Is Your Team Eligible for Training?

eligble for a training?

Picture this: 10, 50, 250 people sitting in a training room, looking out of the window, paying no attention to what is happening in front of the class. A boring course? A dull coach? Maybe! A wrong audience? Most likely! Is your team truly ready for training?

Training courses that organizations offer to their personnel, both external and internal, often originate from a company strategy or a position name, ticking off most of the boxes as it seems, but missing out on something. This leads to inefficiency and affects the bottom line. 

The reason is that the decision-makers need to be made aware of the engagement of the teams to be trained and assured to invest money and efforts to train employees who are engaged as opposed to on the path to exit. Continuous employee experience monitoring becomes handy in this affair and underlines the need to upgrade from annual or quarterly employee surveys. 

Quiet quitters are not welcomed

Disengaged employees and quiet quitters should not be welcomed to a training course, right? If they do not put their mind and heart into it, there’s no upside for the organization. Can you afford not to train them? Where would this lead to? Well, a step or two has been missed if such a question is asked. You need to learn why the people are disengaged. Is the manager a jerk? Does the job design suck? Are the processes painful? Go ahead and ask! You do not get to know it otherwise. Normally you would rather ask the question more politely of course, in a positive way. But the point remains the same. You should only train the employees who are eager to take the newly gained wisdom into action, and who are eager to contribute to the development of the organization.

Sustainability in workplace culture

Yeah, but people quit individually. Sure! But they become disengaged in groups! 

A recent study from Deloitte, The Workforce Well-being Imperative, suggests that poor leadership quality, faulty job design, and dated ways of working are the biggest obstacles in engaging and retaining employees. And these phenomena affect employees in vast groups. The economic impact is severe. It is unimaginable that a well-trained professional performs at his or her best facing one or more aspects raised in the study.

Let’s just dive into one theoretical example of bad leadership. The study underlines micromanagement as one of the examples of bad management and leadership. And rightly so. Why should you train a professional in the first place, if the leader is micromanaging? It goes the other way around obviously: why do you micromanage if you have people qualified for a role? Is he micromanaging only 1:1? Not very likely. The behavioral pattern probably affects a larger group of people, cultivates a culture of mistrust and ends up in red color on the P/L report. 

Now providing that you monitor employee experience constantly, you know who are the teams and people to invest in and who are not. The leaders have an enormous role in developing their direct reports directly and indirectly. This indirect impact is often neglected. 

Upskilling, reskilling and killing

We have no job for you if you are not into tech. This is what every job ad should say as a disclaimer. No job can survive without upskilling tech skills in the era of AI. The development pace of technology is enormous. We are living in the times of industrial revolution 3.0. The ones who are left behind will suffer a lot. The challenge in talent management is obvious and more often it is not limited to high profiles. Quite opposite to be fair. The Harvard Business Review 10/2023 edition stated boldly: “For millions of people the upskilling alone won’t be enough!”

While upskilling is a more natural process and you would expect employee contribution in designing the upskilling path, then reskilling is less natural. This relates to strategies that are above the heads of individual employees. It should come from top down at a certain stage, but let’s dream a bit here. To illustrate my point I ask you to imagine a team who steps up saying: Our roles do not make sense in 6 months anymore. We want to learn how to prompt AI LLMs instead of taking customer calls. Would the company support our reskilling? Now compare it to the situation where it comes top down first, saying that the company has to lay off its call center staff, but offers free training to those who would like to obtain a new profession. I believe the first scenario is far better. However, it requires exceptional leadership and culture to be in place first leading to high employee engagement and a sense of ownership and responsibility. 

“For millions of people, the upskilling alone won’t be enough!”

The Harvard Business Review 10/2023

How should they know?

How should the training facilitator, leader of leaders, the strategy team, etc. know who is eligible for training, what is the temperature and engagement in different teams? They can not base their decisions on an employee survey conducted months ago. The times have changed, and the surrounding environment inside and outside the organization has changed. 

Do the leaders of the team support the growth and change? Is there a drive for change in this team? Will this team take us to the next level? You should not wonder about it. It’s all in data. 

There are tools that monitor employee engagement, mood, experience, and well-being on a narrow or wide perspective daily, producing thousands of data points across the organization. Do use these, no? You either have up-to-date big data or you do not and this defines if you are making the right call or not. As in any other case, it applies to training and development programs as well. 


Martin Rajasalu, March 2024.

Originally published in Director

eligble for a training?
eligble for a training?
eligble for a training?