Does Training Matter?


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Training can be arduous, expensive, and tough to make it stick. So the question always comes up, is it really worth it? Last week, thanks to a disgruntled Dunkin’ Donuts customer in Florida, we all learned that it does. It really, really does.

For those of you that missed the video, I’m not going to link to it here, as it is pretty profane. To sum it up, a young woman was angry that she had not received a receipt for a previous order, and decided that in addition to going in the next day to get a free order, as is Dunkin Donuts policy, she would film her entire interaction and post it on Facebook, perhaps hoping she would get sympathy.

I don’t think she was anticipating the teenager behind the counter to be so well trained. While being confronted by an angry woman sticking a camera in his face, the young man never lost his composure, asked all the right questions and avoided any further incident. When the woman posted the video to Facebook, it quickly went viral but not in the way she hoped. She was faced with tons of backlash and the young man behind the counter was applauded for his poise and professionalism.

Dunkin’ Donuts came out unscathed, because this young man knew how to behave in the situation. At eighteen years old, he handled the pressure of the situation better than many adults would have been able to, which most likely comes back to training.

Most managers would hope that their teams keep this calm under pressure, and when faced with a difficult situation would remember their training. Forum’s research shows that the trickiest part of training is getting it to stick long after it’s completed. What can you do to ensure that when faced with a high stress situation or transition at your company, your team relies on their training? Make an investment into sustainment activities.

Organizations put so much of an investment into the actual training event, that often follow up and reinforcement go to the back burner. This graphic outlines the disconnect between investment and impact.

Impact vs. Investment of TrainingBy shifting the investment from being primarily on the training event to not only sustaining the learning afterwards but also on aligning your team beforehand, training can make a lasting impact. An impact that you may not see until your team is faced with a crisis or an angry customer with a cell phone camera.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Abby Smith
Abby joined the Forum team as Marketing Coordinator in August 2012, managing Forum's corporate marketing initiatives. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University in 2011. She works out of Forum's Boston office.


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