One of the most heartening things we’ve seen over the years since we began in 1991 is that more and more companies recognise the importance of training. When we started Impact Factory nearly 28 years ago, we often felt as though we were ‘crying in the wilderness’ to get organisations to recognise that their people needed development. Of course, all those years ago people didn’t move around in their careers the way they do now, and training was often seen as an indication that there were problems that needed sorting.
Yes, there are still times when we’re brought in because of communication breakdowns, conflict in the workplace or other ‘problems’ that do need addressing, but by far the majority of the work we now do isn’t remedial; it’s to give participants new skills, greater insights into their own and other’s behaviour, a chance to test out new ideas and enhance creativity.
These new skills and behaviours are absolutely key to help people stay nimble as the world changes around them, which it is doing on a continual, accelerated basis. Not only that, what is often said about Millennials – that they are ambitious and are hungry to learn – is definitely true.
What is ‘the world’ talking about now? AI of course. AI is being touted as the next big technology revolution and yes, technology has already changed and will continue to change our lives in huge ways, both at work and at home. New stuff is being created and thought about continually, some of which will impact the working world in massive ways we cannot really calculate now.
However, unless AI replaces us completely (a rather dystopian view as far as I’m concerned), people will still need to be at the heart of any business. Real people making real decisions that will affect other real people.
That’s why we believe (and always have) that when people are taken care of, they flourish, which in turn contributes to the success of their organisations. One way to take care of people is to really listen to what they say they need to feel more confident, improve their skills and generally make their work life better.
That’s where tailored training comes in.
A very, very long time ago I was an usherette at The New York State Theatre and the powers that be decided we lot should have bespoke uniforms. My measurements were carefully taken and a couple of fittings later I had a dream uniform – I loved it!
If you’ve ever successfully had clothing or shoes made just for you, you know what I mean: the suit, dress, shoes fit like a glove because they were tailor made.
Tailoring a training goes through a similar process: your organisation’s ‘measurements’ are carefully taken, a proposal is written and gets tweaked and the end result is something just for you and your people, that should fit you like a glove.
Exceptional training (and of course we think we are exceptional) has many benefits, just taking some time out of everyone’s busy days makes an enormous difference. People get to know and support each other; they get to tackle issues together and get their voices heard; they feel more self-assured and capable and they feel valued by their company.
I probably sound like a broken record when I talk about people being at the heart of an organisation, but it’s true. By all means, invest in technology, invest in AI, invest in new systems – they will all help. Invest in your people and they and you will thrive.
For those of you who would like some statistics, here are some we’ve got from a substantial study Accenture* did with over one million employees involved in change initiatives.
They found that ‘high levels of passion and drive can increase benefits realisation by 50%,’ and conversely, ‘high levels of fear and frustration can result in a more than 20% decline.’ In addition, they say that ‘5 of the top 7 barriers to transforming and advancing a company are due to the “human factor”.
By Jo Ellen Grzyb, Director.
*’How the Human Factor can Make or Break Growth’
Find out more about our Tailored Training Programmes