How much has your firm invested this year in training and development that failed to provide the results you sought?
What could you do differently to give your staff the knowledge, skill and motivation to change the way they do things?
Consider the following tips to increase the likelihood that the training you do will actually transfer to the workplace.
- Make sure that the training is directly linked to clear organisational or individual professional development needs. To do this effectively, you need to identify what’s important for the firm and communicate this to your team. Establish organizational objectives and link them to individual objectives, so each person in your firm understands the role that they play in achieving the firm’s result. Then use both coaching and formal performance review to identify specific training needs required to achieve individual objectives.
- Explain to staff attending why the training is necessary for them. If they can see a direct link between the training and their ability to get things done, they’re going to be more engaged. If they’re going to a training session wondering ‘what’s in it for me?’ then you haven’t clearly outlined your objectives and expectations.
- Provide a pre-training survey or assignment if appropriate to effectively gauge current level of knowledge and skill and identify gaps in knowledge and skill. This feedback can be a very effective way of engaging attendees and ensuring that the session is relevant to individual needs. Use an online tool like Survey Monkey to set up and review surveys quickly and simply.
- Provide information, up front, to attendees explaining exactly what the training session will involve. It’s quite common for staff to turn up to training sessions not really understanding what it’s about and why they’re there.
- Ensure that a person is nominated as the facilitator of each session. Even if you’re running an online session with an external speaker, there’s tremendous value in having an internal facilitator to introduce the session, ask questions of attendees during the session and run a post-session debrief with attendees.
- Run a post-session debrief to discuss key messages and agree on next steps. Make sure that agreed actions are SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Often the best way to do this is to ask each attendee to document key personal actions from the sessions they attend. Provide a template for this and ensure that this information is circulated to managers and partners.
- About a month after the session or program, review progress and discuss next steps. It’s worth the time and effort to ensure that you get clear outcomes out of your training. If you are not satisfied with outcomes, then ask attendees for feedback. What’s worked, what needs to be improved?
Do you need to improve your training program?
If you’d like to know more about how to improve your firm’s training activities, call Dale Crosby on 1300 883 789.
Our online training program is specifically designed to meeting the non-technical training needs of accounting firms. Upcoming programs will focus on developing the skills and capabilities of Graduates and Managers in public practice.
Visit www.trainingbeyondaccounting.com.au for further information on our upcoming sessions.
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