Start Educating, Stop Training

Day-Long seminar

How people learn and how they are taught are often not in sync. This shows up as inconsistencies in execution, untapped market potential, and the need to get “back to basics.” Simply put, if staff consistently did what they are supposed to do in the manner in which they are supposed to do it, execution would improve and results would grow exponentially.

Making matters worse is the amount of content that is delivered in a relatively short period of time. A daylong or weeklong seminar is the equivalent of unscrewing the top of someone’s head, cramming it full of details, and then reinstalling their skullcap. Is it any wonder that people retain so little and use even less on the job?

Education, done well and done right, is not training. Delivered correctly, it includes the following:

Drip the learning to support retention. Instead of requiring people to gorge themselves on a buffet of knowledge, give them meal-sized portions of content. Learning Limits, how much content people can digest in one sitting, requires this form or portion control to manage the delivery of ideas, strategies, and best practices.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Training is the top missed opportunity in staffing

Countermeasures for the human tendency of making the simple, complex. Humans are masterful at making things much more complicated than they need to be. To counter this, quality education must promote simplicity, a systematic approach, and methods that are sustainable. These countermeasures mitigate or eliminate our innate foibles, especially when it comes to making mountains out of molehills.

Opportunities to apply what’s been learned. Practice is said to make perfect. While it’s rare that people achieve anything near sustained perfection at anything, we need more opportunities to try out new skills and behaviors. It’s through repetition that we gain mastery, and trying to master any approach or technique only in conversations and meetings with prospects, clients, and candidates often leads to poor or even disastrous results.

Radical Accountability to counter the momentum of the status quo. Momentum keeps an object going in the same direction. Since the pull of the status quo is so strong, it takes something even stronger, Radical Accountability, to break the momentum and create a sustainable shift in the opposite direction.

By stopping traditional training and starting real education, you and your organization can create real learning opportunities that benefit all parties, with no more exploding heads.

MORE: As staffing gets more competitive, so must your training

Scott Wintrip

Scott Wintrip
Scott Wintrip is the president of the Wintrip Consulting Group. He was named to the Staffing 100 by Staffing Industry Analysts in 2011-2016 and was among the first class of the Staffing 100 Hall of Fame in 2017. He can be reached at scott (at) ScottWintrip (dot) com.

Scott Wintrip

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One Response to “Start Educating, Stop Training”

  1. rcstevensjr says:

    I’ve always thought about educating and training differently. I’ve always thought that educating and training are both a necessary part of the learning process…a mix of information and action. Educating is consistent with informing. Training is about doing and action. If I simply educate myself about a half marathon, I merely get information about how long the run is, how many miles a week I need to run run, etc. When I train for a half marathon, I have to actually get out and run 4 time a week for several weeks. Depending on what someone needs to learn, I think it is most critical to focus on what someone needs to know and what someone needs to do as a result of the learning. This will determine the appropriate mix of education and training that needs to be part of the learning experience.

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