odd-lot thoughts

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Study: Training Executives Believe Interpersonal Effectiveness Training Works

Now this is getting scary! From Chief Learning Officer

A research study released reveals business trends in Interpersonal Effectiveness Training (IET). Interpersonal effectiveness is the ability to create productive interactions and maintain positive working relationships. The study of corporate training executives confirms their belief that IET is effective. Most researched companies integrate IET into a broader program such as leadership development and use Social Style, Myers-Briggs or DiSC as a tool for IET training.

Are we that starved for metrics that we need to put up bogus numbers like these?
  • 73 percent of training professionals believe Interpersonal Effectiveness Training works.
  • More than 94 percent confirm the importance of interpersonal skills in building and maintaining co-worker relationships, communicating effectively, managing conflict and retaining valued employees.
Emphasis mine. What about the numbers that show this stuff actually works?

Sorry, I just don't buy it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Why train if there's no purpose?

I just read this in the latest Training Directors Forum e-net, and it just made me want to smack someone. This is a subscription newsletter (but it's free) so I'm quoting the entry here:


"After seven years, 99 percent of workers have been trained with mandatory and beginning computer classes," a reader says. However, the reader also teaches intermediate and advanced computer classes, and most employees are not taking these classes — for the following reasons:

  • They do not feel they will need or use the features covered in the courses.
  • It is hard for trainees to find time to attend classes.
  • Trainees' bosses say that they do not need to take the classes.

The reader says classes are free of charge, so money is not a factor. Can others help with ideas regarding:

  • How to generate interest in intermediate and advanced computer classes?
  • How long should the classes be (one hour, two ... )?
  • Typical saturation points for such courses?

Come on, folks. Get real! If a) they have no time and b) they don't need it, why is someone trying to get people to want this?

This is a symptom of the typical competency-driven approach. Somebody decided that employees needed to have a certain skill level, and they're gonna make them train and train, until they get it, or they get the checkmark that says they got it.

If employees don't think they need it, they obviously don't. Believe me, they'll tell you want they need.

And there's plenty more things they do need that they're not getting to worry about unneeded stuff like this.

This is also a symptom of some poor schnook trying to justify a job as a trainer, instead of focusing on the larger goal of helping people do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

I don't entirely blame the person who wrote this plea -- the system is broken. Time for organizations to get a clue.