Why a Strategy Session is Essential to Training Success
You wouldn’t start building a house without blueprints, would you?
Even though you might have a vague picture in your mind of what you’d want the building to look like, the finished product will definitely be an unstable mess if you go in without a concrete plan. Floors will be sloped and ceilings will be slanted - not the ideal outcome, right?
In line with this idea, sometimes companies think that in order to have a successful and impactful training program all they have to do is hire the trainers.
And yes, trainers are the experts in whatever they’re training on, but how do they know exactly what you need?
Do they know enough about your specific business to be able to convey the information in a way that’ll make sense to your people? Do they know what you expect a successful outcome to look like?
Don’t dismiss these as trivial questions or believe that they have universal answers because that’s not the case.
Often when you actually graze the surface, you might not even have clear and precise answers to the things your trainers need clarification on. Being presented with questions that on a deeper level may be challenging helps to reveal issues that might lie outside the scope of training, but will encourage you to work “on” your business, instead of constantly “in” it.
Ultimately, training can only be successful when a plan of action is discussed and crafted in collaboration with all parties involved.
So what exactly does that mean?
Well, for starters it means that the company stakeholders and the training content experts have a meeting to flesh out the nitty-gritty.
Here are a few examples of the types of questions your trainers will need answers to during that time:
- What does a successful outcome to the program look like?
- What are the priorities for your organization this year?
- Where do you believe you have had the most success thus far?
- What specifically are you targeting for development?
- What are your current challenges?
Having several viewpoints from the executive decision makers, managers, as well as, the general population of employees, will give the trainers a true picture into what’s going on and how they can best address it to help ensure success.
Maybe these trainers have already done similar training programs in the past, so you might just think “Let’s save time and just give me what you did for [my competitor].”
You’re not giving yourself enough credit.
Are you exactly like your competitor? Do you have the same problems as them? Do your company ambitions align perfectly?
No. You’re not, you don’t, and they don’t.
So have some respect for your company and invest the additional time to think about the questions posed seriously and thoughtfully. Realize just how unique you are and that you deserve to have a program tailored specifically to your company in order to help guarantee your success.
A strategy session will also help establish who is responsible in the process of training for providing necessary materials and handling any operational matters. It will create accountability throughout the teams, as well as, serve in creating rapport and trust.
Planning in this way will also create a guide for future training endeavors. It’s unrealistic to think everything can be solved in one dose of training. So having a map of where your group is and where they want to be will help your trainers craft a logical and practical program designed to help you achieve your goals.
Stop expecting success without a master scheme and start strategizing to accomplish your desired outcome.
At DM Training, we believe training is personal. By starting each and every training engagement with a Strategy Session you’re provided the forum that’s essential to understanding your business, your people, and your processes.
Training shouldn’t be about “checking the box.” It should be an ongoing initiative focused on empowering your people and your organization to do and be the best it can be.