I’ve been in the organizational development and effectiveness ecosystem for over fifteen years and have been focused on optimizing individual, team and organizational productivity and performance for the last ten years as the Managing Partner of Working Simply.
In that time, I’ve worked with hundreds of companies to develop custom productivity training, coaching and change management strategies to elevate their team’s performance, profitability and impact. As you can imagine, I’ve seen the full spectrum of client success from exceptional to dismal.
It is agonizing to watch clients not achieve their goals after investing their two most precious resources – time and money – in a custom productivity training program.
Of course, projects can and will get derailed, however that does not need to happen to you.
Before you invest in a custom productivity training program, let’s identify and explore the four reasons why custom productivity training would not be the right option for your company.
The Four Reasons Why Custom Productivity Training Is Not Right For Your Company
There are four reasons why a custom productivity training program would not be right for your company:
- Number of Current Company Initiatives
- Commitment to Long Term, Sustainable Results
Let’s explore each of these four reasons so you can determine if a custom productivity training program is the right fit for your company.
There are 168 hours in a week. That’s it. So, when you introduce new initiatives and programs into your organization you are working with a fixed and finite commodity – your time.
A custom productivity training program requires a significant investment of your time. And, this time is not confined to just the training event itself. The training events can be a one-time, hour long workshop up to multiple days over a series of months depending on the scope of the engagement. The average amount of time our clients spend on a custom productivity training program is between six to fifteen hours a month for six months.
In order to deliver a custom productivity training program, your vendor partner will need to spend time with you and your team members to learn your company’s culture, explore existing workflows and processes, learn your technology tools, and/or conduct surveys, interviews or focus groups.
Once the assessment and cultural discovery phase concludes and your productivity training partner begins designing your custom program, you will be asked for additional time to review and provide feedback on the program framework, as well as, the program content elements like case studies or video scripts and/or participant materials.
Additionally, you might be asked to deploy surveys to establish a performance baseline prior to the start of the program or to gather and provide data to evaluate the ROI of the program after the program concludes.
It is also important to consider how much time you will need to invest to get stakeholder buy-in and alignment for the program.
Your final time consideration is the amount of time you will need to invest in project management and the on-going support and advocacy of the program. Depending on the scope of the program, we advise our clients to allocate between three to ten hours a month for project management and program advocacy.
The second reason that a custom productivity training program may not be not right for you is your budget.
Investing in training and developing your people has its price tag, and a custom productivity training program will be more expensive than an off-the-shelf solution.
There are six factors that will impact the cost of your productivity training:
- Training delivery format
- Training duration
- Number of training participants
- Amount of training program customization
- Tools and resources provided to support behavior change
As productivity training consultants, we are unwilling to waste your time or money. This would be like me taking my favorite treat, peanut M&Ms, to my exercise class and eating them while I worked out. Your time and money are a precious commodity.
As a result, we work very closely with you to understand your productivity training program goals and objectives and then guide you through each of these six factors to determine if a custom productivity training program will fit within your budget.
Your training partner should be able to offer a menu of customization options and the investment for each option so you can create the training experience that achieves your training objectives while staying within your budget.
3. Number of Current Company Initiatives
The third reason that a custom productivity training program may not be not right for you is the number of current company initiatives. The more initiatives you have going on the less likely you are to be a good fit for a custom productivity training program.
My team and I recently completed a culture change management program with a global bio-pharmaceutical company. The program was only marginally successful.
Because one of the teams engaged in the program was also in the middle of launching a new drug. Launching a new, potentially billion-dollar drug, to the pharmaceutical market is a significant investment of time and money.
In spite of our advice to begin the program after the drug’s launch, our client insisted that they had the time and energy to do both, which ultimately they did not.
Training and developing your team, changing your meeting culture or redesigning your workflows and current business processes requires a substantial investment of time and energy.
Before you consider a custom productivity training program, first identify what other initiatives and business objectives your team is current pursuing. Ask yourself if your team has the bandwidth to take on another program.
We also suggest you consider how much change your team has recently experienced. Too much change too quickly is not only overwhelming and fatiguing for your team, you will seldom achieve your goals.
The proper timing and sequencing of a custom productivity training program with your existing business deliverables and internal initiatives is critical for your success.
4. Commitment to Long Term, Sustainable Results
The fourth and final reason that a custom productivity training program may not be the right fit for your company is your willingness to commit to long term, sustainable results.
In the training industry, we have a term that is frequently used, “one and done”. “One and done” refers to a training event that is a single event that typically does not include any ongoing support to ensure knowledge transfer or the integration of new behaviors and skills into the existing culture.
“One and done” trainings keep me awake at night. Why?
Because they rarely, if ever, enable you to achieve your goals. However, “one and done” trainings remain a popular option because they are “easy.”
Training that yields long term, sustainable results requires a commitment, at times significant, of you. Leading change can be hard, overwhelming at times and — quite frankly — scary. If you aren’t ready to make a commitment of your time and energy to achieve long term results and willing to do the hard work of change then a custom productivity training program is not right for you.
An Alternative Solution to Custom Productivity Training
Custom productivity training is not right for your company if you don’t have the time or the budget to invest in the cost of developing and delivering a custom program, if you have too many current initiatives and business deliverables and if you are not willing to commit to long term, sustainable results.
So, what can you do if a custom productivity training program is not right for your company?
If we meet and realize a custom productivity training program is not the right fit for your organization or your want to experience what it’s like to work with our team before your make a significant time and monetary investment, we always recommend doing a pilot program.
A pilot program is a low risk, lower-priced option that does not require a substantial investment of your time, energy nor does it compete with other initiatives in your organization.
Ready to explore a pilot productivity training program for your organization?
Let’s talk. Schedule a 20-minute call to discuss your needs and determine whether a custom training or a pilot program is the right fit for your business.