Quickly assess the DNA of your key trainings to improve your results

Derek Robertson.jpg

Derek Robertson , CEO
(Chartered FCIPD, MCMI, MInstLM, NLP Practitioner and Coach) 
Author of The Great Cape Escapade (A Fable about effective meetings)

6 min read

22 October 2021




You want results from your trainings and be the boardroom hero.  Here’s a way to improve your measurable results with a nod to CRISPR.  CRISPR?

The Netflix documentary Human Nature captivated me.  I made some comparisons to achieving improved returns from our clients’ precious training spend.  With the greatest respect to the countless researches and gazillions of money to get humanity to where it is today let me summarise.

Humanity is at the point where it can pinpoint and change the exact DNA letter to, for example, cure sickle cell anaemia.  To precisely target one letter in 6.4 billion is an awe inspiring development on a par with the wheel.

If you haven’t heard of CRISPR check it out here

Potential for training results

Think of the benefit when you cure issues with participants applying training.  For example, you’ve invested £20K in a training programme.  It’s essential to business success but you’re nervous that results at work may be in jeopardy.

The DNA of successful training

Our clients and the Robertson Training team have proved over decades the DNA of measurable training results.  Success, that’s repeatable over and over again, is down to nine areas.  Jump straight to the simple training results DNA assessment if you wish here.  Meantime, here’s the dope on each one.

#1 Forensic needs analysis

“Something on assertiveness” is like the detective declaring with pride someone attending the World Cup final did it.  Success starts with using the initial “Something on assertiveness” to then answer these questions:

  1. What specifically is the desired capability?
  2. What specifically is the current capability?
  3. What specifically is the gap between the two?
  4. What is the recommendation for how best to bridge the gap?

#2 Line manager as partner

The line manager provides the environment for:

  • Participants to give their best to the training
  • Opportunities to apply back at work
  • Support, challenge and quality feedback

If line managers are posted missing in the process, measurable results become random chance.  It’s why world leaders like Kirkpatrick partners encourage signing on as well as signing up to a programme.

#3 Participants vivid about success

Like elite athletes the more vivid participants are about what success means for them the more likely of that success.  Too many participants arrive at training as cold as the Alaskan tundra.

#4 Reasons to apply

The age old “What’s in it for me”.  Or as Lex McKee would encourage us, “Tune in to WII fm”. 

Applying training is a like learning to swim.  It takes risk, effort and failures on the road to success.  Why would organisations think participants will ‘go there’ without compelling reasons?  I don’t mean ‘You're fired’.  I mean how will they benefit.

My 50 metre breast stroke resulted in a certificate, a lapel badge and a fiver from my Dad (it was 1974!).

#5 Training designed for adults

Sadly I see the training world full of training designs that pile in content with a discussion and activity if there’s time.  Instead of skilled facilitators the deliverer is a presenter who loves the spotlight.  Yet we’ve known for decades the science and art of helping adults learn quickly.  For example to learn a new language to degree level in under 20 days.  Yet business training remains with the flawed logic of participants as empty vessels waiting to be filled instead of creative, complex adults with loads of experience to bring to their training.

#6 Supporting workplace action

It’s self-evident that without support back at work the training will fade for all but the 5% who are self-motivated anyway.

#7 Consequences for not applying

You invest in a flagship programme to achieve desired results that’ll sustain or grow the business.  Why then wouldn’t you have consequences for participants not applying the learning?  It’s a legitimate lever to workplace action.

#8 Celebrating measurable results

Participants and organisationally it’s trumpet blowing time.

#9 Closing the loop

Returning to the design and engage the stakeholders from participants, line managers and HR.  Thank people, publish the feedback and bank all the organisational learning about what worked and didn’t for next time.

Your takeaways

  • Look at each of the nine ingredients of your training success DNA
  • Engage others in your discussions
  • Once an aspect works, it’ll work for all future trainings

Final thought

If you do just one thing, commit to a forensic needs analysis.  It’s the foundation.

Your next action

Check out the following free resources and downloads to help you:

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