Beat Those Holiday Blues With Impactful Training
No-one likes going back to work, but have no fear, Autumn is here, and with it comes a great chance for leadership training. But what makes L&D programmes effective? Expedition Organiser James Eynon has some top tips.
September is now upon us and that means, alas, the summer is coming to an end. For children, it means going back to school. For many adults, it means back to work after summer holidays.
It’s no wonder then that this time of year is very popular with companies for conferences and company-wide meetings. Now that everyone is back it’s time to refresh your goals, values and purpose.
This is why it’s a great time to invest in leadership training. Now that your current/future leaders have their out of office’s turned off and phones turned on you need to hit the ground running.
Whether you’re organising your first training session or have been doing so for years, here are a few top tips on making sure your leadership development programmes hit the spot.
How interactive is your leadership training?
I know the 70:20:10 model isn’t perfect and has its critics but it does at least push the discussion in the right direction. Giving people the best theory and psychometrics is great but what are you doing to ensure learners understand, remember and use the information?
Including immersive activities brings theory to life and give it relevance. Speaking of relevance…
How are you positioning your programmes?
You can present the most astounding leadership training ever seen and still fail to see results. This happens when you don’t contextualise what you’re doing. Perhaps this is particularly important to me because I’m a millennial (and as many theorists have been keen to point out, we care about the ‘why’ more than any other generation) but it stands to reason that if you want someone to care and engage with what you’re presenting, you need to make them understand why they should.
Bring the “Why?” to life with a memorable “A-Ha” moment
One of the best ways of doing this leads me back to immersive activities. Discussing the reason for leadership training is key for openness and transparency, but that doesn’t necessarily make people believe in why they should care. If you can show them why a particular skill (for example) is better than another and enable them to have successes in using that new skill, then they will be far more likely to engage with what you’re trying to do.
When someone is successful at something it makes them feel good – even if it’s a small activity as part of a training session. If you use a new skill and are successful with it, you’ll have more confidence in using it and will see the relevance. Events to which you have an emotional response are far better remembered than those where you do not. The euphoria of achieving a goal (either for the first time or quicker than previously) by doing something different etches that event in your brain and provides a source of confidence in doing things differently in future.
Are you effectively monitoring progress post-training?
Learning and Development programmes are time-consuming and expensive, and therefore showing a return on investment is key. It’s not only important for the senior management team to see if company money is being spent wisely. As a learning professional it makes sure the time you are spending on these programmes is being spent wisely.
Judging ROI is sometimes not as easy as increasing profits that can be shown on a graph. Sometimes the results are far more subtle and require more work to collate. For example, if you have run a workshop for senior leaders on emotional intelligence to improve relations between them and their teams, then interviewing or getting them to complete a survey would be useful.
Reference points that evoke an emotional memory result in longer-lasting learning
It’s important to use various reference points to see if changes in behaviour are becoming a habit. A manager who went on the above course may have improved relations with their team for a month or two but may have reverted to old ways soon after. Retention of new behaviours should improve as your positioning of training does!
These are just a few ideas to consider when designing and implementing L&D training programmes. There will be more things to think about, of course, but if you can make your sessions interactive, relevant and effectively monitored you will be on your way to success.