We have all had to adapt to a changing workforce this year which has meant some things that may have been a consistent part of our employee experience (or perhaps something you wanted to get going this year), have fallen away.  For many workplaces this has been internal training and I wanted to help you get this back on track, or at least get started.

Internal training is one of those important not urgent activities.  I say this, because my most recent training session I conducted with the wattsnext team was all about personal effectiveness and we delved deep into Stephen Covey’s matrix.  Running the session reminded me how important it is to focus on those tasks that can easily be put off, because they really are the ones that make the difference.

The problem with internal training, other than it isn’t urgent, is that it can feel like it takes up a lot of everyone’s time, especially the trainer, and no one is excited to attend (because it is usually boring). 

Here are three tips to help you get training back on the list of non-negotiables in your business, where it should be!

  1. Commit – training is critical but as I said it can be put off without too much argument.  It is important to lock in a set date and time it occurs and is locked into everyone’s calendar and cannot be moved.  It’s up to you as the leader to make sure this appointment does not get moved.  At wattsnext we call our internal training program ‘Tune Up Tuesday’.  It is held on the first Tuesday of every month from 8-9am.  Everyone in the business must attend and cannot be late.  That’s the rule!  
  • Share – as the leader you do not have to be the only one doing the training!  Everyone in the business can have a turn because everyone has something they can teach.  This may be a topic they research and present on, or a special skill or interest they have.  Remember it doesn’t all have to be about serious work either.  If someone is particularly good at being organized and keeping a tidy work area this could be a useful topic.  I have learnt that some of my most simple topics have been the most well received.  If you want to share the training load set a schedule of when each person is running training and let them take the lead.  It helps to build confidence and presentation skills but also you may be surprised of the creativity you have in your team.
  • Have fun – your training does not have to be a perfectly presented PowerPoint presentation that you have spent hours preparing.  You can mix up how you do it.  Maybe it’s watching a Ted Talk together (no work for you other than finding a relevant talk), talking off the cuff about something you know inside out (like sharing your story which I go on about all the time), reviewing client work together, grouping the team to come up with ideas, everyone reading a book and reviewing it.  Design your training to work with your style.  The point is to teach them something they can use not how you present it.

I utilise our monthly Tune Up Tuesdays to develop the team in personal and professional skills that I know will help them at work and in life.  Whilst it takes a little time for me, I find that I always benefit from the preparation.  I am reminded of what’s important and it ‘tunes up’ my skills just as much as my team (maybe even a little more).

Change your mindset around internal training and see it is as a great opportunity to come together, have fun, be inspired and become better together. Plus it doesn’t have to be hard if you don’t make it hard!

Good luck!

Author: Sel Watts
Sel, the Founder of wattsnext Group, is a visionary and inspiring business leader. With a deep passion for small to medium business (SMB), Sel brings gutsy honesty and commercial realism to the table. A true entrepreneur, Sel is committed to disrupting the way business owners utilise HR and increase performance and engagement. She is also curious about technology and the future of work, using her business as an experimental lab of forward-thinking methodologies to help her clients achieve peak performance. Sel is also the Co-Founder of multiple businesses and spends time coaching other business owners, keeping it real with her vast tactical experience of growing businesses. She also has a pretty interesting life story which you can check out at her personal website sue-ellenwatts.com.

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