Productivity training, skills training and other employee training programs are critically important. But one expert lists what trainers should stop doing right away.
The article came from our friends at 1st Class Solutions (which unfortunately has since been removed but a copy is here), and includes the following advice:
- Stop being responsible. Consider the fact that if you are responsible, then your learners are not responsible. You hinder their ability to create emotional connections to the learning. Start finding ways to cause active participation and start holding participants responsible for their learning and application.
- Stop speaking. When participants speak, learning is more likely to happen. Participants forget more than 90 percent of what you say within days, yet connect emotionally to their peers’ comments. Start HEARing them: Hint at connections; ask for Elaboration or an Example; offer Affirmation by agreeing, encouraging, or praising; and Reflect to connect to how they could apply what they learned.
- Stop telling. Being told, sold, or lectured to decreases learner esteem and increases passiveness. Start liberating learning by offering real problems to solve; allow all answers to be valid; time their ability to produce results; and leverage competition to generate the best application back to work. Start every learning experience with the participants finding their voice through sharing their best practices, challenges, or conditions in which they apply the skills to be learned.
- Stop coaching. Move the focus from your ability to coach to developing the participants’ ability to coach each other. Start asking participants to identify and give feedback to their peers. Identification and feedback skills become necessary abilities to implement the learning insights back at work. Start building the skills and tools required for application to shift engagement from the learning environment to the workplace.
- Stop using PowerPoint. Relying on PowerPoint illustrates a lack of preparation and understanding of your own content—which causes disengagement. Start designing learning to give the participants the content and let them discover and invent links to their workplace.
This advice comes from Doug Bolger, and for the most part is excellent. But here’s what’s crucially important: these words of wisdom have nothing to do with training. Instead, they are tactics for increasing productivity with all types of communication and interaction at the office.
For example, if you want other people to take ownership at work, try being a little less responsible yourself. This might seem counter intuitive, but if you let go of tasks and encourage others to pick up the pieces, you’ll not only have more productive employees, you’ll have people who care more about the work they do.
Likewise, if you’re running a meeting, consider spending less time talking. Instead, ask others for their opinions. Solicit feedback and ideas. You can even request that people advocate a different point of view to help stir good discussion.
Increasing productivity at work is not as simple as walking away, however. Although the author suggests that we should “leverage competition”, research actually shows that people can become too competitive regarding workplace productivity. Instead, take the opportunity to promote collaboration by ensuring people have interesting problems to solve as a team.
If you want your organization to be more productive, a key first step is to stop doing what you are doing. It’s likely that many of your management techniques actually limit productivity because people feel stifled or trapped in their current environment.
Try it yourself! Consider stopping. If you want more information on how to bring this to your organization, contact the business development team at AccelaWork today! We’ll be happy to help you reach your goals.