Dangers of training and developing your staff

There is no real need to go into lengthy explanations about the definition of a training budget and why we need one, but it is a good idea to look at the benefits and dangers of training our key people and the costs of not training them.

What if we train our staff and they leave?  Yes, but what if you don’t train them and they stay?

Many medium to large organisations invest anywhere from 2 to 5% of a team member’s salary on training and development. While that may not be realistic for a small business, it is important to find a training budget per team member your business can afford.

Training staff can bring numerous benefits to a business, including:

  • Improved skills and knowledge
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Enhanced employee retention 
  • Better performance
  • Adaptability
  • Improved customer satisfaction 
  • Cost savings due to increased productivity
  • Up to date skilled employees give you a competitive advantage in the market

Overall, training staff can lead to a more skilled, engaged, and productive workforce, which can ultimately benefit the business in so many ways.

There can also be some dangers of training your staff too and this is why many organisations can often view training as a waste of time, resources and money.

  • The wrong type of development – replying on irrelevant training to fix performance issues.
  • Cost – investing in the wrong training without assessing needs that are aligned to the organisational needs isjust a waste of time and money.
  • The right topic but the wrong training– Leadership or Public Speaking 101 will not help develop more senior or experienced professionals, customise all training to meet the specific needs of the team member and the organisational outcomes.
  • No due diligence on training provider – DO NOT choose the cheapest or easiest provider. Do your due diligence and get HR or whoever is booking the training provider to do the due diligence and ensure your chosen expert/provider/consultant is experienced, qualified and prepared to contextualise the development programme to meet your organisational needs.
  • Staff resistance– Framing training as punishment or used for addressing performance issues instead of communicating that you are investing in their development for future opportunities will cause resistance instead of excitement.
  • Investing in technical skills only– Critical skills for today’s modern organisation include what was once considered ‘soft skills’. High level communication skills, leadership, maintaining healthy relationships, influence, presenting, critical thinking are just some of those skills that need developing too. Technical skills will only get a team member so far.
  • It’s rushed– Can we have these 27 outcomes achieved in 3 hours please Paula? Oh yes, I get it all the time.  3 hours can still be valuable for a few tips, but sustainable and high impact change needs a well thought out strategy and time.
  • No effective evaluation strategy – And no, those feedback forms at the end of a training day rarely provide any useful information and only provide a level 1 evaluation.

To mitigate these risks, it’s important to carefully plan and design training and development programmes (including coaching and consulting)  to ensure they are effective and address specific needs, communicate the benefits of training to employees to encourage buy-in, and evaluate the impact of training to ensure it is delivering the desired results. And you also want to encourage ‘Heutagogy’ thinking. Stay tuned for another blog on the definition of and the value of heutagogy.

If you don’t invest in the training and development of your team, you’ll end up with a team and an organisation that is no longer relevant in today’s fast and every changing competitive business environment

Hire an expert, not a trainer or speaker

I have always been a little addicted to learning, honing my skills and attending professional development events so I can be of better service to my clients. Even after 30 years in my area of expertise I still look for opportunities to grow my knowledge and skill base. Over the past few years I have embarked on a master’s degree and more recently a PhD in my area of expertise. Big decisions for a busy professional. It almost felt a little self-indulgent to spend days hidden away reading, researching and writing about all the things I love.

Although I have immersed myself in powerful presenting for over 30 years, my master’s and PhD research had me digging a little deeper into leadership communication and story. I look forward to sharing my research through my work in the coming months and years. So, why did I want to extend my knowledge and expertise? well I like to think I am an expert in my industry and an expert is always trying to stay current and relevant. I also work with experts and I coach experts. During both degrees though, there was much discussion and debate about what defines an expert and who I could reference during my research. It really got me thinking about the term expert and who decides who is an expert?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary and expert is ‘a person with a high level of knowledge or skill relating to a particular subject or activity’

And Wikipedia says ‘An expert is someone who has a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field’ I do like that one.

Many professionals, like speakers and educators, learn deep, very deep; they become recognised industry experts.

You may have noticed the word ‘expert’ being loosely thrown about these days.

Some argue that expertise come from lived experience and not by getting a ‘piece of paper’, others argue that years of study or a qualification proves you’re an expert. I am a solid believer it’s lots of both. Lived experience is essential but also studying the insights from others in your field opens your mind to different perspectives and views. It gives you the opportunity to critically analyse past and current theories and practices and to conduct your own research in your area of expertise.

There is also the concept of the 10,000-hour rule. This is derived from the work of psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, who studied the way people become experts in their fields. Author Malcolm Gladwell popularised the concept in his book “Outliers. Many have criticised or debunked this theory like the co-author of the book Peak Performance Brad Stulberg. He stated psychological research indicates expertise is really developed based on the way you practice, rather than the time you devote. This makes much more sense to me. Even so, the 10,000-hour rule is a great ‘check in’ on how much time you have devoted to honing your skills.

I have found my clients don’t like paying for speakers or trainers who only share what anyone can quickly find on google; clients pay for the extra insights or gold nuggets experts share. They also pay for the way this gold is communicated and contexualised saving individuals and organisations time and money.

Experts spend their life (or a large proportion of it) researching and exploring their area of expertise so you don’t have to, and they love nothing more than to share their findings with others.

Are you an expert? 

What have you been studying or exploring lately to better serve your clients?

Have you been having a ‘prolonged and intense experience’ and wish to share it with others?

Next time you hear the word ‘expert’ what will you think? Are they really an expert? Are they a fake expert? Or are they an expert on a lifelong journey mastering their expertise along the way.


Dr Paula Smith the CEO of the Global Institute of Training and Presenting. GITP contracts many experts across a diverse range of industries and topics. Paula is also a Keynote speaker, master trainer, author and business leadership coach (click on her personal website here)


Is your team COVID ready? Psychological safety is key

As of today, the WA borders still plan to open on February 5th.  There is a lot of debate within the community and industry sectors whether we are ready?  Will be ever be totally ready for what’s about to creep (or pour) into our lives. Just like with our first taste of COVID early in 2020, there is once again fear, unrest and curiosity about what it’s going to mean for us all.   And all the associated behaviours from these feelings and emotions will start to emerge. Leaders and workplaces will face yet another challenge; helping their people to navigate this minefield of emotions and behaviours and the flow on impact on organisational progress. How can you help your staff feel safe to come to work, safe to express their feelings about the world, safe to take risks, safe to speak up and safe to trust leadership decisions?

We will all need to have an engaged, resilient and healthy workforce if are going to survive the pandemic and the constant change that’s about to erupt.

Psychological safety is key

Psychological safety is being able to show and employ one’s self without fear of negative consequences of self-image, status or career (Kahn 1990). Psychological safety is showing up more regularly in critical leadership discussions across the globe as we move into a more people-focused and compassionate way of leading.

Current research shows a strong correlation between psychological safety and workplace performance.  If you and your team feel safe, it shows up in behaviours.

A quick chat at a pre-start meeting or a hallway thumbs up is not enough to check-in on the psychological safety of your team.  Managers, supervisors and leaders need to develop strategies to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all staff.  Thus producing a happier, more engaged and resilient workforce.

We know the pressures and the impact it had on our mental health last time COVID came to town. Well, I don’t think it’s going to be a short visit this time around and the impact of uncertainty, fear, sickness, staff shortages and high absenteeism is going to take it’s toll on everyone in WA. Our wellness and psychological safety are going to have to play centre stage if we are going to survive and thrive.

Look out for these behaviours below
It may mean your key people do not feel safe

  • Those who have low trust in everything and everyone around them
  • Being risk averse
  • Looking for anyone or anything to blame
  • Not speaking up – keeping quiet
  • Defensive and rejective to new ideas and suggestions
  • Decreased self-efficacy (self belief in their abilities)
  • Having more difficulty handling stress or pressure
  • Low resiliency – longer times to get over mistakes or challenges
  • Absent from work, meetings and other workplace activities (even on-line)
  • Disengaged in work activities and relationships

You don’t have to be in a leadership role to recognise ‘unsafe’ and remember to call out any behaviours that make other feel unsafe in challenging times.  The more we support each other top up and top down, (remember our leaders are human too) the better and safer it will be for everyone.

If you need help to communicate and educate in leadership behaviour and communication reach out. We have a range of masterclasses and coaching solutions to help your key people to navigate the future of work.

Introducing REL8 Human Behaviour and Relationship Model

We are very excited to introduce to you the REL8  Human Behaviour and Relationship model and system.

Personality, values, and experiences shape who we are and how we relate to others around us. We are naturally drawn to people who are like us, agree with us and compliment us. How can we learn to embrace those who are different to us, disagree with us or even ignore us?

Understanding and working with the REL8 Human Behaviour and Relationship model offers a simple yet powerful insight on how to build and maintain relationships with those around us so that everyone can get on with business.

REL8 can be delivered as a stand alone interactive half or full day workshop or integrated into a range of team dynamics, communication and leadership development programmes.

Your team will love learning about why they think and behave the way they do and how easy it is to get along with everyone, once they understand how to REL8.

If you are interested in becoming a Licensed REL8 facilitator our next accreditation 2-day workshop is coming up on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December. $1,995.00 person 

More information on REL8 here and reach out for availability and how REL8 can add another dimension to your coaching, training or consulting offerings.



Reach out to introduce REL8 to your team.