How to Prepare for Training

prepare for trainingHow to prepare and engage your team for training

I was discussing with a client yesterday how to get their customer facing team prepared for some forthcoming training. Although I will be the one delivering the training to reap the full benefit…

I can’t do this alone.

When carrying out any training what happens before and after is just as important as the training itself if you are to get a return on your investment of time, money and effort, and start to see a positive impact.

For whoever is delivering the training, naturally there’s plenty to do beforehand.

But it’s just as important to get the participants prepared if you want to get them engaged and turning up for the training in the right frame of mind.

Here are 3 considerations to help prepare for training and get started on the right track, whether you are delivering the training yourself or using an external trainer.

1. Keep in mind delegates’ schedules and personal circumstances

You can’t expect someone to spend even half an hour, let alone half a day in a training session on top of a 9 hour shift and still get full benefit from the training.

Or remain fully focused on the training if it means being late for the school run or missing the kids’ bedtime.

Give plenty of warning and aim to schedule training so it doesn’t interfere with their normal routine outside work, or potentially getting behind in their work resulting in the stress caused by playing catch-up.

2. Tell people what the training is about and why they are attending.

Some people see training as a punishment or a criticism of how they do things now.

Relate the training to a personal benefit; will it make their job easier, quicker, safer or more interesting? Will it put them in a better position to progress to a new role they aspire to? Will it give them more confidence and independence in their role?

You shouldn’t ignore the business benefits, but help them identify what’s in it for them too, so at least they turn up to the training with a bit of enthusiasm.

3. Recognise not every problem equates to a training need.

If there are shortfalls are these down to lack of time, resources, motivation, or authority?  If so recognise these and have a plan to fix these otherwise they become an ‘excuse’ for people not to adopt change.

Be careful not to use training as a way to improve one person’s shortfall when everyone else is already doing an excellent job. In my experience the good people see through it instantly (and begrudge having to waste time or worse see it as an insult), whilst the person it is aimed at is often blissfully unaware!

Action point

So if you only do one thing to prepare for training – tell people what’s in it for them.

Related video: How people learn

Getting an ROI on training


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One thought on “How to Prepare for Training

  1. Alicia Byrne

    You are very right to point out that some people see training as a form of criticism of their performance at work. I would imagine that telling people about the reason they are attending a customer service training can actually be beneficial for the person to absorb the key points of said training. Like you said, if someone is a company owner, they would want their business’s employees to make good use of the investment the company put on them to actually help everyone grow together to provide the best service for their customers.

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