Why many workshops are a waste of time and money & How you can reverse that

  • Print

“… the extensive efforts involved in educating graduate students to become licensed professionals result in no observable differences in client outcome”. This is the conclusion of researchers Nyman and Nafziger in the Journal of Counseling and Development.

Training is almost an integral part of life today and yet many people still dread attending workshops. You cannot blame them because they have had bad experiences ranging from boring trainers to uninteresting programmes. The worst is probably not benefiting from the training as far as its relevance to work and life is concerned.

Since training is still a must for growth, you can get around this problem by doing your homework. Here are 5 things you can do to increase the chance of having an enjoyable and effective workshop.

  1. The Trainer
    When you are choosing which workshops to organise for your staff, do not just look at the contents. Make sure the trainer is well spoken off in his ability to connect with participants and make the training relevant to their work and life. Look for credible testimonies and references.

  2. The Methodology
    Avoid lecture style training. Pay attention to the methodology which should include experiential activities, role plays, reflection and goal settings. Training must have elements that are fun and at the same time relevant to the learning outcomes.

  3. The Generation Gap Minder
    You already know this. Folks in their twenties and those in their forties can respond very differently to one training style. There must be a blended approach to ensure that people across the different generations are engaged time and again during the session. I use gadgets to engage the younger ones and sharing platforms to connect with the senior folks.

  4. The TNA
    Ask for a meet up with the trainer. That will give you the best gauge of his charisma. But more importantly, make sure he conducts a good training needs analysis (TNA). Far too often, trainers are teaching what people already know and what they are not interested to know. A good trainer will always want to know what your top concerns are and are able to give your recommendations on the spot. But please do not ask for TNA if you have no intention of engaging them. You will get into my black list if you do so :)

  5. The Leading Up
    Negative presuppositions can kill the atmosphere even before the training starts. So one to two weeks prior the workshop, promote it in an interesting way. Send an interesting video clip or email a teaser or provide a few meaningful questions for reflection or even present a nice invitation card. As long as it is tastefully done, it creates positivity and a great start for the session. If you need help, just get the trainer to suggest!

    Have a great experience organising your next training!