by D. Williamson | May 30, 2013 | 7 Min Read

4 Reasons DIY Training Is a D-O-N-T

Be it home renovations or craft projects, we’ve all tried the DIY way a few times before. You know how it goes; you can save a few bucks and earn the satisfaction of accomplishing the work with your own two hands. When you’re done, you’ve got a gleam in your eye, you fold your arms over your chest and stand back in admiration—you feel like you conquered the world, even if conquering the world means re-grouting the bathroom tile. Training DIYBut DIY is not for everyone, because not everyone is a Martha Stewart or Bob Vila. We saw it in Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor’s rocket launcher dishwasher, and we saw it in the glitter and modge-podge disasters of PinterestFails, that DIY is a D-O-N-T for most of us. And your employee training shouldn’t be any different. Suddenly, regret sets in when there’s a hole in your kitchen wall the size of a small child, and glitter is so deeply embedded into your carpet nothing short of a steam cleaner will get it out. Then, there’s your spouse standing in the cloud of dust, silently shaking their head at your DIY demise. You may say we’re comparing apples to kitchen sinks, but hear us out. These are our top 4 reasons that DIY is a D-O-N-T for your employee training:

1. Clip art isn’t cutting it anymore.

We’ve all sat through hours and hours of PowerPoint presentations with the same clip art cartoons and an overwhelming amount of words on screen. The minutes tick by like you’re sitting at the DMV, and you leave tired, struggling to remember what you learned. In order for training to stick and keep the learner’s attention, it needs to be engaging and interactive. On top of that, it needs to reinforce the messaging of your brand so your employees are confident with your products and services. To do this, you need to leverage a range of technology and resources—from writers to video producers to graphic designers—to make training that is fresh, interactive, and, well, not the same PowerPoint full of clip art your team has seen for the past decade.

2. Is it even working?

Needless to say, bursting water pipes grab attention faster than ineffective training, which can fly under the radar for a long time. Even though you may think your DIY training is working, it’s hard to tell when your training isn’t up to par. But look at your sales reports, customer service reports, and, of course, your results. Is it all adding up? A comprehensive training program will incorporate tools to track the correlation of job training with job performance, including metrics like revenue or customer satisfaction. With accountability and analytics, you ensure you know exactly how far your training’s influence stretches.

3. Time is money.

Every year training budgets get cut, and you’re asked to do more with less. Just like your gutters that always need to be cleaned, your company can always use more training. The demands on your time and your team’s time only grow with every new hire and every restructure. Research from ATD shows half of all training requires anywhere from 11 to 50 hours to create one hour of material, with 30% requiring an excess of 50 hours. But if you don’t have a spare 50 hours, letting someone else create your training (or clean your gutters for that matter) means you’ll get more done with less. That means your team will be able to focus on things like researching trends, influencing the company, and mentoring and training others. Imagine what you can get done when you can spend your time proactively engaging your training department, instead of just fighting fires and trying to keep up.

4. Pay less now, pay more later.

When DIY goes wrong, it means you pay double. As if spending your entire weekend fixing your sprinkler system wasn’t enough, when the sprinklers still don’t turn on, you now have to pay for the experts to come out and actually make it work. With training, there’s more at stake than the cost invested in creating the initial module or program. Training affects job performance, employee attitudes, and ultimately, revenue. So the costs associated with creating training are not only related to the training itself, but the lasting influence and impact of the training on the business. Going the DIY route may be attractive with the idea of potential cost savings and the sense of personal accomplishment, but at what risk? Make it right the first time, and you won’t need to worry about redesigning it later. From planning your yearly budget to executing an urgent training request, it’s time to start thinking about training in terms of letting go and having someone else do it for you, so you are free to do work that’s meaningful. Connect with a training partner, and you’ll make sure the job gets done right, in time and on budget. So, what do you think? What’s your experience with DIY? Epic failure? Overwhelming success? Let us know! Find us on Twitter or Facebook, and let's chat.
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