Six ways to help senior leaders see the value of training

Ask senior leaders in your company to attend a day-long training session and they’ll likely tell you they’d rather go to the dentist. Why? Because most training programs have a reputation…it’s boring, it doesn’t benefit my team or my department, and it’s not the best use of my time. How can your training overcome that attitude and instill some excitement in your leaders? Here’s how…

1. Make it relateable

Employees must see a clear personal value in training. The lessons being taught must relate to them on a personal level. Will it help them become a better leader? Will it help increase sales? Will it help build their department into a better team? Once employees see training as valuable to their career, training will be viewed as an opportunity, not an obligation.

2. Make it memorable

One of the most important factors in designing a training program is to make it memorable. Employees should have an emotional reaction to the training, one that they’ll remember long after class is dismissed. The objective should be clear and the lesson being learned should be engaging and interactive and, dare we say, a little fun.

3. Make it safe

The training environment should be a safe place to study the different reactions to a given situation, right or wrong. Think of your training in terms of a flight simulator. If employees are able to see the negative consequences of acting without thinking, making a hasty or unpopular decision, or choosing not to report an issue, they can better understand the risks. A flight simulator environment will let them see the ramifications of their actions and recognize what needs to be changed.

4. Make it generate good PR

It’s not enough for your training program to be top-notch; it must also generate good PR. Your training should have an exceptional reputation so that employees talk about it with genuine enthusiasm. Word of mouth is a powerful force, especially when you hear it from those you trust. Hearing positive feedback will increase engagement among other employees and set the stage for a worthwhile and valuable experience.

5. Make it serve a dual purpose

Training is not just about avoiding a lawsuit. It’s about avoiding litigation and changing behavior. If your only goal is to avoid litigation, then you’re missing the biggest benefit- the opportunity to create a more civil culture within your organization.

6. Make it clear that it affects the bottom line

Senior leaders within your company need to understand that the effectiveness of the training program is directly related to the bottom line. Most employers want to prevent labor and employment lawsuits, but don’t even think about the bigger costs of lost productivity, turnover and brand damage caused by bullying, unfair treatment and rude behavior. Awareness that changes in behavior will result in increased profits will prompt the team to take training more seriously.

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