THE BUSINESS COACH with Laura Murphy: Training isn’t working

Q: “I’ve tried to improve staff attitudes by running training courses but nothing’s changed. I don’t know what to do next.” John

A: “You’ve correctly identified behaviour traits within the team which are having a negative impact on performance. You’ve selected appropriate training courses for them. So why isn’t it working?

Training is more than just putting someone on a course and letting them get on with it. It’s about the person, the context, what’s required and organisational response. What’s their individual motivation, is their environment promoting poor behaviour or is there something wrong with the business culture? Each part needs to be understood and addressed if you want real change.

With any training, when back in the workplace the old dynamics can take over, no matter how enthusiastic the individual, and particularly if management is weak. People are used to operating under the “old rules” and perversely, want to maintain the status quo. A different approach could be an irritant so the workplace needs help to adapt too. It’s long been acknowledged that learning, followed by coaching, provides better outcomes. It’s essential that the individuals have an action plan of how they’re going to implement the new behaviours, the team needs to respond positively, the manager needs to performance manage all of this and the organisation should give due recognition for doing things differently.

Ensure the conditions are right for reinforcement of the behaviour change, you’ve still got time to do that, and then you will get real benefits.”

Laura is an organisation development specialist and executive coach with mtc2 ltd.  To solve your problem email Tweet @WayfinderWoman Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.