Many Training Professionals Fear This: Do You?
Honest evaluation also means having the courage to report all data to stakeholders, whether positive or negative. It is always nice when the data is positive; that makes reporting easy and fun. But what if some of it indicates problems, or poorer results than were desired? Training will not get respect if we don’t openly share this information and then open a discussion about how to improve.
A training manager at a hospital told us that she actually got more respect from the board of directors when she shared that an important initiative was not working well than when she only gave them the good news. She said that when she shared challenges andwhat they did to remediate them, she built more trust than when she shared good news alone. Honesty is believable, and honest people are not always bearers of good news.
Finally, honest training professionals tell their stakeholders when the intervention they request will not solve the problem at hand. More often than not, problems in the workplace are not the result of a lack of employee knowledge or skill. They are due to a lack of employee willingness to do what they need to do to accomplish the desired results, or a culture that sends a mixed message about what is expected.
You may have to give your stakeholders a brief education in what training can and cannot do, and then be prepared to provide assistance with performance support tactics. Here are a few suggestions:
• Provide job aids, on-demand tools or a help desk
• Make coaching and mentoring available
• Align rewards with desired behaviors
• Communicate clear and aligned organizational goals
• Track performance
• Report progress on key metrics