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Promoting training – 9 ways to boost your presence

February 8, 2009

One aspect that I did forget to mention about documenting is promotion. Sure, we record our efforts and results for the greater purpose of education and standardisation, but we mustn’t forget the opportunity to promote our wares and what we have done to make them better. This is where we say “we’re here, and we’re here to help”.

Occasionally, I visit an organisation and find that the training is great, if only someone would use it. Now there are many reasons why this wonder asset isn’t being used, but a solid proportion of the reasons I get from the front line are “I didn’t know [insert course / topic here] training was available”.

Sometimes the rest of the team may see the role that the training department plays in the organisation a little differently, especially if the only time we surface is when it’s time to right a few wrongs that the operators have been getting away with or to torture them into proving that they are still competent for another twelve months.

Take this chance to show the rest of the team what you can do for them, what you have and why they need to continue their own development.

Vehicles for promoting your training

There are many ways you can get your message out there. I’m not against standing out the front of the building with a “loud-hailer”, but I would suggest a less invasive, consistent approach to avoid them wrong impression being adopted. Here are 9 ways you can get your presence recognised by the rest of the organisation.

  • Notice board: Don’t have a training notice board – get one right now. This is where your training plan and course nomination forms live. Also put up other resources (e.g. newsletters), suggestion and feedback forms, recent achievements and upcoming training opportunities.
  • Ceremonies: I know that not all graduates of training enjoy the fanfare of receiving recognition in public, but it is a promotional opportunity. It tells the word what is available and rewards learning effort. It doesn’t need to go ‘all out’ and it could be a simple announcement.
  • Press kit: Introduce yourselves to every new person who steps in the door and offer up your services. Give them a welcome pack that outlines what is available, where to find out more and who to contact.
  • Word of mouth: Ask previous course participants for referrals. If they can spread the word and generate a buzz, it will circulate through the workplace quicker (of course negative feed back can move just as quickly).
  • Guest presence: Attend workplace gatherings, especially those put together by your operational counter parts. You don’t actually have speak at any workplace gathering, just be there to answer questions and give out further information. You can also learn a thing or two about their needs.
  • Audience with managers: Get one-on-one time with the other leaders and supervisors. Ask to help them with the performance reporting and goal setting for their direct reports. If your training becomes a part of an employees development plan, that’s a referral from the top.
  • Start a newsletter: These are great for publishing the results of your efforts and the achievements of your students. It can also serve as an information pamphlet (additional resources etc), a request for feed back, an address book for contacts and a flier for upcoming events. Throw in a few work related quiz questions and you have a makeshift TNA.
  • Web presence: If you have an intra-net, you need a website. This is where your future prospects will find out what you have to offer when you’re not around to tell them yourself. This is also a great place to put additional information such as links to other web resources, recent news or fact sheets (incentive for past students to return).
  • Information sessions: It doesn’t have to be a formal presentation or gathering, just make yourself available at a particular point for a particular period. Share a coffee or morning tea and even of nobody shows, it usually generates enough interest to increase your popularity for the next few days.

Promoting your efforts generates interest in your activities. Sure, the organisation’s employees may have obligatory training requirements, but this is your opportunity to change this from a ‘sentence’ to an opportunity. A well trained workforce is powerful and agile; desirable training generates a hunger to learn and motivates a team to become one.


Download my free e-book NOW YOU TELL ME The seven things that I wish I’d known before I started training on the job.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark permalink
    February 10, 2009 12:51 am

    Great post. How can you expect to attract clients to your training activity if they aren’t even aware it exists? It’s one of the early stages in the selling process. If you only create an awareness in your organisation that there are workshops and courses available, you’re well ahead when the client actually identifies their own training need.

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