Employee Training: A Room Full of Key Keepers?

employee training



Remember the character of the Key Keeper in the Matrix movies? He held the secrets to helping Keanu Reeves succeed. While this character was important for “The One’s” success having only one person in your company be responsible for certain tasks I feel is a flawed strategy.

Let me ask readers a question about your employee training where you work. Do you have your own version of the Key Keeper? Are you putting all of your eggs in one basket by only having one person trained to handle specific responsibilities? (more…)

Are You Maximizing Every Employee Training Opportunity?

employee training


The dealership’s day began with a quick sales meeting. Twelve salespeople and their GSM huddled around a large TV screen to watch the daily installment from a sales trainer’s learning platform. When the trainer began to pose questions, the GSM repeated the choices in order to answer the questions.

As I watched the interaction, I noticed two of the 12 were answering all of the questions for the team. It seemed as though the GSM was less interested in getting everyone to participate than in finishing. Once the Q-A was done, the GSM said, “All right. Let’s apply what we went over. Let’s have a great day.”

Off the salespeople went. Sales training now could be checked off the manager’s task list for the day.

The information this trainer shared was excellent; it could be very useful to the sales team. However, the next step in the training process – making sure the new material was actually implemented into the salespeople’s routine activities – seemed to be missing. Who was making sure the salespeople really understood what was just taught? Where was the follow-up to ensure what the GSM expected was exactly what the salespeople understood?

Over the next two days, I saw no effort by the GSM to check up on the new skills. The following day, another employee training video was watched and checked off the task list, and no follow-up was performed with its material, either. When I asked the GSM why not, his response was one I had heard many times: “They know how to sell cars and they should know how to add this stuff in.“

Follow-Up Is Unavoidable

The attitude among dealership management that employees undergo a training session, the information will magically stick is not unusual. I disagree. It takes me multiple practice sessions to make sure my classes truly absorb material. So, what can dealers do on their own to provide a structure that maximizes results and return on their training investment?

No matter how it is delivered, outside employee training resources typically cost a dealership thousands of dollars per year. Factor in the time a manager spends overseeing internal training and you see that the direct and indirect costs of improving employee performance add up. Yet, productivity and efficiency gains are not arriving at the pace one would expect, due largely to the lack of focus on long-term implementation.

Let me be very clear: Change is not easy to accomplish, and this is why many trainers do not focus on implementation; they leave that to the dealership’s managers and employees. How, then, can the management team and staff do a better job implementing the new information?

Road Map For Implementation

Following is a follow-up framework that you can apply to any training session or desired change at your dealership. By following this checklist, you should see a better return on your training investment. Later in this article, I will use this checklist to discuss how the dealership mentioned previously could have been more successful in making its training stick.

  1. Preparation Stage
    1. Why is the group having this training? What behavior(s) are you expecting to change? What are the expected outcomes?
    1. Is your team aware of the training and what is expected?
    2. Is there a handout with bullet-pointed key takeaways given to each participant BEFORE training begins?
    3. Have you discussed with the trainer (if you are bringing in someone from outside) what the training process will be? What are your expectations? How long will the training session last?


  1. Involvement Stage
    1. Is everyone affected by this training attending the session? If not, how will those who are absent be trained, and by whom?
    2. Is upper management attending? If not, it sends a signal that the training is not really that important.
    3. Have the trainees explain what each point in the new procedure would mean in their daily routine.
    4. Ask each trainee how he or she would apply the training in the day-to-day.


  1. Implementation Stage
    1. Ask each trainee to choose one aspect of the training he or she will especially focus on, and to identify action steps to implement it.
    2. Who will help to implement this new training? Are they qualified to do the implementation?
    3. Does this training affect other departments, and if so how will the new change be communicated?
    4. What documentation has been created for the training and implementation, e.g. process documents and training guides?


  1. Follow-Up Stage
    1. Who will follow up on this new training?
    2. How often will the follow-up be handled?
    3. Explain to the trainees who will follow up and how the results will be documented.
    4. What retraining process will be put in place to help those who are not adapting as quickly as expected?


  1. Measurement Stage
    1. What reports will you now use to track these new results?
    2. What metrics will you be using?
    3. Does the team know and understand these new metrics?
    4. How often will you be checking these new metrics?
    5. How will you communicate results?


  1. Long-Term Success
    1. Never stop following up. You may increase the time in between inspections, but the moment you stop inspecting, the team will no longer think this new process is important.


What The Dealership Did Wrong

The dealership I discussed at the beginning could have done a great deal to make sure its training stuck. Even if stages 1 and 2 from my checklist were handled perfectly, the dealership’s lack of focus on actually implementing the sales training on the floor, and on following up, eventually would negatively affect on employees. They would decide listening to training videos was wasted time, and then friction would arise later as management expects new results.

In my opinion, the dealership’s managers failed. One thing they could have done better to make the training stick was to get the team involved in the process of inserting changes into their daily routines. Employees need to be part of the solution and the ones deciding which part of the training to implement first. People are more willing to attempt any change if they feel part of the decision process.

This implementation approach also would let the manager/trainer follow up on agreed-upon targets, as opposed to a different metric that could cause confusion or resentment. Too many times, an employee will work diligently on something he or she feels is important, only to be told it’s wasted time because the manager’s priority was different.

I am never one to tell dealers to stop investing in training. But, if you are not investing the necessary effort in implementation, then you are wasting money, time resources and potential customers.


If you liked this article please share it. If I can ever be of service, or you would like me to review anything for you, please reach out to me on Twitter @glennpasch or on LinkedIn.

Glenn Pasch is the current CEO of PCG Companies as well as a father, husband, writer and part of the National Speaker Association. 

Are You An Unknown Beacon of Inspiration



I am very excited to have the opportunity to teach a class on Digital Marketing at Northwood University.  As I was waiting to begin my first class, I sat in on another teacher’s class of freshman students and I was not ready for what I saw.

I had time to watch these kids as they found seats, a little nervous, a little excited. Some students were posing to show their “coolness” or indifference while others were sitting up ready to please. As the teacher began, he told them all that they were going to come up and introduce themselves to the class.

Their task was to share their story in a 30 second to one minute elevator pitch. “The exercise”, he said, “was going to be repeated throughout the year because you will need to be able to communicate very quickly who you are, what your passion is and explain what your company does.”

One additional piece of information he asked them to share was who or what, outside of their family, was an inspiration to them or influenced them. And off we went. (more…)

#1 Mistake Why Employee Training Doesn’t Stick

employee trainingThis is the second in a series of articles on managing or leading a team.

Over $70 billion is spent each year on corporate employee training. Think of all the internal company training that may not even be included in this number. And yet the majority of training efforts do not return the results expected. Ever stop and wonder why?

As I work with companies to improve their training processes, I believe that lack of preparation for the training is affecting the long term success of their investment. Too often companies just dive right into training and if the employees are not ready to receive the information, time is wasted and frustration is bound to show up later for both the teacher and the student.

So what do I mean to properly prepare for training? (more…)

Why Do You Want to be Part of Management?



Back from a brief vacation and ready to dive back in.

This will be the first of a series of articles discussing leading or managing a team. I have been preparing new management training courses for our PCG Learning Center on this topic and thought I would share some initial thoughts.

To begin, the title question may sound strange but you need to ask yourself, why do you want to lead or manage a team? You need to understand this question because you may have been put in a management role that you do not want or are hesitant that you can achieve success.


Band-Aids Don’t Fix Broken Processes

broken processesWhen I was looking to improve my golf game (I could hack my way around the course but it was ugly) my coach asked me what my end goal was. Did I want him to provide a Band-Aid for my game or did I really want to learn how to play golf. I asked him what he meant by that.

He told me that he could give me a few tips, (band aids) that would make me feel better today but I would never really get better long term. I would return over and over for another Band-Aid.

He then said that if I wanted to learn how to play, it would take time and effort. There were no short cuts for success. I told him that since my current game stunk I saw no reason to put a Band-Aid on it so let’s learn to play.


Is Your Website Content The Wikipedia for Your Industry?

website contentI was listening to my good friend Michael Cirillo and Robert Wiseman’s podcast, The Dealer Playbook the other day. The topic was content marketing and their guest on Episode #49 was Marcus Sheridan who spoke about how a business’s website content should be the Wikipedia for consumers in their industry.

While I may disagree about being Wikipedia, I think many websites fall short of this content goal. They provide very little educational content that would help their customers in their decision making process.


4 Reasons Why Focusing on Competition Kills Business

competitionToo often I hear business leaders bemoan their competition. Their competition is the reason they are losing market share. Their competition is the reason they cannot attract customers. Their competition is this or that and on and on it goes

I am here to tell you that your competition should not be the focus of your efforts.

Now I know that sounds simple. Easy to do but with the outbreak of social media, many times you cannot escape if they have a persistent social strategy.

I hear you saying, “Well I can just delete them!” but I am sure your mind will then switch to, “I wonder what they are doing? Are they talking bad about me?” which is worse.


How 10-Year-Old Pitchers Can Help Train Your Team



My son’s baseball team was having trouble getting the ball over the plate when they pitched. The coach asked me to see if I could help.

When I asked the kids what their job was, they said, “To strike out the batters”. I asked them if the coach ever said that. They said, “No, but that is the pitcher’s job”.

I needed to get them away from this results only mindset and focus on a few basic things they could control. My golf coach’s training taught me to swing correctly by breaking the swing down into parts, so I did that for the kids.


“Is That What You Meant?”: Why Communication Skills Stink

communication skillsI will preface this article with a confession. I was as guilty of poor communication skills as the next leader. I have improved immensely over time with a lot of focus and gentle “reminders” from my teams, so if you are to be successful, you need to understand how poor communication is wasting time and money.

I am not sure why proper communication skills or public speaking is not taught in schools at an early age. I think this is the single most important skill every person needs. Maybe some schools try to address this but I hear poor communication from leaders, managers and many others every day in many different circumstances. Too many times I have heard myself, my team or those I consult for talk to their team in generalities.

It makes me wonder how much time will be wasted revisiting what the speaker had originally intended.

Examples of Poor Communication Skills: