What is ‘happy’ training?

By Bob Morrell on October 1, 2019

It was once observed by a comedian that ‘many people work in the dullest jobs and as if that wasn’t painful enough, we now expect them to enjoy their jobs as well!’

So much of L&D investment is spent on programmes designed to show our people how well off they are, how well they are appreciated and how happy they should be to do their job. Self-motivation is essential to get a job and then the company pays for motivators and initiatives to maintain the momentum!

Especially during times of uncertainty – lay-offs, share-price drops, poor performance periods and economic downturns, we take whoever is left and project something at them, to make them ‘happy’. Over the years we’ve attended company do’s which are a list of speakers, some dull and board-level – some motivational, some sportsmen and women, some heroes, and some semi-famous business people. We’ve also seen people pumped up and sent out to run over hot coals, people attempting clown style assault courses in front of their colleagues, sent camping on wind swept mountains, or to third world countries to ‘make a difference’ as part of their development.

In many cases these events and ideas are pretty cynical ways to motivate staff rather than pay them any more money. In some cases they are well-meaning, but ‘doomed to failure’ programmes, due to people leaving before they’re finished, or simply a concept that a Director once experienced that they are now in a position to impose on others.

Right now, you will have salespeople struggling to sell, managers who cannot lead, leaders who cannot change. Surely, we all need something practical at times like this – and if it’s motivational then so much the better. In times of uncertainty (now?) which L&D programmes are delivering real and lasting change, and supporting your brand through the tough times for the betterment and security of all and which are within the compass of those described above?