Training and its challenges.
Do you drive?
Do you use computers?
Do you know how to cook?
Do you know how to operate a washing machine?
If the answer to any of the above questions is a ‘Yes’, then the next question is,
What did you do to learn these skills?
I am sure your answer would be, ‘asked someone to teach you or you attended a training to learn the respective skills’.
Be it home or work place, we all need to go thru’ some orientation or training to acquire certain skills. Training plays a vital role in enabling us to learn and grow.
In organisations, trainings steer the employees to develop their skills- functional, soft skills and behavioural skills to perform their roles better.
Multifarious trainings in diverse industries aid in achieving the organisation’s vision and mission. So it becomes important to engage, inspire and empower employees through trainings.
The merit in training people is that it leads to clarity of job role as well as organisational goal, and facilitates collaboration. The employees feel valued when the organisation nominates them. Commitment towards their job responsibilities increases resulting in individual performance and organisational growth.
Both the organisation and the employees enjoy great benefits from training programs. Immense experiential learning happens when the top management co-creates new possibilities with their employees during such interventions and work together towards the common vision.
Talking about trainings specifically in the healthcare sector, I would like to highlight that employee capability enhancement sessions help in sharpening the employee skills leading to improved patient experience and customer satisfaction scores of the hospitals.
Usually, the functional trainings take place during the employee induction and onboarding. Regular training interventions provide opportunities for all the employees to upskill, stay motivated and become agile while handling patient queries and pedal through the ruffling changes during catastrophe.
Besides these merits, challenges are also a part of this journey. A lot of challenges are faced- pre, during and post any training intervention.
Though the challenges may differ from hospital to hospital for different locations and countries. In general as per my view and my experience, the following are common:
Trainers’ Challenges: Large numbers of employees need to be trained during a specific period which may not be always possible (due to seasonal diseases or other emergencies).
The biggest challenge is to train the nursing department. Since nursing is the biggest team in any hospital, participation in the training programs as per their shift schedule may hamper the training activities; furthermore several batches need to be conducted as per their availability only. This might result in- a few participants not able to attend any session while some attending the same sessions multiple times.
A constant shift change indicate repetitive sessions (for the same topic), to be conducted at odd hours.
Sometimes the language barriers between the trainer and the participants (esp. the nursing) may slow down the learning process.
Moreover, the content needs to be customised for different target audience- different departments/levels and varied age groups.
Many a times the training rooms are not available due to other priorities (eg: meetings, doctors’ seminars, festival celebrations and department-wise engagements are preferred over regular yet important trainings)
Sometimes the training rooms are double booked resulting in a clash and sometimes the minimum batch size is also not complete. In such a scenario the trainer is unable to either start the training or get the desired results.
Apart from this the learners/participants also face challenges. They are time tied and confused what to focus on- emergencies, patient footfall, medical documentation/preparing reports or trainings!! They constantly struggle with divided attention as some unsupportive managers pressurise them to do it all, i.e. do their shift post training sessions or vis-a-versa. Thus, double shifts lead to physical and mental stress, resulting in no learning or no transformation.
Staff’s attitude due to work pressure changes; unable to fulfill work and personal commitments, the employees feel exasperated.
The learner then struggles with the implementation of the key take aways from the training; bewildered employees might gradually become compliant or quiet quitters.
When the employees feel pressurised and are unable to meet the expectations, they start looking for another job. Sometimes the employees take long leaves or go absconding. Supervisors face challenges like these resulting in high attrition rate.
Staff shortage during emergencies leaves the supervisors with no option but to request the trainer to reschedule the training session or excuse their team members from attending the sessions.
Constant changing in transportation roster to access training is an additional responsibility for the supervisor.
Supervisors may also sometimes feel the available training programs are not important and may waste the team’s time.
Other challenges like shortage of resources, cost cutting or other pressing priorities may not allow the top management/stakeholders to discuss and approve the training intervention at the initial stage itself.
At times lot of challenges crop up, like emergencies, Pandemic, seasonal flu, high patient walk-in; keep the employees away from the trainings/attending the complete trainings.
The essence of the trainings get missed, the transformations intended may not happen and the completion certifications are left halfway.
I have mentioned just a few common challenges, I am sure there would be more challenges and better ways to overcome these.
However, I would like to share what works best for me to make the employee development programs/trainings a success:
I divide the training session in three steps: Pre, During and Post
- Showing the relevance- WIIFMe how an employee can achieve his personal and organizational goals at the same time.
- Creating hype of the programs by teasers, posters and communique` from top management.
- Inviting supervisors to attend the trainings along with their teams.
- Dividing the sessions department wise, age group wise, job role wise, shift timings.
- Starting with smaller chunks-learning capsules and concluding with self-pace learning modules and on job trainings.
- Including games and activities not only rejuvenate people but also helps learning easy.
- Offsite workshops bring in more participation and focused learning.
- Team projects add great value during intense workshops designed for organizational transformation.
- Self-awareness workshop and seminars may add to employees’ skills allowing them to self-reflect and improve their efficiency.
- Job shadowing and mentor system help the new employees learn the practical way to execute their role and handle situations.
- Individual coaching sessions enable the personal development and organizational growth at the same time.
- Special sessions focusing mainly on patient-handling, facing challenges, managing stress, work ethics & POSH, benefit in maintaining a systematised and integrated organisation capability.
Hope this article is of some use.
These are solely my views based on my experience. Do reflect on this and share your experiences/what works for you. As a Maverick Coach, I am keen to cross-learn.
(**staff, employees, participants, learners, team members refer to the target audience for trainings)