Corp. Training Motivational Tool

November 4, 2005
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Bill McClain wants to help companies claim their largest untapped resources — their employees.

Companies can get more out of their employees through corporate training in areas such as management, employee involvement, communication, empowerment, team-building and more, said McClain, president of Growth Through People Inc. and Leadership Management Inc. Most employees "want to know more about how they can get where they want to go — and do it quickly," he said.

Corporate training programs such as McClain's and ReVision Group Consultants of Holland help employees, and therefore companies, reach their potential.

McClain said that assessments of the company and the employees will determine what type of training is needed.

"There are measuring devices that allow you to assess what is needed, both individually and collectively," he said. "When you have those assessment results, then you can design a program to fit the needs of that situation."

McClain, who has been providing corporate training for 20 years, said the best methods include training that is spaced out over time instead of a daylong seminar, which may take higher level employees out of the workplace and create more stress.

Including a motivational speaker in a seminar is less used today than it used to be, he said. "We find that that kind of an exposure, while it's exciting, tends to last a very short period of time."

Instead, McClain said he prefers to help clients absorb information through exposure and with the help of a facilitator. McClain said he likes to offer clients a multi-sensory experience, with reading, listening and applying the techniques, before returning to a training session to review.

During a Personal Productivity Program, McClain said one employee realized he was 30 percent as productive as he could be. By the end of the program, he had learned how to focus his energy and make better use of his time, more than doubling his productivity. Once people realize they are not fully utilizing their time and potential, they start to improve, McClain said.

"I'd like to see the organization be concerned (with) helping people develop to the maximum they're capable of reaching," he said. "We don't have any idea of the potential that people really possess.

"The people are the ones who really understand and try to make changes."

McClain said corporate training now puts more emphasis on coaching and mentoring than in the past. Coaching helps individuals or a group acquire certain skills or attitudes, while mentoring takes place when one individual shows another the necessary skills or attitude.

"Mentoring to me is in essence a development of a skill," he said.

Kathy Henry, who owns ReVision Group Consultants with her husband, Michael, said their company prefers a different method than McClain, using a company's own employees for training videos, and training facilitators within the company. ReVision is located in Holland and utilizes Henry's background in organizational management, leadership, culture development and planning, as well as her husband's 30 years as a psychologist with experience in clinical and organizational consulting, group dynamics, assessment, group and team facilitation, and executive coaching.

"What we like to do is start with top leadership or people who are actually responsible for educating staff on an issue," she said. "We really like to take a unique approach and not just overlay a training program on them. We like to customize it for them, based on their particular issues."

Henry said she believes there is more trust in the program if an in-house employee is trained to deliver the training message.

Using a video made by employees is one way the Henrys like to keep training light and fun.

"It's less threatening to those viewing it," she said. "They see their co-workers acting out the problems and the solutions."

The videos also help create more ownership of training within the organization.

Though she doesn't want companies to become reliant on a consultant, Henry said ReVision likes to have a relationship with the client, building on past programs and addressing new needs.

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