they came up with a top five list and then he asked them, okay, of the elements that you learned of the top five which one would you as a team like to put into practice over the next month or two. They all collectively identified one top learning principle from goal-setting that they all put into practice and then they tracked their performance over the next three months. Ironically, with just that little input his team’s performance went up exponentially. He was shocked!

Total cost of that training?...around 50 bucks. It ended up being the most effective training that he could ever done. And why was that? Because the thinking was influenced along with the fact that he did use what I call collaborative peer pressure to impact performance. But that’s for another audio bite-size tip. For now it’s about understanding that we do have to impact thinking to impact performance or behavior and that’s just a great and very simple example and a very cost effective example of how to improve the performance of your team.

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