For years, companies have invested incredible amounts of time, money and energy in employee training. Despite this effort, one big question remains; what is the return on the investment for all this training? For the most part this question has gone unanswered.
What is the goal? For most companies the goal of training is to achieve one of the following: Either influence what the audience knows…or influence what the audience does. The problem arises when we begin to make assumptions that classroom training can do either one of these effectively. For example, if a class is being conducted in order to influence what an employee knows, has there been consideration as to the various learning styles of the audience and the fact that much of what has been presented will be forgotten within 24 to 72 hours? For organizations that are providing training in order to influence what people do…has there been consideration to the fact that what they might be trying to influence is a longstanding behavior or the fact that the work environment doesn't support the desired change? While it is hard to measure training effectiveness, it is possible to put a process in place that will help insure that the training does what it was intended to do: influence knowledge and influence actions.
This is where REP comes in; The Rational, Emotional and Physical approach to training.
Rational: Imagine that employees have been told to be in the training room at a particular time for mandated training. It is the same training they received last year and following that training nothing really changed so their expectation (rightfully so) is that nothing will change again as a result of this training. This thought pattern leads to a belief that conducting this training is not terribly rational since the wasted time could be better spent on production issues. Now imagine that the class is on body mechanics…teaching the audience how to lift safely. Imagine that I am a person sitting in the class that has been lifting the same way for years and have never experienced a back problem. Someone is standing at the front of the room telling me how to do something completely differently from the way I do it now without any problems. Do you think this will seem rational to me, and will the fact that it seems less than rational have an impact on the effectiveness of the training?