HR Managers: Beware, Indian Training Industry is in chaos
Yes! I strongly believe in it. Been in this industry for a while, and been associated with senior or junior trainers for a long time I believe the issue is with Individuals Trainers - because a set of Individuals form an Industry.
Some of the issues are :
1) Quality of Individual Trainers : This is the major issue, as one of the Master Trainers and an owner of a world renowned training institute once said “ In India, anyone who can speak English is a trainer’’. I reflected. This is true to a great extent but I believe it is changing. When the BPOs and IT industry boomed in the early 2000, most of the organizations were looking for English Speaking Candidates - as they can communicate effectively with their foreign counter parts, especially in the call centre environment. The “English Speaking’’ sect use to get quick promotions and attractive salary hikes. They were the face of Industry. However, by the end of 2000 things have changed, companies started looking for low salaried employees to cut cost. Many “English Speaking ‘left their regular job to become Soft Skills Trainers .
The point to ponder is, English is a language and language is a skill. Skill alone is not sufficient to be a trainer . We need Knowledge . Skills , and Attitude to be successful.
I have worked with some phenomenal trainers this means they had the knowledge, skill and attitude. I believe as an Individual trainer you need to possess right skills, adequate knowledge and most importantly an attitude to learn and attitude to teach.
2) Hard Selling by Trainers : I know a lady trainer, she calls herself as a trainer but her traits are of a salesperson. She wants to SELL and SELL and SELL all the time. Because she is a hard core SELLER – she naturally picks attractive Key words / Jargons to sell her services and training programs. For Example : AIDA is simple concept in Advertising to get attention, interest, desire and motivating a person to take an action. You can hard sell this concept and people learn the concept but later they wont be able to apply in their real life because what you have told them is ONLY the concept not how to apply !.
Trainers who are experiential in nature are the real ones who make a difference.
3) Certifications - be it ICF, PCC - It’s a waste : Does it resonate with you? I am sure with some it does. Let me give a candid opinion – I believe all training related certifications are of no use. It just states you completed a course. It has no market value. I attended a Life Coaching certification program -which is also a ICF certified program. What was so shocking to me was – the 6 months program was set up as a Skype Conference model – this means every week one hour Skype session for a life coaching program. The program needless to say had a lot of issues with connectivity and other technical issues. The trainer had a presentation, which had topics like – Listening, asking questions etc - which I believe was a good content to be taught for elementary school kids. I decided not to take their certification as I believed it had no value rather a disrespect to my identity - if I had to call myself as a Life Coach with that certification. I did pay the full fees.
The program failed to give a good experience to the participants. It hardly had a face to face interaction which is a MUST for a life coaching program.
ICF or PCC are just a group of people formed a body, this is not a university where stringent measures are in place to check the validity of the courses. I know quite a few people who paid really huge money for their certifications but hadn’t received any return on investments. Sitting at home being ‘jobless” or being “independent “or an “entrepreneur” I hear they say – I am an ICF certified coach!!!!!!
4) The unstructured segment : Training Industry is in chaos, real chaos because there is no structure for this segment. I believe it is a crime to charge Rs 30,000 for a 3 days train the trainer course as training someone to be a trainer is about inculcating a new set of beliefs, values and an identity to the person, it cannot be done in 3 days.
To be an Engineer, the student has to undergo at least 4 years of classroom training and projects, that makes him proficient in the field. Similarly Training Industry needs to have a structure for various programs so that it produces meaningful and competent trainers.
Overall, as an organization when you search for good trainers and training institutes invest time in finding more about the trainers, and their background and their interest in the field. If it is just another job for them then they are not the right trainers and if the training institute is into hard selling of their products or services, then they might not be the right training institute for your organization.