Training in Tough Times

In an economic down turn organisations start to ‘trim the fat’ and look at almost anything they can remove to create a leaner organisation. One of those areas is training, probably not the core training they feel they have to run (Inductions and OHS) but the other training which all of a sudden feels like a luxury your team doesn’t need to have.

However there is one problem with that, your team may well need the training to get through the downturn. Examples, leadership and sales, your people have to now ‘put up or shut up’ so provide them with the tools to do it.

Okay so there are a couple of examples to ponder, however the cost and the timing can pose a few issues with cries of ‘How will we pay for it and fit it into a tight schedule’. Think of the flipside, how will you justify not doing it when the tough times hang in and the turnover of staff becomes an issue as slack performers get thrown aside.

Here are some options to consider.

  • Use key staff – You may have to top performers with the knowledge you want to impart, Leadership for example can be brainstormed to get the team thinking. Short sharp sessions can do that with discussions on what people find. Ask your key people about what they know, what they can impart and how.
  • Get into it early (or late) – If you have people working long hours then an early start or a late finish will not make much difference to them, slot short 20-40 minute training sessions into those early starts to get the team raring to go for the day. Or at the end of the day to give them food for thought after hours.
  • Mentoring and Coaching – This may not take up group time but individual time here and there to offer a way forward without taking up a big chunk of time. This can be done from outside, however if you train some internal staff to do it, then you can engage your staff while others learn, look at that a win/win situation.
  • Lunch sessions – A key note presentation where people bring their lunch with them could be a great way to get the team up to speed with great information and ideas. Consider a series of sessions on a key topic like creativity and innovation.
  • Break it down – If time is an issue and staffing levels are getting tight then consider small group sessions, that way staffing levels can be retained and staff get the info.
  • Meetings count – Short sharp pep talks and ‘thought storming’ sessions can utilise the collective intelligence of the team, gleaning ideas from the people you employ and sharing that occasionally can be very useful all round..

There’s no excuse not to train your people and give them more of the right resources to do their tasks to exceptional standards.

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