I’ve had plenty of opportunity in recent weeks to reflect on the differences between training new franchisees and employees of larger businesses.
Given the choice I’d go for the franchise market every time… mostly.
The reason is quite simple. Franchisees have usually invested several thousand pounds for the privilege of being on that course. As a result, they tend to be more open to training, want more from the trainer, trust their judgement a bit more and generally be more receptive.
Something that every trainer craves: an audience who is actually appreciative of their efforts.
Training in corporate world is a bit different.
Delegates have usually been sent on the course to be ‘fixed’; i.e. there is something wrong with them and they know it.
The effect of this is pretty off-putting for a trainer. His or her audience sits there, glowering at them with lowered brows, arms folded and an expression on their face that clearly says: ‘I’m here, so train me!’
Or, at least, that’s what happened in the past. My two most recent projects in corporate world have been an absolute joy.
The first was with a major insurance company, facilitating largish groups of people in the creating of a ‘Charter’ which is to help focus minds on delivering a first class service to brokers so they refer more business.
A nice job… nice people and there was a definite need. So I designed a process to get them from A to B and implemented it. I was astounded by the results. People were coming out of the programme and not waiting for the final Charter to be produced, but implementing what they had learned immediately.
I spoke with my contact last week and she couldn’t believe it either. Sales results were already improved by more than the programme cost them!
The second programme was with four managers who, between them, managed forty odd people. (That’s ‘about forty people’ not ‘forty strange people’.)
They knew they wanted to improve and they didn’t see the training they were sent on as a chore – but an essential step in becoming better managers. They worked hard and, more unusually on a corporate training programme, they worked late!
It was more like training franchisees than employees.
Now, somewhat immodestly, I can, hand on heart, say the training was good, ‘cos it was.
But there was something in the attitude of the fifty or so people who went through the programmes that made them really work.
I was thinking what it could be when the answer slapped me in the face like a wet fish: it was their bosses! Two strong, outspoken women who fundamentally believed in investing int heir people.
Hope I get to train those people again!