Everyone loves to hate training meetings. Maybe it’s that evil, ever-so-banal meeting word.
If you produce training meetings, you seem to always work too hard to get something compelling and informative put together.
If you attend them, you hope for something new and interesting. As a professional you want to be challenged with real adult education or not.
God forbid, we have to listen to Bob go on and on about his latest Civil 3D menu hack…yet again.
In most organizations training meetings they come and they go. They know not what they do. Many people miss the factors that affect training. Hint: read Learn & Burn.
For all successful people and their organizations training happens with regularity.
Smart companies learn painfully that the ritual is integral part of the magic. The training content and the presenters must be varied. People do think and learn differently. I’m a big advocate of making everyone stand and deliver. If you can present it, you’ve probably learned more. I’ve learned amazing technology stuff from a new, front-desk receptionist as we shall see in a bit.
Needless to say…
Everyone Wants to be Fed
The menu has to vary and much as the content and presenters.
I never turn down good donuts and great pizza. It shows. They show up on time. Good meetings and meals go together- seriously. It’s a vital and potent human thing. No food budget? I’ve done brown bag training sessions where I made everyone sit down and wait for everyone else. Now pass your food to the person to your right. Funny things is - the next time everyone is a lot more careful about what they bring and who they sit next to. They arrived with a more attentive demeanor to say the least.
I Don’t Mean Just Food
Do stupid contests and awards. A roll of tickets with random numbers is cheap. Heck. You can self-create tickets with Post Its. Those simple bits of paper grant you participate interactions and involvement that you really cannot buy.
Participation is Everything
If the powers that be won’t fork over chump change for gift cards or other prizes, find a better place to work. They aren’t really interested in your training or personal development. You work for an organization that probably believes in the power of their paycheck not their people.
Once upon a time a new employee got a little rubber ducky purchased at a 99 cent store close out bin for less than that. My fickle finger of fate assigned her to do a presentation on Excel. 5+ years later that person happily but sadly moved on to another job out of town. The same little rubber ducky left with her proudly perched atop of her walk-out box. I had to ask, “Why?”
“I don’t really remember. I know you all gave it to me as prize for doing something well the first week I worked here. My little rubber ducky always saw me through all the rough tech calls. That’s silly I know.”
Nothing is Silly About Fun and Appreciation
A CAD manager called me last week with his latest CAD meeting training tip. He was so excited. I had to forward it on.
“I’ve given up setting up the laptop and all that crud. Way too much work.
I now use my phone and me blazin’ fingers.
Well, not really. I cheat and just change browser windows on my phone.”
He bought a Chromecast and hooks it up to the conference room flat screen. Before the meeting he opens a series of browser windows to the locations and content he wants to cover.
You get the picture…
“I called to say thanks for the all the public YouTube training video content on your site.
That’s how I discovered this.
Even your own site videos play and cast to full screen without a hitch.
Always something there to show and talk about.
I remember that you always did funny commercial videos in your AU presentations so I sometimes show a couple of those or even best of ESPN. Go Warriors!
Now the other people show up with stuff to cast.”
Warning Will Robinson
“Then my wife calls me in the middle of the meeting...”