If you’ve ever attended or invested in an employee training program, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement during the event.
Everyone feels pumped when they’re in those all-day meetings. You feel like part of a team. You’re all hearing the same thing on how to be more effective in your job and with your co-workers.
You walk away with slogans like:
- Be here now!
- High on the mood elevator!
It all makes sense and everyone walks out of the room with a feeling that things are going to change. The facilitator might even give you a roadmap or a tool for how to apply these new ideas.
But how long does the optimism and good feeling of teamwork last?
When everyone leaves the meeting, you may think that now—finally!—things will be different. All that friction will end. Employees will have the tools to solve conflicts.
After only a few days, though, the elation and excitement of the training fade. Things return to how they were before.
- Old habits and behaviors rear their ugly heads.
- Nobody listens or is open to new ideas.
- Team members talk behind the backs of others instead of addressing each other with curiosity so that a conversation can take place.
Why does this happen?
It’s not because the associates are lazy or the facilitator is inept. This occurs even with world-class training programs and bright, committed employees.
It doesn’t make a difference whether the training was provided by an outside company or by in-house learning and development teams.
It happens because nobody is really taught how to implement the new methods. They know the goal, but they don’t know the first vital step toward getting there.
Can Employees Really Change?
To make a lasting change, you need to be self-aware. There’s no getting around this.
You need to be cognizant of your specific beliefs and how they impact the way you act. These beliefs and behaviors might be toward the business, toward peers and other workplace relationships, toward how the business is run, toward your success at the company, or any number of other things.
If you don’t know your part in the workplace equation, you won’t be able to change it.
Another way to say this is that if you walk out of an employee training program with the same old thoughts, the same old behaviors will continue.
If you want to make a real change—for yourself and for your employees—you have to invest in a system that teaches self-awareness and provides the framework for changing thoughts and behaviors.
Negative Impact of Employee Training Programs
Sometimes, instead of just returning to the old status quo, things actually get worse after employee training programs.
Employees become even more frustrated over time when there’s a vision that seems so much more inclusive and collaborative that the company subscribes to, but that nobody follows.
It ends up highlighting the culture problems in the workplace by comparing them to a much greener pasture presented in all those slogans, mottos, or “roadmaps” left over from the employee training program.
The company leadership has a wonderful intention, but the results fall short. Without the individual support to back up the new vision, it remains just that: a vision. Just some nice sentiments about how the workplace could be.
Have you already invested in employee training programs but didn’t get the results you were hoping for? Are you considering investing in an employee training program?
Before you commit to a solution that might leave you high and dry, let’s jump on the phone for a free Strategy Session. I’ll give you my insights from over 20 years in corporate leadership to help you make the right decision so your employees benefit and your company thrives.