Training is not babysitting: How Great Managers keep engagement going?

Sean Dasher
Contributing Writer
Direct Energy

You finally got the factory representative or trainer out to your shop.  They conduct an amazing, energizing, and motivational meeting.  The technicians go out fired up; it is a high producing day or week with the right trainer.

After the high of training wears off, what do you do?

All too often, the manager introduces the trainer to the team and then leaves the room. Maybe it is the daily reports to complete, getting calls lined up for later in the day, customer concerns,  or calls to return.

You left the team with basically a glorified babysitter for the morning.

What did they learn? Does the training line up with your company values and procedures?  Did your team take notes, do they ever take notes?  How can you reset that motivation if a dip occurs in focus?

As a manager, I have witnessed the fade and demotivation.  I am guilty of leaving the team and getting all the other things done that I thought were more important, instead of learning with my team (“can you just leave me the power point”).  I was the busy guy and thought “this will give me at least a couple hours of peace and quiet to concentrate on more important things”.

Now as a national trainer, I travel from city to city, attend national conferences conduct training and motivate technicians and managers full time.  Most days I witness technicians with that same fire I had after training. At the same time the managers say a few words, introduced me, and off they go to start their day.  Nowhere to be found until they get a call from the dispatcher that I am running late and they have calls to run. “Wrap it up” (tapping on their watch from the back of the room), time for them to take on the world, see you next time… right?  When I debrief after they say “it went great”, “thought it was very educational”, “the technicians are going to use it to sell (insert product here)”.  How do you know?  What did you learn from the training?  We all know they weren’t even there.

So, how do great managers keep engagement going after the class?

Great managers sit through the training. They take notes.  They participate. They grow amazing cultures with quality technicians providing a quality service.

Great managers keep engagement going after the class because they take the time to identify the gaps in their business.  They communicated what they expect to their team.  They invite the right trainer with a clear agenda of what behavior need to be changed, which metrics need to be improved.

Great managers’ note when the fade starts in and they counter it with continuous review and training.

Training is not just a box to check or a product to get out of the van.

So next time you get the factory representative or trainer out to your shop expect the technicians to go out fired up; it is a high producing day or week. Be more proactive and do what great managers do.  After all, you do not want to leave the team with a glorified babysitter!

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