The Growing Void in Communication Training2021-08-05T18:41:23+00:00

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The Growing Void in Communication Training

By Sarah Stadler

The Growing Void in Communication Training

By Sarah Stadler

What is your ideal workplace? Is everyone respectfully working together towards the company goals? Is the communication authentic, professional, and productive all at the same time? This may sound like an imaginary utopia, but it is possible. I’ve seen it in action.

High-performance teams aren’t just born. They take time to grow, mature, and learn. To create the type of workplace where teams thrive, it takes training. 

Communication and compliance training are proven methods to improve productivity and customer and staff retention rates. Mastering key communication skills diminish workplace conflict, missed deadlines, and costly miscommunications. By improving communication and minimizing compliance risks, companies can make more money, faster and with a happier and healthier staff.

And while there are great training facilitators out there that teach scenario-based courses, there’s a gap when it comes to teaching real-life, in-the-moment-based skills. In this article, I’ll walk through the types of communication training that exist, what they’re missing, and how you can supplement training courses to reap the full benefits of elevated business communication.

Communication Training Options for the Modern Business

It’s a new world out there—businesses have to balance and optimize both in-person and online communications. Teams are no longer confined to an office building but can span the globe. Not only do businesses have to worry about communication across time zones, but also across continents, cultures, and languages.

There are plenty of communication training options available for businesses of all shapes and sizes. There are large, multi-continent training companies with dozens of instructors who can train giant corporations, like Ariel. On the other end of the spectrum, there are business coaches—private coaching that provide personalized one-on-one executive coaching, like Aaron Ramos of Framework Mind.

To address the modern workplace, many training companies have expanded the way they conduct their training. Programs can be instructor-led in-person, or instructor-led online. Many training companies are starting to offer digital learning programs that allow asynchronous, private online courses designed to scale with your organization. 

Common course topics that support business communication and compliance include:

  • Anti-harassment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Anti-bullying
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Anti-bribery and corruption
  • Antitrust
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
  • Trade compliance
  • Trading compliance
  • Anti-money laundering

Training can be industry-specific too. Healthcare may have different compliance concerns than higher education. Tech, finance, and hospitality all have their nuances. Whatever your company’s size or industry, there is a program out there designed to fit your needs. And, if you’re working in a highly regulated industry, there are legal requirements for training and consequences can be severe if that training doesn’t stick. 

The Growing Gap in Learning Business Communication

Don’t get me wrong, communication training courses are valuable and with the right program, worth every penny. But they are lacking. There are several gaps that form when attempting to use these courses as a bandaid for poor communication practices:

Lack of Frequency

A single training or yearly event is unlikely to change institutional behavior. With one-time or infrequent training, learned practices and tools are forgotten over time. 

Training courses are typically part of onboarding—when an employee first starts at a company and before they completely understand their role, the business structure, or possible communication challenges. Or, unfortunately, training often comes after an inciting incident. It’s reactive instead of preventative and ongoing. 

No Reinforcement

Training topics are often based on avoiding undesirable behaviors. But whose responsibility is it to reinforce those learned behaviors? While training courses offer good advice, there is no “lifeguard on duty” to make sure people are following the outlined course of action. 

No Real-Timing Training

It can be difficult to transfer teachings from a classroom (whether it be digital or in-person) to the workplace. While many courses offer world-class advice and training techniques, they cannot provide in-real-time training. Courses are isolated to designated learning times and don’t bleed over into day-to-day interactions. There’s often a disconnect between the theory and the real-world application.

Missing Context

Merely telling people what not to do not only doesn’t work, it can turn them off. Often the “reason” and the “why” are missing from policies. Employees are left in the dark without context and the potential impacts are diminished or completely missed. Training that only talks about avoiding liability can come across as abstract and irrelevant. 

The Missing Link to Communication Training

Don’t give up on training courses just yet. There is a way to supplement training so that employees can continue to grow after the course has ended. 

Honcho is a tool that businesses use to cement the ideas learned in training courses and bridge the learnings to real-time situations. 

What exactly is Honcho? Honcho is a customizable communications protection software that sits on employees’ desktops. As your employees’ fingers hit the keys, Honcho is there to provide training and feedback. 

Honcho ensures that communications are aligned with cultural standards, compliance, and regulatory requirements. At the same time, it supports users and prevents them from sending potentially damaging communications. Users are given in-context training materials and case studies applicable to the policy they may be violating. 

If you’re like me, nothing drives a concept home like experiencing it first hand. Honcho allows employees to see in-real-time how their communications could be construed or downright inappropriate. 

With Honcho, training becomes on-going, in real-time, with context, and constant yet gentle reinforcement. It saves time, reduces risk, and empowers employees to live up to their greatest potential. 

The Ultimate Training Combination 

By pairing Honcho with traditional training, businesses can build a strong communication foundation with scenario-based learning and nurture it with in-the-moment coaching and feedback. 

Average teams blossom into high-performing powerhouses. Productivity goes through the roof, engagement is strong regardless of location, and the positive culture makes both employees and clients want to stick around for the long haul. 

The Next Evolution of Learning

Now that we have a better understanding of modern communication training options, their downfalls, and how to supplement for the best results, it’s time to think about why current training methods fail. In our next article, we’ll go deep into how people learn and how that’s evolving. 

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