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Dear All,
I find it difficult to assesmble the trainees in my organization for the communication training which is conducted only for an hour and that too thrice a week. They say they have deliverables and deadlines to meet.
I addressed the concern to the HR Mngr but in vain since the trainees come for the following two sessions after teh meet and then they are back to square one, again leading to absentism.
Please suggest!

From India, Pune
Discuss the issue with their reporting Manager and also try to convey them the importance of good communication skill in today's business world. Try to explain them that all their hard work will go in vain if they lack in communication. Try to focus the effects of bad communication. This might do something.

From India, Delhi
Hi Michelle
Some questions which will help us advise you better:
1) What is the duration of your program?
2) Is it broken up into multiple sessions or is the same session repeated
3) How many participants per session? Whats the design?
4) What is the cost of running this program? Give a breakdown of this.
5) What is the purpose of the training? Who has requested it, HR, Reporting manager or employees?
6) What time of the day have you chosen to conduct your session?
7) Whats the method of delivery, chalk and talk or interaction?
I guess once you answer these questions, things will become clearer.
All the best.

From India, Mumbai
Thanks for taking the time to respond! It's highly appreciated.
It's in vain to discuss with the RM's (I'd tried) since they are the ones who delegate the task their sub-ordinates and for them CLIENT DEADLINES AND DELIEVERABLES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT(I understand)-so they priortize it so.
hence I am in a fix. this is a challenge ofcourse for me.

From India, Pune
Hello Ryan,

Thanks for taking the time to respond! I highly appreciate it.

Follwoing are the answers to your questions:

1) What is the duration of your program?

Since am an onboard trainer in my organization training is a continuous process(as so it is otherwise as well). Hence the duration depends upon their improvement shown while training.

2) Is it broken up into multiple sessions or is the same session repeated

We've different depts. out here so I take up the batch dept. wise. However, all the depts. have the sessions thrice a week, onehour per session. The days however would vary from dept. to dept..

To cover up the missed sessions by the participants I've also started with a revisional batch but then mostly alomst everyone turns up for that revisional session(again at time some don't even).

3) How many participants per session? Whats the design?

Since it's dept. wise the no. of particiapnts vary. It could be from somewhere 8 to 20 per batch.

4) What is the cost of running this program? Give a breakdown of this.

The cost is the sal that they pay me. That's all, I guess.

5) What is the purpose of the training? Who has requested it, HR,

Reporting manager or employees?

Purpose: Help them work toward their areas of improvement in communication.

Requested By: VP, HR Mngr

6) What time of the day have you chosen to conduct your session?

I rather asked the particiapnts to come up with their convenient times and yet they don't turn up.(this at times really pisses me off!!) It's eitehr in the afternoon for some and in the eve for the others.

7) Whats the method of delivery, chalk and talk or interaction?

It's interactive, ppt's followed by exercises and also energisers as when possible since I got only an hour with them. I also ensure to induce humour in my sessions.

Inspite of all the efforts taken the output is very unsatisfactory.

Having answered your questions hope you could now suggest me better.

Thanks again!


From India, Pune

Aside of making repeated attempts to convince/educate the senior management to assign priority to training, I doubt if you can do much. I say this as I find:

1) It is strange to have, "clients deadlines" and "deliverables" as responsibilities of the "trainees".

2) It means that the trainees that we are talking of, are NOT TRAINEES in the real sense.

3) It is clear that the organization that treats Trainees as regular employees (accountable for performance) is indulging clearly in UNFAIR practices to say the least.

It is evident that the HR conceptual base of the organization is WEAK or dishonest. It is grossly wrong to not treat the trainees as TRAINEES in the real sense.

My suggestion is to keep trying and hoping for a positive change in the mindset of the organization. But beyond a point of time (which you have to choose), I am afraid you would be wasting your time in such a climate. Alternatively, you may conform to the present reality of your organization and agree to decay professionally, which I urge you not to!

Rest is upto you.



May 17, 2007

From India, Pune
Hi Kavita,

do not get upset. Try this.

Request your HR Manager to have a meet with the Department heads.

The discussion should be on the importance of communicaiton skill of the team members.

1. Find out the interested members to participate in the beginning. Just send an email to all the team members with copies to team heads stating that "Employees who are interested in developing communication skill can enroll themselves with the consent of their department heads for the class"

2.Initially conduct the class only to them. Slowly everybody will try to participate

3. Cut the session to 30 minutes.

4. Try the session between 11 and 11.30 am.

5. Have more interactions in the class

6. Make sure that you complete the sesson within short period. Eventhough learning is continuos process it can be divided into semesters. Similarly your communication class should go for 3-4 months.

7. Once a batch is completed then you conduct next batch. Do not go on adding members in between a batch as and when they join. This will avoid repetition of same topic and you will have batches throughout the year.

Hope this helps.

Priya Maran G

From India, Madras
Dear Kavita

I see that you are passionate about what you are doing and desperately hoping that your seniors and also the trainees see it the program the way you do. The problem then is not with the product but in selling it to the 'customer'. The 'customer' has to be sold on the product. He should see tangible benefits. He should be made to see, rather. To do this,

1. Ariculate and document the benefits of the program and communicate them to the HoDs and also the employees (trainees).

2. Obtain and share any positive feedback of the previous participants.

3. Identify the real reason(s) for poor response to a good product and try to address it directly. For example, doing the program departmentwise means that one department will have to spare a large number of employees for the program, which may not be possible at all. Hence, if you have a mix of departments, each department will have to spare only a fewer number at a time, making the program more attractiv to them on this score also.

Let me know if you tried and how it worked, if at all !

All the very best !!

Hi Kavita,

I had written a response to you, but my lan connection took a break :D so I'm retyping it :(

Your responses have definitely helped in clarifying the situation. Some immediate observations :

1) I don't get the impression that TNI (Training Needs Identification) was done before the decision and design of the program.

2) Your costing of the training is incomplete. You should also add cost of the resources like conference room, stationery, snacks, LCD / AV equipment in addition to your salary.

3) Your method of delivery is fine. As a variation, You may want to show a snippet of film and hold a group discussion after that.

4) It appears that the dept head and/ or HR wants to have the program, the employees don't see any value in the program.

Therefore, please clarify:

1) What is supposed to happen or not happen at the end of the session? 2) What should there be more or less of, after the program.

3) What is the evaluation method you have for the program? I am sure you will get a pretty good idea if your feedback form is made keeping in mind the objective of the program. Be VERY suspicious if you get ALL HIGH ratings.

4) Most of all, how was it decided that communication skills is required? When they said communication, did they mean Verbal (language), Written (business language), Interpersonal (team communication) or Communication with customers. Your program design would differ based on this.

Suggestions for you:

1) Get your participants nominated by the department head only. Thereafter, send them an invite which can be signed by you & HR Head. This letter (hard copy or email) must be sent to them 1 week in advance so that they can schedule time for this.

2) Do not accept last minute dropouts unless there are serious reasons and only if you get a replacement. For other dropouts, ask them to inform you through their department head AND provide a replacement trainee.

3) You may be doing this already - Maintain an attendance sheet for each session. Take attendance at the end of the program and send a list of absentees to the dept head with a cc to the HR head.

4) The training cost which you now have calculated as I have shown above should be broken down to a per participant cost. This cost is to be billed to the department head.

5) You could try to have your session first thing in the morning and end it with a tea break, or you can have it just before lunch. Please don't do it after lunch or before EOD.

6) Be strict about timings(yeah, I know it sounds harsh - but you are not in the session for timepass). Introduce fines for late comers. Blacklist those who misbehave during the session.

7) Since the session will be a regular feature, book your conference room continuously for a particular day/s of the week for a month or 2. This way, you establish an identity / time / place for your training program. Avoid adjusting the usage of the conference room at the last minute with other departments.

You should do some or all of these things for all programs not just the current one, especially TNI before any program. I am sure that following some of the actions given above will help you in getting better results.

All the best and let me know how it turns out.



From India, Mumbai
Dear Chow,
If you will identify certain different techniques for communication training, it may be helpful. I think following methods may work:
1. Delivering session in a manner different from routine one.
2. Finding are of interest where trainees would like to earn learning, then they will fill it worthful and interesting.
3. Using of interesting activities for trainees (relavant to training) for learning.
4. Allow them to find their learning don't they won't like to be trained.
5. Use of role playing will keep them involved.

From India, Ahmadabad

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