Redefining Corporate Training: Relationships and Results

I strongly believe that there is a better model to deliver corporate training than the data dump, one time in a training room, model that is so common across companies today.  It seems as though for many companies they have lost all sense of how education happens and how learning occurs.

As an example, I have worked with a number of companies that provide a 300+ page employee manual.  At first glance, this file is all encompassing with policies and procedures needed for that employee’s job.  This manual is given during an onboarding training session which lasts as little as one hour, and for most companies never exceeds more than a handful of meetings in a new hire’s first week.

The problem I have with this approach is that there is very little learning that can be accomplished in such a short time, especially when considering the data dump approach of handing out 300+ pages.  It would be as if a teacher walked into class the first day, handed out a large textbook and proceeded to inform the students that the comprehensive final exam would be given in just a few days, with no additional class meetings.  This is no recipe for success for students or employees.

I believe that the manuals should be reworked with a focus on employees being able to learn on demand.  Instead of a 300+ page document of policies and procedures, we should be giving employees the resources needed to solve problems as they develop.  Of course, few trainers can be expected to understand the types of problems that develop in a different employee’s role, which is why I am a proponent of a second change.  Why limit training’s meeting with an employee to only a handful of sessions during the first week.  Why not structure regular sessions throughout an employee’s tenure.  This way a learning relationship is able to be built and maintained over time.

I know, I know who has the time, budget, resources available to follow such an intensive schedule.  Yet, with technology, think Internet, social media, etc. we should be able to structure a learning plan that is more personal than a one time 300 page data dump.

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