Florin Glinta –
At Sfera Business, we believe in the value of starting from the practical experience of the trainer, in business, in the areas that he covers in the classroom. This brings a series of positive consequences for the learning experience of the training participants, from the efficiency with which they adopt the changes proposed to the way in which they evaluate the intervention, as a whole, with a direct impact on the level of satisfaction with the company and general motivation.
The role that I had most often, in my business experience, was as an internal or external consultant on the level of “engagement” within teams and companies. The development offer proposed by the companies to the employees appeared systematically, in the researches that we carried out in the field, as one of the major sources of satisfaction / motivation.
Many times we were disappointed or surprised by the relatively low scores that the employees gave, although we knew first hand how intense the effort had been to ensure their access to development programs. Why, after all this effort, did we continue to receive ratings only slightly above the passing grade? The answers could only come from all of them, so I went back and asked them, this time qualitatively, discussing openly, and then I put everything in the context of some analysis on the entire development cycle of an employee.
Here are some conclusions we incorporate as we put into practice the development offers at Sfera Business:
First of all, people appreciate when their real development needs are understood and captured correctly and completely. However paradoxical it may sound, team managers often seem disconnected from the reality of their own teams and caught in the delivery of goals. They believe that they save time and energy when they “presuppose” learning needs for their subordinates, and in the best case, they identify them incompletely.
Secondly, the needs thus “identified” seem disconnected from the behaviors that determine the performance of the teams in the workplace. Or, in a slightly happier case, the credible explanation of how the development needs of concrete performance are linked is missing. Simply put, before and during training, people need answers to questions like “What if I go to this course?”, and “How does spending my time with some trainers / consultants help me? “
Finally, during the learning experience, people who are really interested in developing, tend to think critically, provoke the trainer, seek exceptions, and try to understand how a concept is applied in their job, specifically and concretely. They are afraid of the consequences of a change and need to experience the failure of change in a safe, friendly environment, or to learn from the mistakes of others.
What are we doing at Sfera Business to minimize the adverse impact of so many legitimate concerns and challenges?
First, we propose a systematic approach to identify training needs. The relevant experience of our consultants helps us to understand the business context more easily, and to this we add measurement methods and tools developed in-house, starting from the phase of identifying the needs.
Then we calibrate the content and interactions of the course according to the concrete context of the future clients. And we do it permanently, including during the course, if we discover, during the course, elements that can bring value.
Probably the main ingredient, which helps throughout a project, is that the trainer “comes from the same place” as the participants: that’s why we insist on relevant and demonstrated experience, and consider it as a condition without which you cannot join the Sfera Business team. Because, if you have performed in the field you are talking about/facilitate in the classroom, you know what behaviors help or impede performance, you know how to make mistakes and you have at hand examples and lessons learned. You know that there are no recipes just from books, but you bring them in front of the participants filtered through your own concrete and practical experience. And you also know that, most of the time, it is the person in front of you, and not you, who is the best specialist present in the room, and that it is valuable to facilitate the emergence of other useful stories and examples, which you have the ability to understand.