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Getting the business behind training

How we get the cynics on board

One of the toughest challenges for getting a return on the investment made in development training is making it stick once people return to work.

Whilst the programme may have been excellent, and everyone will be clear about what they want to do back at work, it is hard for people to implement change without support or feedback in the business.

We go to great lengths to build good partnerships with our clients. We also work hard to get alongside line managers in the business - key stakeholders in the success (or failure) of development training.

If managers don’t understand the process, there is a danger they will not support or challenge people on their development plans. Worse, they might inadvertently conspire to sabotage the process, and more senior managers may meddle unhelpfully in the overall process.

We can overcome this problem and reap even greater rewards by involving managers in development programmes. We can involve them as facilitators, or invite them to input information, and network informally.

There are more exciting ways too - perhaps they can feel a little risky - but the pay-off is well worth the discomfort:

We’ve just run a programme where groups create their own presentations about their learning and then deliver this to a large group of managers, including Directors.

It can be pretty nerve-racking, wondering if the group will impress, because if they don’t the programme will surely be negatively judged and lose support.

But when a very influential and somewhat undecided manager leaves really impressed, the programme has a champion in the business that it didn’t have before … Perhaps the very best kind of champion.

This is experiential learning at its best. A meaningful challenge with the full engagement of the business.

Read related case studies here, and here.

How can you get the business behind development training?