Paul Panebianco Feb 09, 2017
 Frustrated man

I have been running my training company and consultancy for a few years now. I have had my share of ups and downs to perfect our workplace training offering. However, the one thing I have learnt over time when providing training is to ensure your participants say positive things at the end of the training day - and to listen and learn when they don't.

Why feedback is so important

Positive feedback is the overriding criteria we use when selecting trainers to partner with or employ. We are fortunate in that we have a core of fantastic and loyal trainers who consistently receive outstanding feedback form their participants. Having happy course participants ensures you receive repeat business and deliver the best training outcomes. This focus has enabled us to become a national training organization with an expanding array of training courses that are now offered in every capital city across Australia.

Whenever I engage with a new trainer I emphasise the importance of receiving a positive review at the end of the day.

I don’t dictate a training style but I do insist that positive feedback from happy participants is an absolute must.

We almost take it for granted that our trainers are top-quality until something goes wrong. Here is how one went wrong for us recently.

We received a call from an unhappy client who reported the following after a recent training day:

  • The class size was 18 – more than what we recommend.
  • Class duration was only 2 hours starting in the mid afternoon after other in-house training had completed.
  • Content was beyond the ability of most of the group and the training pre-assessment we provide to gauge the ability of the cohort was not used

This reflected poorly on the training coordinator who was assigned to coordinate the training (part of the reason our advice was not followed was that the company’s National Manager was in attendance and the coordinator was more interested in following the instructions of the manager than following our advice).

Complaints against our company are taken seriously but on reflection the training day was set up to fail. However, the training coordinator had failed to follow our recommendations or use the tools we provided. Even the best trainer would have had difficulties with a tired, disinterested, large group of staff made to do training they had little engagement in.

What was the fall out and how to make workplace training successful?

For day 2, we were set to train Excel Beginner to a different group within the company. We assigned our core trainer and we were meticulous to ensure:

-        All pre-assessments were complete

-        Attendees with strong results were encouraged not to attend, and instead attend a later session more suited to their level.

-        We had a smaller class size to maximize the effectiveness of the training.

What were the results?

We received glowing reviews at the end of day two, which was such a relief.

This engagement acted as a learning experience and reinforced our confidence in our systems. In the future, we will ensure that clients follow our advice and draw on our experience so everyone gets a positive outcome.

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