We have had the honor of working with leaders and employees of BMC Building Materials and Construction Services, Coastal Flow Measurement Companies, Enbridge, and Spectrum Geo for several years. In that time, we have admired the consistency of their sustainability efforts and the results that they produced. We invited their Talent Managers, OD Managers, HR Directors and Managers, and Marketing Directors and Managers to a special breakfast at Irma’s Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Houston to meet each other and applaud their organizational results obtained from our workplace training implementations. From that first meeting in January, 2016, the five of us (pictured in photo from left to right: Elizabeth Wojtowicz, Jennifer Wall, Nannette Daugherty, Leah Yeglin, and Jill Hickman) agreed that there was much learning to be shared with other organizations. We continued to meet on a regular basis to plan and deliver a presentation for members of professional organizations including HR Houston (delivered at the Gulf Coast Symposium in May), Texas Bay Area SHRM (delivered in July), ATD Houston (delivered in October), and HODN (scheduled for May, 2017). Sustainability efforts, organizational results, and lessons learned were shared with all members.
Their lessons learned for successful sustainability of training initiatives emphasized the critical need to:
- Target and address specific challenges within the organization.
- Gain the support of an Executive Champion.
- Seek 360 collaboration with internal and external partners for change.
- Create and execute an accountability plan for results.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! These companies executed frequent communication related to the training content including weekly emails, daily team huddles, weekly interactive walls, quarterly result surveys, and quarterly webinar reviews.
- Plan and prepare sustainability actions for implementation before, during, and after training. The keys to their successful training sustainability were simple and repetitious actions spaced over time, integrated with daily work activities. Sustainability actions included:
- Coaching (individual and group): planned and ad hoc.
- Project based (individual and group).
- Teach-backs (executives, peers, teams).
- Workshop references: online, physical, and available.
- Feedback/Recognition/Accountability with awards, testimonials, performance reviews, and case studies within company newsletters.
Throughout the training curriculum implementation process, these stellar professionals shined brightly. When queried as to their secrets for personal success, they offered these insights:
- Learn the business.
- Identify the business need.
- Be confident; overcome your assumed constraints.
- Be the advocate for the employee, management, and the business.
- Secure internal and external partners for change.
- Collaborate: involve and support others throughout the change process.
- Be patient.
- Showcase your value with results that have positive impact.
To learn what successful and sustainable training can do for your organization and your own career, contact us!