THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

How to waste money on training

Can you remember the detailed content of a course that you attended 18 months ago? Can you take ONE golf lesson, tennis lesson, driving lesson – and then win a match or pass your test first time out? Can you speed read a text book and then pass an exam? Chatting to a client a few days ago who was bemoaning the fact that: “I have invested in a number of trainers and it hasn’t made any difference – the team are still making the same mistakes” He added: “I’m beginning to think that all this training has been a waste of money.” Let’s stop and think about that for a moment. There is NO POINT in hiring a trainer, speaker, consultant or coach to come in and “entertain” your team for a day – then allow the “visitor” to ride off into the sunset with a fee and ask the team to turn up the next day and “do things right” in perpetuity. Professional sports people and entertainers train/rehearse every day. Your team development programme has to be sustainable – and that sustainability can only become achieved if you:

  1. Facilitate the training

Get an expert in to show everyone “how its is done”.

  1. Create the protocols

Once the expert has left, INVEST THE TIME in having the team create their own protocols or brand standards around the training received. Make sure that those protocols are discussed, agreed, rehearsed and WRITTEN DOWN as a living document that can be adapted to future change.

  1. Ensure revalidation

This is the secret ingredient that most clients miss. Revalidation isn’t just about clinicians taking courses to keep the GDC happy. Revalidation is the professional and business version of rehearsal and practice. Revalidation means that you hold regular team meetings (see yesterday’s post on frequency) and make sure that EVERY team member has a chance to practice and learn (via rehearsal and constructive feedback) the essential performance and behaviour that will keep you at the top of your game. If you hire an expert to show your team how to:

  1. answer the phone

  2. run the front desk

  3. provide an outstanding patient experience

  4. co-ordinate treatment

  5. sell ethically

  6. market for new patients

  7. manage social media

  8. count the beans

  9. manage the business

but do nothing about CREATING PROTOCOLS and REVALIDATION, then “yes” you are wasting your money. Please don’t tell me that your team are failing as a result – to quote the late, great Stephen Covey:

If there’s a problem with your team – the problem is you
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