By Mark Dolinski, Vice President of Training and Professional Development
“The more seriously you take your growth, the more seriously your people will take you.” – John Maxwell
What is a customized training program? Is it better than normal professional development programs? The answer is it depends what the objective is of the business. There are many situations where our regular professional training programs more than meet the needs of the customer. Today, let’s explore some situations where an organization should consider a customized professional development program from the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA).
One of the primary reasons an organization sends employees to our open professional development programs is to grow and expand the critical skills and competencies lead workers, supervisors and managers need to perform their role effectively, grow bench strength for succession planning and to support employees recently promoted or taking on a greater responsibility in the business.
A customized training program is needed when an organization is facing significant change such as:
- New competition
- Implementing a new process
- Introducing a new product line
- Hiring new employees
- Experiencing rapid growth to the operation.
In these circumstances customized training is critical for aligning the vision, communication, accountability, empowerment and leadership of the organization.
So, what is a customized training program? GRCA delivers non-technical professional development programs to our clients. It starts with listening to the customer to understand where they are now and where they want to take their organization. It is truly a collaborative process of learning what is currently working for the organization and where gaps exist to get to the goal. One of the most important steps in the process is to hear the voice of senior leadership, management and the front-line supervisors. This may necessitate surveying the client, holding group discussions and having one on one meetings.
Once a training solution is developed it is then brought to the client’s champion for review. Customized training programs require an internal senior level champion to support the program. The champion plays a critical role in setting the expectation to the participants of the program and their managers. Customized training programs are not “events,” but often long-term engagements lasting weeks or months. The champion is needed to ensure participants not only attend the sessions but are reporting back to their managers on what is working and where they are struggling. Customized training programs are a team effort! A properly designed program will have long-term, lasting impact on the behavior and thinking of the participants, as Warren Bennis states, “Growing other leaders from the ranks isn’t just the duty of the leader, it’s an obligation.”
The customized training programs can occur onsite at the organization, at our state-of-the-art training facility in Wyomissing or a location of the clients choice. Depending upon the scope of the program, individual check-in calls may also be integrated into the program. With the COVID-19 pandemic, GRCA is now offering virtual customized training programs. The key is to have a properly designed program with experienced facilitators to maximize impact of the program. Once the formal program ends, we check in with the participants and their managers at predetermined times to ensure the training has been assimilated into the participants and the organization. Results are than shared with senior leadership.
Some organizations have concerns about the cost of customized training programs. Once it is realized that customized training programs are just as cost effective as sending employees to generic training, customized training seems to be the way to go. Plus, customized training programs further add to the organization’s return on investment by increasing productivity, innovation and employee engagement.
What are you waiting for? Contact Mark Dolinski to learn how you can bring a customized training program to your business today.