Action! “I don’t know why they have me attending this training. They don’t even believe in it themselves!” And scene! Let’s face it, we’ve all heard this statement a thousand times. If we’re honest, we’ve probably said it a time or two ourselves. There are many things that affect the attitude of our learners, and one of the big items is feeling like they don’t have the support of the leadership team.
Now, there are two parts to this topic. The first part is getting buy-in from the leadership team, and the second part is making sure your learners are aware the buy-in exists. Let’s dive into the first part.
We all know the leadership team is extremely busy, so getting their buy-in will be a task that is “easier said than done.” Here are five tips to help you with the challenging process of getting buy-in:
1. Poll the managers to find out the most common problems they come across. This will ensure training objectives are in sync with the needs of the business.\
2. Provide managers with training update sessions on all new training objectives, focusing on the “what’s in it for me” factor.
3. Invite managers to attend training classes or encourage them to pop in to observe a portion of the session and to answer any questions learners may have.
4. Involve managers in the completion process. Ask them to sign off on all training completions and be sure to create and provide them with the necessary tools.
5. Meet with managers to illustrate the significance of their support in the training class, giving them a different perspective.
We now have the buy-in of the leadership team…hopefully! Part two is making sure your learners are aware the buy-in exists. Here are three tips to help you overcome the hurdle of increasing your learners’ awareness of buy-in.
1. Share some of the details that were discussed in your earlier meeting with the managers. When the participants hear about the success of the discussion on the importance of supporting training, it will be easier for them to get behind the course.
2. Encourage the leadership team to address the learners and express their feelings about the class if they happen to pop by the session. In addition, allow the learners to speak directly to the managers to ask questions. This will help increase the managers’ relatability with the learners.
3. Allow managers to participate in activities and groups as if they are a learner as well. Feel free to use them as a SME (subject-matter expert), occasionally asking them questions like, “How would handle this situation?” or “What do you think about that?”
“Wow! I can’t believe my manager attended that training class with me. She must really feel passionate about this.” And cut! That’s a wrap people. This is our preferred end goal. Getting the buy-in from leadership and showing your learners they have the support of their managers is key.
When Leadership knows exactly what the associates on the front-lines experience on a day-to-day basis, they’ll have the tools to manage and coach specifically to the learners needs. On the other hand, if the learner feels supported and knows that leadership stands behind the training they must attend, they are more likely to have positive attitudes and be willing to give 100% during the class.
To find out more on how to secure buy-in and support for training and performance throughout your entire organization, check out our Make Your Training Stick workshop.