Training is One Answer To Transfer TPS but it Needs ...

To be Successful...

A long while ago, when starting my industrial career, I was required to take Forklift Operation and Safety.  For those who know me well, the idea of me actually driving a forklift is cause for fright.  To date, I have avoided this task for the safety of everyone working around me.  However, the training was truly interesting for me and boring for the rest of the class (if sleeping heads is any indication).

I watched the film clips, listened intently to the stats and observed my fellow trainees to see if they were awake and as scared as I was.  Unfortunately, they slept on and they were the ones who were destined to drive these monsters.  Now I was afraid and annoyed that the trainer didn't wake everyone up.  At the end of class, they climbed out of their desks, signed their names and went back to work.  In a couple of weeks they would be taking a "practical course" to demonstrate their driving skill.  I would not.  I just had to stay out of the way on the construction site and later manage forklift drivers.

I hold this memory in my head as a terrible example of training.  I think most of it is obvious from my story but there are some things I would like to get your comments on.  These are opinions that I have formed from many years designing and delivering training:

  1. Clarifying expectations -If people don't know why they are attending the training and how it fits to their job expectations, they might as well have stayed home.  They are simply confused the whole time.  I have had to postpone training sessions because the participants had no idea why they were there and what came after the training.  Of course, we worked through it with management and the trainees but it didn't make for a good training environment.
  2. The Results -What is expected by the management team or mentor for the group.  Is there anyone in the management team that "owns" the results of the training?
  3. The Follow-Up - Coaching to support the newly trained as they try and struggle to achieve implementation in their own jobs.  For some, it will be natural but others will struggle and need direct support to be confident enough to try.  Does anyone know who the support person is and are they qualified to help?

What Should We Do? Cancel the Training?  Nooooooo, but what are some things you have tried?   Are you willing to share your stories?  I will share some more of what I have done next week.  Some worked, others were not so great.  We can learn from both.

- Lesa