Are we wasting money on training?

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Are you also wasting most of your money on training?

Tony Dovale

I recently completed a Seta TQM course. It was interesting, quite informative, and created a huge amount of paperwork for my sponsor company who was also busy with ISO 9000 accreditation. Did they really need this to be successful? How would this grow their staff attitude, energy, commitment, passion or engagement?

As I sat observing the students questions, comments and attitudes on the workshop, my mind wandered back to the research that indicates that ONLY 10%-12% of what we were learning will go back and be applied in the workplace. I began thinking what would be the most important 10% that I would want to go back and become fully utilized in the workplace.

It got me digging really deeply into what is it that we should be doing as a basis for people effective development. We don’t need more TQM, "make-a-huge-lot-of-paper', "anyone can "gypo' admin systems. We need coaching and resources that enable us to directly get to the CORE of the person. We need to build people’s "can-do' and "want-to-do' attitude, self-image and resilience.

Firstly. we need workshops and support systems where people can begin to light their own fires, where they can begin to take control, take charge, take Response-Ability, and become inspired to create a better, more appealing and more prosperous future. Then we need TQM systems and such.

In South Africa, we have extremely high levels of Learned Helplessness or low resilience. Most people have just given up, and trying to motivate them to do a better job is like trying to push a wet piece of string up stairs! I believe that all this training that Setas are sponsoring and arranging is almost totally wasted! We are wasting billions of rands each and every day, because the people we are trying to train need different input as a foundation before this training can be totally worthwhile.

The logical level of development should start deep inside the person. It starts with beliefs about self; self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, identity, resilience, attitude, emo-energetic leaks etc. All of these areas directly impact on the person’s ability to concentrate, learn, consolidate, think and apply information or skills.

What does it help to try to teach a person with low self-esteem, and an attitude from hell, about customer service? What use is it to teach a person, or a team, TQM stuff, when their real important areas are safety, service and staff engagement? These are critical attitudinal and self development aspects that get totally left of training out every time.

I would rather have a team of medium knowledge people, who are passionate, proactive, inspired, engaged and "on-fire' with a goal and a "cando' attitude, than a team of professors with PHD’s, who are demotivated, have bad attitudes, and are going nowhere with learned-helplessness.

We don’t need more information or systems. The reason why more than 80% of CRM systems fail is because of the human-element. The human element is the crux of our future success. And few are addressing this area effectively. We need to begin to address our human element before we try to get them TQM’ing everywhere. It’s about building significance, positive attitude and engagement. It’s about building up from the inside out.

We need to help people to break their "belief-bonds' of learned helplessness. We need to assist people with building high CORE Adversity intelligence, so they can be resilient, active and Response-Able. These are then the people who can take the training and apply much more than 12% back in the workplace. These are the people who will set the pace and lead.

Most people know what to do, but they don’t do what they know. Why?...because they don’t feel like it! We have the opportunity and the resources through the Setas to rectify this problem. If only they could catch the vision! Learning has no real worth in a frightened or angry mind, because our emotions control the doorway to performance and success.

Tony Dovale - tonydovale@coachfree.com