Re-posted from Feb 26, 2015
Tonight I am preparing to be part of the NRPA Administrator’s Network Virtual Roundtable on “Staff Training and Staff Culture” with Neelay Bhatt of PROS Consulting and Tom Venniro from the NY State Parks & Recreation Society.
I am very honored and very excited to be asked to speak as part of this virtual roundtable. As I reflect on what I would like to share during this hour – two important things occurred to me. One is that so many of us fall into the standard style training where we sit people in boring rows and begin the training with “Welcome, please open your staff manual to page 1…” Then we jam the next few hours with procedures, policies, do’s and don’ts — until people are completely bored AND no longer listening or learning. And yes… I said “We”, which brings me to point #2. I fall into this myself sometimes.
Its a classic scenario. When you start out, you’re excited and energized to train new people and welcome them to your culture! As the training gets closer, the press of topics and details that must be shared during the oh-so-short time you have becomes bigger. As the day nears, the list has grown to a staggering agenda that you will need to muscle through the best you can. And many times, I know for myself, when training day(s) finally arrive, I’m usually staring helplessly at a full inbox and a list of issues that need faced and wondering how I can possibly be away from my desk and focused to lead training for the next two DAYS! Its very hard to be enthusiastic and a fantastic trainer when you have this type of start.
So. I wish I had a magic answer but I can say from experience, staying a little late the night before, organizing the checklist, and sometimes – horrors! – not checking email in the morning before training but just walking straight into training, all work to help you be your very best.
Back to point #1 – incorporating exciting training concepts and then bringing in the necessary policies and procedures in small segments, can really revitalize your staff and your training. I’ll talk a lot more about that in the next post, when I summarize the Virtual Roundtable discussion for you.
And I’ll leave you with this thought… I have talked in the earlier paragraph about you preparing for training – but remember, it doesn’t have to be you. The trainer of your staff should be the best person to lead the training. Another staff member who demonstrates enthusiasm and charisma as a speaker? A trainer that you hire for this very important task? A professional with a skill to teach? Perhaps a collective group of experts who can provide a quality training to your students. Whoever that person is, be sure they will meet the objectives and do it with pizzazz!
Thanks for reading! More on training and civility soon!