The indirect benefits of training

The indirect benefits of training should be regarded as important.

Good training leads to improved skills and productivity gains. Good training leads to behaviour that matches the job and customer requirements.

But what about the indirect benefits? What messages do you give team members when you provide them with training opportunities?

The indirect (or intangible) benefits are often overlooked.

People like to feel valued. They like to feel important. Although managers should not treat training as a reward, staff members often see it as recognition, if not a reward. The messages received include:

  • “I am valuable.”
  • “The organisation cares about my development.”
  • “They are recognising me as a person.”
  • “They really do want me to learn.”

A lot depends on the type of training provided. As e-learning has become more prevalent, and the emphasis has tended towards technical competence and compliance requirements, the training has become less personal. Although important, this type of training will not have the same benefits unless there is a very high level of collaboration.

tnaiconThere is nothing better than being with your peers in a learning situation, whether they are your colleagues or people from different organisations who share similar needs and challenges. The opportunity to discuss and clarify thoughts and ideas really matters. Realising the similarities or differences that exist really aid understanding and learning.

When considering training solutions, face to face (training room) training may be a better option. Unless e-learning is very sophisticated with lots of collabouration opportunities, or distance cannot be overcome, the indirect benefits of face to face training should also be part of the training investment calculations. Time is a very precious resource. Training time should be well used.

2 thoughts on “The indirect benefits of training

  1. As with many topics targeting best training methods for self-development and new skills acquisition, there is no black and white one size fits all magic solution.
    Some people will swear that external training organizations are the way to go, others will prefer e-learning or e-training products, while again others like myself sees clear benefits to each of the two services.
    The one question that must be asked is: what type of new skills are we trying to acquire?
    If the answer revolves around process, procedure or even tool, then an e-learning training method might be sufficient to effectively and efficiently respond to the trainee’s expectations.
    If the answer revolves around soft skills or framework heavily involving human relationship and communication, then a specialized and external training organization might be better suited to achieve the desired outcomes.

    Now, let’s take the example of an individual looking at gaining effective communication (soft) skills. What training service will bring him/her the most value?
    In order to justify the below points, the individual in question is myself, who has experienced Effective communication skills provided through an e-learning platform as well as an external vendor training organization.
    E-learning platform experience:
    - Passive method of learning with limited types of exercise and feedback
    - One-dimensional training delivery, assuming the trainee won’t have questions and take the content as granted
    - Requires strict commitment to the training by shutting off surrounding noise and distraction
    - Lack of practical experience sharing and feedback from instructor or peers
    - Content can be made relevant to a specific country / region while less relevant to your needs
    External training organization experience:
    - Active method of learning with relevant (customized) exercise and feedback
    - Multi-dimensional training delivery, through inputs from the trainer but also co-trainees
    - Content can be tailored at the participants’ request or to a specific industry or geographical country / region
    - Leverage of the trainer knowledge and experience through questions resulting from a live environment course
    - Human experience, away from the office environment and distractions
    If I was to summarize in one sentence what soft skills training method achieves better results, it would say: Human interaction skills are best delivered by human beings (over machines) for the simple reason that feelings come into play and no program can remotely match the trainer’s wealth of personal history and experience.

  2. Thank’s Fred.

    I sincerely believe that soft skills training is about conversations with real people (the trainer and participants).

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