Training: Intervention or Investment? - [website] Email Print
Published: 20th of Jun 2019 by: Carolyn Kessler

Do companies see training as an intervention or as an investment into their staff?
In my experience, both of these options can apply. However, the ratio of intervention to investment is vastly skewed on favour of investment.

Without a doubt, I work with delegates who have been booked onto a specific course with a view to changing their attitude towards, and/or competency in one of the soft skills. There have been some dire cases where the employee is on their final warning, but this is rare.

However, even if this is a 'do or die' situation with an employee, their company is still prepared to spend money in an attempt to rectify the delegate's shortcomings.

Organisations are loathe to make a financial investment into someone they don't value. Yet I work often with delegates, to whom the reasoning behind their training has not been explained. Up until the workshop begins, they are of the impression that being sent for training is a tacit indication of their failure in an area.

As a result, delegates start off the day in a strongly defensive mode. But, as I have said - companies do not spend money on employees they don't value. This needs to be conveyed to the delegate when they are apprised of the future training.

Once we have broken through the defensiveness, which is rooted in fear, the delegate usually blossoms and starts to engage with the material and tenor of the course. This is particularly gratifying for the facilitator to watch, but I'm saddened that the person has usually spent the run up to the workshop believing they were being chastised in some way.

I appeal to the person responsible for booking employees on courses, see this as an opportunity to reassure the delegate that it's because of their value within the organisation they are being upskilled - quite the opposite from what they have inferred.

Which brings me to my last thought and it's this: no matter one's position, be it in HR or other areas, there is a need to review and strengthen your communication skills. Join us on our communication Excellence course – we all need to brush up on this vital skill.

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

Email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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