Case. Internal training course development
Why was the Internal Training Course necessary for us?
A few years ago, our team which is engaged in construction and development of amusement parks faced the following problem. While we manage an entertainment center, its efficiency is high, but it decreases as soon as the team goes to work on another project.
Knowing as it is necessary to do, we weren’t able to give it to others competently. «Development Course of the Entertainment Center Manager» that allowed to structure knowledge of the company and to develop a system for their transfer was the problem resolution.
What is the course?
This is a semi-annual program of five modules. Duration of each module is from four to five days. Training activity is provided in St. Petersburg, Kazan and Smolensk, where there are our entertainment centers are in.
The program includes Soft and Hard Skills operating. Soft skills are management, motivation, leadership, goal-setting. Hard skills are everything that relates to specifics of business.
Developers and coaches of the program
Pavel Timets (CEO) and Ksenia Biushkina (Leading Business Analyst of «Indoor amusement parks» LTD.) are authors of the idea and developers of the course.
Getting down to business, we understood that we cannot do without professional approach. Before we did not train people therefore we visited a training activity for coaches where we mastered holding training activity skills within half a year.
The course development was started with determining what skills a manager of an entertainment center shall have. Proceeding from it, we constituted the program.
Internal specialists of the company were involved to develop highly specialized Hard modules. Some of them were as coaches in certain blocks of the Course. For example, Svetlana Mariri — the Finance Director of The Company, Candidate of Economic Sciences wrote and further carried out the Financial part.
Soft modules were developed together with the EQuator training company. It was carried out jointly, too — one coach from EQuator, the second — from our company. Similar partnership allows touching on deep subjects which require serious trainer’s experience.
What are objectives of the Course?
In addition to generalization of knowledge of the company and their transfer, our Course has some more tasks:
- To grow up specialists independently
We open entertainment centers almost every year. To launch the next amusement park, we shall have a person to a manager position. Therefore, we set a task, to find, at least one, new manager for the entertainment center.
It is important for us to grow up managers in the company. We try not to have in employ top management from outside but we develop our employees to the desired level independently. By this we speak to them: «You have a chance! Only show us your desire to work and develop».
- To raise involvement and efficiency of the acting managers and the management
We have administrators, managers and two participants who are already managers among participants of the Course. It is important from the point of view of further corporate values and management methods transferring.
Introducing knowledge in them, we expect to receive complex benefit from all employees of the amusement park. Participants are filled with ideas and further transfer them to system of an entertainment center and in operating already with their team.
The first flow consisted generally of company employees. This helped us to rally noticeably our collective and became as an additional objective of the Course that we didn’t set in advance, but achieved.
Why the Course was paid?
In process of training we please ensure that the decision to make the course paid was right. When a person pays for something, as a result he wants to receive more from it.
There were situations in which participants shared that to rise with the sun and come to the next module they were motivated by the fact that they paid money for the training activity. If it was free, they would calmly continue to sleep.
At the same time for the company employees we gave a notable discount — 70% of the course cost.
How the participants were selected
A group was small, there were only 12 people. We selected people for the course and conducted preliminary interviews.
Also, we had an educational grant. Any employee of the company could write a motivational letter and tell why he deserves to complete the Course free of charge. That is even individual Contributors had a chance to complete the Course free of charge.
What projects are realized by participants of the Course and on what terms?
The first Development Course of the Entertainment Center Manager was unprofitable according to plan. It is new experience for us and we didn’t pledge profit earning in the project. Besides, we gave a notable discount for all participants working in our entertainment centers.
We expected to receive benefit from the projects realized by participants. During the training, everyone developed a project which shall make profit for entertainment center. The main condition is relevance of the project for business and measurable performance indicators.
Where to get money for a project
We warned the participants that they independently take on their projects from start to finish. If the idea requires investments, they had to understand that money should be looked for by themselves. Exactly as it happens in practice. Not necessarily out-of-pocket, it is possible from the budget of the company or any other financial institution. But the author of the project is responsible for getting money.
The participant can address to the Accounts department or to the Manager, but he shall reason, present and protect his idea at the same time. Only after that he can receive money, or cannot receive…
Over half of the participants could not overcome this stage. The mistake was that they took much too ambitious projects which were wider than their area of influence.
Having successfully executed the first part that is prescribed on paper, they as a result could not receive money, mainly because they revaluated their opportunities.
What managed to be realized:
The Billiard school in FUN24 entertainment center in Kazan is among welcome suggestions. This idea was realized by Arkady Sokolov. The project consisted of mass of details — to find coaches, to determine hours, mode of study, type of subscriptions, etc. Among pluses it should be noted that the Billiard school was launched even before the Course completing.
We reached one of main goals — to find a new manager of an entertainment center. Since March the position of the manager of FUN24 amusement park in Kazan was held by the participant of our Course Dina Burganova.
Even before the Course we were satisfied with her achievements. Dina systematically developed in the company and she grew from a Company Administrator to the Quality Assurance Director for short term. Administrators — one of the most important employees in an entertainment center — were subordinate by her.
The training activity helped Dina to grow, and us to estimate her opportunities in a new way. At some point, we thought, it would be quite good to make Dina as a manager and everyone saw in it only pluses.
We do not estimate how the material was learned
We do not conduct tests, assessments, participants do not pass examinations or tests. Our task is in that people gained knowledge, abilities and an impulse to transfer it to skills. It is important for us that behavior of participants changed after the Course.
Many tasks are directed to liquidate fears. For example, the income and expenditure budget can introduce any employee, not only a manager in brain freeze. It is a great challenge to open Excel table, a «sheet» of one hundred lines and to understand it. On the simplified examples, we show that everything is not as terrible as it seems.
Of course, nobody will become a financier hereon, but we clean certain fears. Next time, when an employee will face similar during his operation, he will not shelve a task and will tell: «Oh, I know it, I did it!»
It is necessary for us that participants of the Course used received skills in their further work. We do not conduct any assessments, not to provoke even great fears. We ask questions, collect feedbacks, but we do not criticize and estimate, but we give constructive feedback.
How often is the course conducted?
Now we plan to conduct the Course annually. After each module, we discussed what worked effectively, what needs to be improved, added or changed. Based on this, each new version of the training activity will be enriched in comparison with the previous.
For the next flow, we want to gather both internal employees of the company, and external. Some of those who already completed the Course, perhaps, will be as coaches.
Based on this material, an article was published in the «Catalog of the Entertainment Industry» magazine for April, 2017 and an article in the journal «General Director».