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Bespoke Solutions by Xceeda Group

“Training simply doesn’t work!”

It’s a bold statement, but it’s a sentiment often expressed by directors and managers in operational and HR roles. Our commitment to reversing this view of “training” sits at the core of everything we do and we’ve conducted extensive research into why training and development activity falls short of expectations. The output gives us a focus and a checklist so that we can focus on pushing hard for a different style of collaborative input and a better outcome.

The results of our research:

  • Delegates not bought in
  • Poor positioning by managers and leaders
  • Lack of line manager engagement
  • Lack of wider stakeholder engagement
  • Not perceived as relevant to the day job
  • Poorly conceived
  • Lack of clearly defined outcomes
  • No focus on transfer to the workplace
  • Lack of follow up or refresher
  • Lack of ongoing support
  • Lack of skills to support
  • Commercial pressures get in the way
  • Reversion to previous practices
  • Lack of relevant, on the job performance coaching
  • It’s been done before
  • External provider doesn’t understand realities
  • Can’t take people away form the floor / field / desk
  • Not enough investment in root cause analysis or thorough training needs analysis
  • No consideration of how the people like to learn aligned to preferences and work patterns
  • An over focus on classroom based “chalk and talk” or “death by Powerpoint”
  • Training is difficult to evaluate
  • You train people and then they leave!
More than enough has been written about how different people learn, and of course trainers need to cater for all learning preferences, but a distinction also needs to be made between hard competency and soft skill. People can be trained to perform a series of tasks, especially if the learning and performing of tasks can be incremental so that new competency builds upon layers of existing and new knowledge.

Soft skills are however, much harder to transfer from trainer to learner unless significant consideration is given to how we:

  • Socialise the learner with the concepts
  • Associate the learner with application environments
  • Facilitate recognition points within ‘normal’ behaviour arenas
  • Open the learner up to options and opportunities for application
  • Encourage interaction in a safe environment
  • Capture and decode the experience
  • Extract learning from the experience and cement the positive aspects into best practice

Many trainers would not begin to understand the concepts listed above. Many do not go beyond a mediocre understanding of their favourite models and theories bullet pointed on a set of Powerpoint slides, and, if the delegates are very lucky, “brought to life” by inviting learners to build towers from plastic beakers! Scathing words I know, but in our experience, all too often true!

So, given all those reasons why training doesn’t work, maybe it’s not an unreasonable statement, in fact, if you try to answer the questions below, I believe it will reinforce the view further…

  • How often have you been able track and measure monetary ROI and therefore a direct tangible link between money spent on training and measurable improved performance?
  • How often have you been able to fully, i.e. without dilution, transfer training to the workplace, hitting the objectives and desired outcomes you may have admirably, set at the outset?
  • What about the sustainability issue? How effectively have you been able to embed the training into both best practice and business as usual behaviours, thereby achieving sustainability, longevity and even further enhancement of the learning? Again, the ultimate measure here being credible evaluation of ROI during and at the conclusion of an agreed period appropriate to your business cycles?
  • To stand a chance of transferring training activity to the workplace with positive impact, careful analysis is required to fully understand what change of behaviour, development of competencies or skills, and / or adoption of new processes and procedures are required, and then to work backwards into the training activity without dilution or distortion. How often have you been able to conduct the required analysis and make the cast iron link back from the workplace into the training room and back again into the workplace?
  • How well have you been able to engage the right stakeholders and ensure their involvement and input into ROI impact in their function?
Our approach to bespoke solutions begins and remorselessly continues with a determination to answer all of the concerns above and to work closely with our client to ensure the delivery of relevant, sustainable and profitable knowledge, skills and behaviours, aligned to business strategy and performance.

People development doesn’t have to be dull and it really can deliver payback!

  • Formal mentoring
  • Performance coaching
  • Executive coaching
  • Academy style programmes
  • Blended learning with sustainability focus
  • Social learning, self driven learning
  • Knowledge sharing platforms
  • Peer round-table discussions
  • Skills clinics
  • On-the-job buddy coaching
  • Business games
  • Acted simulations
  • Open forum theatre
  • 360, multi-rater assessment
  • The use of style & preference assessment
  • Action learning projects
  • Web-based training or e-learning

For more information or to book our free trial coaching session