At the beginning of our workshops we like to set the tone early by asking the attendees to express ‘what their expectations are for the session’ and ‘what they hope to gain from the training’?

For some there is no expectation, whereas others may come ready to wrestle with the concept and content and/or learn from the new information.

In a recent session I was confronted by an interesting take on ‘Resilience Training’.  When asked about their expectation of the workshop, an employee quite openly expressed that they felt the training was targeted at specifically ‘toughening up the employees’ and commented that,  “management will use the opportunity to only increase the workload and stress of the staff as they would now be trained in how to be more resilient”.

Their perception was their reality, and there was no point in arguing with them on the benefits of the Resilience Training.  The challenge here was not in the content or intent of the training, but in the preparation for and promotion of the training in the workplace even before the workshop began.

Here are 8 ways that you could better maximise the delivery of workplace training for your team:

Perception VS Reality

  1. Workshops may not be the first port of call, in fact they could be the final stage of the strategy.
  2. Leadership must be encouraged to own the outcomes, including the accountability of a public action plan.
  3. The resilience of the organisation may need to be addressed before the resilience of the people – Systems, strategies, goals, KPI’s, HR policy & procedure are all the things that make your company tick. Are all these areas showing resilience?
  4. Give people a chance to leave the training if they feel there isn’t anything in it for them. This empowers them as the attendee to control their destiny which is a better ‘open to learning’ strategy than being told ‘what to do’ and ‘where to be’. This also encourages your external consultants to present in such a way that people don’t WANT to leave the session.
  5. Promote any training properly with appropriate and informative emails, posters and videos, ensuring people know what they will be attending.
  6. At the commencement of the workshop or training session,  have someone introduce the facilitator and clearly outline what expectations the company has for the attendees at the training.
  7. Don’t just rely upon workshops or a speaking delivery platform.  Look also for online and informal forums to support the initiatives and for the team to build on what they have learnt in face-to-face training.
  8. Venue – Make sure the venue for the training is conducive to learning and not just the last room that was left available.  Surroundings can play a massive role in how well adults engage or disengage in learning activities.