This is Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership, podcast number 17, Training Through The Lens of Culture, Session number two. Today, we’re going to be talking about the four power tools of effective training. This is something as Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership, that I’ve traveled the country working with business speaker Tulsa owners and managers helping them design proper systems to help them get the maximum benefit from their training. business speaker Tulsa
Again, as we talked about in the last session, if we’re not careful we will put a teacher or a manager into the place of a trainer. As we’ll talk about today, there’s going to be a very big difference between the mindset and the way that we approach training. At Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership, these four power tools of effective training, these are going to be used for employees. These have been used with employees for the last 10, 20 years with the employees that I’ve had. business speaker Tulsa
These tools equip and empower your employees to be successful and productive both for themselves as well as for your company. This is going to help you be able to keep everybody happy and everybody on point as you try to continue to sustain and train the culture in your company.
Let’s start out with tool number one, power tool number one. I call this “Get the right person in the right place.” At Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, we have found that over and over that a teacher mindset is simply focused on giving out specific information and then receiving the right answers to the questions that they ask.
Again, think back the last time you were in a classroom with a teacher giving information, talking, talking, talking and then they say, “Are there any questions?” One or two people may or may not raise their hand. But the problem is is that people never ask questions. Because not only does the teacher have a mindset of just disseminate information, but unfortunately, even the students that are sitting in the chairs, they have developed a mindset of just sit here, take some notes but don’t ask questions.
Guys, I was a science teacher for 15 years and constantly battled with students to get them to ask questions. They had been programmed through our educational system to not raise their hands. Do you remember when you were in school? How many people were raising their hands when the teacher would say, “Any questions?” Exactly. Now, of course, there is always that one question, “When’s the test,” and “what’s going to be on the test?” But those aren’t the questions that we’re talking about.
But again, a teacher, their primary focus is going to be simply to get through the information. They’re going to put up the overhead slider. They’re going to be putting up things on the screen from their PowerPoint presentation and they are just going to walk through the information. But when you contrast this teacher mindset with a trainer mindset, the outcomes become very different. I think that this was probably one of the qualities that helped me become the teacher of the of the year a couple times when I was teaching in high school up in Kansas City. business speaker Tulsa
A trainer is much more interested in helping people understand the process that leads to right answers. It’s the whys and how’s that matter to a trainer. Not just the what. Not just the answer. A trainer thrives on questions and often creates a learning environment with people that generates questions from the student. Things like role-playing, modeling, lab work, experimenting and implementing new information. This is what the trainer is looking for. business speaker Tulsa
The trainer, or another word is for that would be developer, is looking for right thinking, not just right answers. I’m going to say that again. A trainer is looking for right thinking not just right answers as opposed to the teacher. A teacher is looking for the right answer. If you give me the right answer you must know what you’re talking about. This approach sets up a two-way. Looking for right thinking sets up a two-way communication between the employee and the trainer, between the “teacher” and the employee or the student. business speaker Tulsa
New information is practiced and then discussed using questions more than just a just information. Evaluation takes place on the spot. Improvements are made before you even leave the training room. This is how a trainer sets up, putting out information to the students that are in the class. This results in so much more time saving and customer retention because you’ve not left with a trial-and-error period while your employees just figure it out on their own. They figure it out in the training room.
Again, this is what we do at Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, working with companies and helping them make sure they have the right person in the right spot. With these two major differences and approach, it’s vital that a company has a trainer in charge of the employee training, not just a teacher. However, it’s very rare that this actually happens. Most of the time, the manager has the responsibility.
Now again, it’s possible for a manager to have a training mindset. But if you have a strong manager, a very, very good manager, chances are very good they will approach training as a list of things to do, a task to accomplish. They will simply walk down the list, talked about this, talked about that, talked about this, bam, and move on. Whereas a trainer will linger for understanding.
Other times, the person that has been on the job the longest. They get to be the ones that get to be the trainer. Because they’ve been here so long, they must know what they’re doing. They get the job of training the new employees and in some places, in some cases, unfortunately, the responsibility is simply given to whoever has time to do it. We can check off this box. Yes, we did the training but unfortunately we are not getting the information into the minds and the hearts of our employees.
Even if you hire a great employee, if you train them well and consistently they will gradually move to the average simply because of lack of leadership and because of training. Don’t let this happen in your company. Find the trainer and set them loose. They will love it and you will find that your employees will love it as well.
Let’s move on to power tool number two called De-systemizing Your Training. Whether it’s skills or procedures, your training needs to be put into a reproducible model that can be used over and over and over. Again, if you’re not careful, you will put the training into — you’ll give the training over to a person and they will simply do a training according to their personality. They never will put their personality into a process or put their personality into a system. As a result, even though they’re great trainers, if they aren’t able to do the training then your training goes down tremendously, it’d be very difficult.
We want to put your training into a reproducible model that can be used over and over and always producing the same result, a well-equipped employee ready to handle any situation that comes up in their area. It will be very difficult to do this if your training process isn’t documented or systemized. Policies and procedures are important to a smooth-running company but just as important is how they are carried out on a daily basis.
Skill training is vital for your staff for sure but you are set up to teach everyone to do the same thing the same way every single time. If not, you will always have inconsistencies in your product or service without any way to identify why sometimes it works good and other times it flops. Each of these skills and procedures and services make it onto your training list and all the sudden your weekly meetings become very purposeful and productive. If you just encourage a certain outcome without equipping your staff with the tools to consistently create that outcome, you’re setting yourself up for inconsistency and that can really hurt your company.
Once again, once we find the right person, we get the right person in the right seat doing the right thing, the next step that we want to take is to systemize that training. Get the very best person that’s doing the training and then follow them, even video them, so that you can get their system, get their procedure, get the way that they are doing it. Get it systemized so you can do it over and over and over again.
Next ball. Power tool number three is Train Your Culture. How does someone fit into your company? This includes your policies and procedures but it goes beyond just that. A new employee needs to be introduced and trained into how to think in your company? In a Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, this is something that we emphasized over and over, is not just training your employees on what to do but training your employees on how to think. Because if you train them in how to think, then you can have confidence that they will do the right thing.
If you don’t train them, then they will come to work for you with their own way of thinking or they will come to work each day on their own terms. They will be willing at first because it gets them the job, but after the honeymoon phase, these employees can become very, very difficult. It’s not necessarily because they are bad people or bad employees. It’s just because they haven’t been trained in the proper way to think and to act in your company. Yes, you may have told them once, okay, you may have told them once, but that doesn’t mean that they were trained. It just means that they were told.
These struggling employees are often the touch point of your company with customers. They’re oftentimes the front line workers. If I have not specifically trained my staff in how I want them to think about the company, then I am leaving the company up for them to interpret. Once again, if I have not properly trained my staff in how to think about my company, then I am leaving the interpretation of my company up to them to interpret on a daily basis. If they’re having a bad day, they may take it out on the company. This is where talk at the coffee pot or water jug can become caustic and really bad for your company.
So at Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, this is what we strive to overcome, helping business owners and managers train and develop their employees how to think about their company and not just how to act in their company. This is Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership with podcast number 17, the second part of Training Through the Lens of Your Culture.
[00:11:44] [END OF AUDIO]

Clay Staires