The number one (1) can be a big number or a small number depending on how you look at it. A one in front of the word billion is a lot of something. A one in front of an hour as part of a 40-hour work week is not too much, but when you invest it in high-value, high-return training, it can make a world of difference.
The American Society for Training and Development recommends at least 40 hours of training per year for each employee.
How training needs are determined, how training impacts the bottom line, how team members view training, and how training is delivered are key issues in organizational success. Training that develops knowledge, skills, and competencies while improving performance is appreciated by both employees and the company. The right sales training at the right times can increase employee loyalty, lead to greater retention, and improve quality of hire.
Training options available for employees continue to grow. Innovations in technology, employment retention strategies, and the requirement for demonstrating dollar benefit (ROI) make every training opportunity a high value proposition.
One of the most effective ways to maximize your time investment and to ensure training success is through internal training. Internal training is a cost effective and highly productive method for building your team. Whether the training is provided on the job, through informal or formal coaching and mentoring, or in internal seminars/meetings, brown bag lunches, or “mini” conferences, internal training greatly impacts employee learning and development leading to organizational growth and success.
Internal training and development removes the barriers of external training, such as scheduling, costs, alignment of topics, trainer expertise, etc. Your organization’s culture and specific needs can be easily integrated into training content by using real life scenarios, problems, and challenges that participants encounter every day on the job. Successful internal training develops the specific skills, knowledge, and competencies that participants need to succeed and grow in their jobs. Internal training is presented in the nomenclature (language and terminology) that all participants can understand and connect to, so it is more easily received by team members and lowers the high stakes environment usually associated with external training.
How can internal training help you achieve your training goals?
Role-playing is one of the best and most time-efficient methods for internal training and helping your team excel. Not just for sales or customer service training, this proven technique achieves a number of benefits for employees, management, and support staff.
Role-plays allow participants to really experience what a position entails, and the competencies needed to succeed in various situations. They also provide a safe environment for learners to experience and express the feelings and opinions about the scenarios covered by the role-plays. Role-playing opens up dialogue, builds confidence and develops camaraderie among all participants.
Role-playing can be used in every department by management and employees to practice and master business situations. The trainer or manager can critique/evaluate the role-play situation, provide feedback, and offer additional scenarios and practice so mastery and application of training content can occur quickly.
Based on our own experience with weekly role-plays, they are harder than dealing with a real customer because the real customer does not know how the system should work. Managers are the experts and create challenging role-plays with perspectives from both sides (customer and organization) so that team members will be challenged. We “chunk” our role-play content to introduce only one topic or scenario so that team members can master content quickly, practice, and repeat. Each successive role-play scaffolds and allows for more difficult situations as competencies are built. We continue to see performance improvement in our team members and key knowledge is being transferred from our team leaders through weekly video role-plays.
So what are you waiting for? One hour per week dedicated to internal training using video role-playing is not a lot to ask since you will produce an immediate return on investment. One hour per week is really 12 minutes per day. Most of us spend more than 12 minutes each day organizing our desk, talking with fellow employees, and surfing the Internet. Using these 12 minutes as an investment in personal development will go a long way to increase each team member’s value to the company and contribute to ongoing growth and success.
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest” ~ Benjamin Franklin