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Your people don't need training, you just need to communicate better!

A lot of training which occurs in organisations is only needed because leaders and managers are so bad at communicating.

There I've said it.

How many courses/programmes have you been asked to build to update people on policies or roll out new amendments to procedures, or get people to do things differently?

How many of these were really needed?

How many of these "training issues" would disappear if the managers requesting them were able to communicate clearly and regularly with their people? If managers could provide regular feedback on performance? If organisations could brief their staff properly on updates and changes?

This amounts to managers essentially saying, "I'm going to send you away from your day to day work, so someone who doesn't really know you or the work you do, can tell you what you need to be doing better."

Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds.

I've heard of colleagues being asked to create sales workshops because a team weren't doing what they were supposed to. When my colleagues ask manager's if they had told their people they weren't doing what they were meant to, the woukd go very quiet. Then they'd say something like, "well it's obvious isn't it?" Clearly not.

Just imagine the real meaningful problems L&D could focus on if they weren't constantly being asked to create courses to correct poor communication.

Another key aspect of this discussion relates to the old fashioned mindset of learning = a course. In schools it does. at work it certainly doesn't.

How many of these courses could be replaced with online briefs, or digital learning, or social learning facilitated at people's desks by more experienced colleagues, or even something more simple like a checklist or a visual poster highlighting key changes or updates?

We need to move people away from the paradigm of learning = courses and the only way we can do this is finding inventive solutions to tackle real performance issues as they occur.

Have your say

Have you ever been in the position where you've been asked to create a course to communicate something straight forward? 

What did you do?

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  • Great blog Chris and I totally agree with you.  This happened to my last L&D team so many times.  The solution to this was a communicating with impact workshop for the Team Leaders and Managers which resulted in a reduction of the type of requests you mention.

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