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“New boots, new skis, new jacket.

Same lack of ability”


I was reading the advert for ski lessons while sitting on the chairlift being transported to the top of the ski runs and it made me think – sadly, this is so true!

Whilst a nice new jacket makes us feel good, slightly more confident even, the reality is that the new jacket doesn’t instantly make us an advanced black run skier (sadly) and our underlying level of skiing ability will remain the same unless we also make the decision to sign up for those extra lessons.

Which of course is also applicable to how we operate on a daily basis in our work. We might be sent off to some really interesting training to up skill or learn something new, or we might be signed up to a leadership program but how much benefit we, and the company derive from that can be highly variable.

This is because unless we are in the right frame of mind; curious, engaged and feeling well, that new learning or training may be essentially wasted.

As Chiaburu and Lindsay (2008) noted,

“Training programmes are effective only to the extent that the skills and behaviours learned and practiced during instruction are actually transferred to the workplace.”

 Building capability through learning and development is recognised as essential to continuing improved performance. What can get forgotten is to check in first with those attending the training that it is firstly appropriate to their existing skill set and applicable to what is needed to deliver the desired outcomes and also that a person is willing to learn.

If a workplace is suffering from high levels of disengagement, silo mentality, lack of motivation or uncertainty, no matter how good the training on offer, unless these aspects are addressed, the training is then essentially window dressing – ticking off the boxes that the L and D components have been covered.

Which is why a high performance workplace takes the brain health and fitness of all employees seriously. They know if they want to see a good ROI of training dollars, starting with good organisational health has to come first.

With busy schedules, tight budgets and rapid organisational change, how training is delivered has had to change to accommodate the changing work environment. This is where incorporating what is known from the brain science about how the brain best likes to learn, combined with the advent of our new technologies means putting together effective L and D programs is now not only more possible it is much easier.

  •  Is your workplace cognisant of best learning practices?
  • Does your workplace deliver effective training programs that are of real benefit to you and the business itself?
  • Do you know what is holding L and D back in your organisation?

 It’s time to boost high performance in the workplace using brain-based learning. Let’s keep that new jacket as a reward rather than wishful thinking.

I’d love to hear your thoughts,

Until next time, 

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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