Staff Training Doesn’t Work
By Gavin Neate, CEO and Founder of Neatebox Limited (Creators of the WelcoMe App)
Okay, I admit this is a bit of a clickbait headline if ever there was one. The last thing we would ever want to do is to encourage companies not to train their staff especially when it comes to interacting with disabled and vulnerable customers.
So, let me clarify..
Traditional staff training doesn’t work!
Oops, I think I’ve done it again. Traditional staff training DOES work, it just doesn’t work as well as it could.
It’s well known that trained knowledge has a “half life“.
Think about the French you learnt at school. Without a regular holiday to France
or some well positioned French friends…it’s gone.
Well, staff training isn’t really that different. You learn something, probably in a class room sitting though a lecture or online via a staff induction webinar, and then within a couple of days its gone… but it isn’t until you read the statistics around training in general that you realise just how much of a problem this is and how it is affecting not only disabled consumers but customer service staff as well.
Worse still, is the plaque on the wall or the signature on the certificate that states that training has been delivered and that a course has been passed as this in itself can lead to a false sense of security.
These stats are alarming enough but with billions being spent on staff training and 70% of disabled people still reporting they have received poor customer service then it is obvious there is an issue here that needs to be addressed.
So, we’ve just pulled our collective heads out of the sand. What’s next? Well, all is not lost and I am happy to say that there are some amazing organisations working in the UK who are increasingly addressing the challenges with very real multifaceted solutions and specifically utilising the super power that is experience-based-training i.e. training that is delivered by subject matter, experts with lived experience themselves presented in a way that engages attendees physically and importantly, emotionally.
It is over 25 years ago now ,but the very first time I met a guide dog owner I messed up, or at least I felt I had when I thought saying, “I see what you mean” might have been disrespectful. I was very lucky, my interaction was part of a training exercise, one with a real guide dog owner, one who expected me to mess up and allowed me to do so in a truly safe environment. The interaction was so powerful that it is still imprinted in my mind to this day.
This week I met with Alex Winstanley of Happy Smiles Training CIC based in Wigan after seeing the following video on youtube
Who wouldn’t want their staff to be this engaged and enthusiastic about a training day?
And perhaps, just perhaps, this will be the experience that stays with them and is useful to them for the rest of their lives.
A big shout out to Alex for his amazing work but also to others who are proving the best kind of training is delivered by subject matter experts with lived experience.