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What IS the best way to get the message through, and can you prove it?

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I am in need of some theory on how to get new training into an organisation. The retail organisation concerned is about 3000 people, the majority of whom are not on any sort of email, but are on the same site.
I know the fundamentals are support from the top and communication, but I need a bit more than that. Does anyone have any examples of when top level support really DID make a difference? Any theory on communication tips? Please email me if you need to - [email protected]

Many, many thanks,
Nikki
Nikki Brun

3 Responses

  1. Impetus comes from the middle
    Nikki,

    I agree that commitment does need to come from the top etc etc.

    However it does not actually engage people at that level.

    In my career, at least twice I have taken a different approach I have used twice to good effect.

    Both times we had senior management saying, we have to train more people to take on expanding roles, the problem is that this came right from the top and was not engaged by middle management.

    I (as neither a trainer or a manager at the time) took it upon myself to engage some of the potential trainees and suggest we had a get together which was sold to the company as one engineer working with other engineers to get smarter at solving some problems.

    What it really was, was a king of clandestine training program to show my colleagues the opportunities they could face, and the skills and knowledge they needed to make that change of direction.

    In both cases after a few of these meetings some of the middle managers got curiuous, some of them blew their lids, and they were invited along to see how it was helping the company, how it was actually helping them as managers (face up to demands of inevitable change), and that the hill was not so steep for the field agents once they had started to get the basic ideas of what extra training they might need.

    So I started the step change by the back door, at next to no cost to the organisation, and within 3 months (we only has these meetings once a month) we had the majority of middle management on-board.

    It worked becuase I did ask my immediate manager to stand in the shadows and back me up if things got ugly (which they did not), and also becuase it was aligned to HQ objectives, so in theory even if I had gone ahead totally on my own, I could not have been said to work against the interests of the company.

    It worked so it proved to me engagement at the lower levels can work.

    Warnings : It can be risky, depends how where your allies are, and also how well networked into the trainees you are to get some traction with them in the first place.

    Also on email, with one project 20 years ago, I had access to email, but actually the communication was done by phone and face to face to suss out who would be best people to start with.

    One thing I did at a very large comapny was to run ‘sandwich sessions’ where we got a group together at the back of the canteen to give a 20 min breifing on the training available, so we used this as a way of selling the training, without too much time-compromise in a very busy organisation.

    One final thing – I have never found that TOP level support makes that much difference, because in just about every case where everything has been discussed from the top, agreed from the top, it gets lost when the top move onto their next favourite action.

    So get middle level sponsorship its more in the interest of these people to make sure you can make their lives more productive.

    Hope this helps, Pete

  2. You can trigger the thought process of the training by propagati
    Hi Nikky,
    You can frame a slogan, about the program for the entire bundle of audience.
    Next you can put across a slogan with a question tag to all the audience in the visible area after selection.
    This is would first have a nice penetration & awareness
    ! wt do you say,,?
    AJITHA
    HR
    098842 94422

  3. What IS the best way to get the message through, and can you pro
    Hi Nikki, thanks for the question. Support from the top is vital to your activities, most of us know that training interventions and change programmes most commonly fail because the senior teams don’t buy in or even worse pay ‘lip service’ to them. A couple of great books for quotes and research are The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner and Transfer of Training by Broad and Newstrom.

    AND

    There is another way that may be ideal for you organisation. THE most effective communication method in most organisations are the ‘jungle drums’ on the shop floor. If you get a small but influential people involved and develop them to become advocates then you’re likely to start a ‘forest fire’ about how good this training is. Another analogy is how can you infect a group of people with a positive v*rus that spreads throughout the organisation?

    Feel free to drop me a line if you’d like to chat more.

    Best wishes,

    Richard

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