Training and Development
Why do you train?

Why do you train?

Simon Sinek is renowned for his innovative thoughts and ideas that challenge individuals and companies to rethink how they do business but the most important of these that he brought to the fore was to “Start with Why”.

This notion is critical in business and can be applied to every aspect of our working lives, be it at an individual or collective level. It is especially crucial when discussing Learning and Development (L&D) – and often the answer to this question is not tacit.

Our approach to L&D is simple. Don’t sell – solve! The only way to solve a challenge or a problem is to really understand what the need is and:

Why is problematic?

Why is it an imperative?

Why must we find a solution?

Why am I using this training provider?

Why are we doing what we are doing?

The first four Why’s inform the final and most important Why. The broad reasons though – and this is in any industry, at any level, anywhere in the world – are:

  1. We train for productivity, profitability, career-advancement, succession-planning, employee engagement and a multitude of other operationally-driven reasons.
  2. We train for compliance purposes such as Health and Safety or B-BBEE.
  3. We train for financial reasons such as reclaiming skills levies.

Often companies will train for more than one of thee reasons. The reasoning behind the Why, however, determines the best possible learning solutions that should be implemented. So why do things go pear-shaped from time-to-time? Why are the best intended programmes sometimes disasters waiting to happen?

The answer to this depends on the “Why” being answered. What often seems to be the case is that the right training interventions are selected but the wrong programme is provided for the wrong audience. One needs to match the:

  1. Levels of the learners to the programme level and modality (face-to-face; virtual instructor-led or fully self-paced).
  2. The content of the programmes to the job descriptions and requirements of the learners.
  3. The contents of the programmes to the needs of the business.
  4. The type of programme to ensure compliance and finance goals are achieved.
  5. Time constraints of the learners and the business to the type of programmes being implemented.

The hardest part really happens once all of this is considered, and that is the consolidation of all the needs of all the stakeholders (individual and business) to answer the question we asked in the first place – “Why do you Train?”. If you cannot answer the question or things are not going well with a particular provider, then maybe it is time to ask some harder Why’s and to find more objective ways to implement effective training solutions.

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