Table of Contents

Corporate Training Isn’t Little League… Not Everyone Should Get A Trophy

Trophies

When I was growing up, I wanted nothing more than to win the Brockport Junior Baseball League championship. Not only would I have bragging rights among my friends, but the championship team also received trophies.

The trophies were coveted because they were rare, and they meant something. The only people who got them were the people who got results.

I didn’t get a little league trophy until 1990. I was a freshman in high school (not-so-little-league, I guess). I didn’t even realize I’d get one. Apparently the rules changed that year. When I went to turn in my uniform for the summer, my coach sat in a room, collecting uniforms and handing out trophies as team members strolled through. No ceremony. Just a guy in a room, collecting stinky uniforms and handing out trophies.

I was confused. It was weird. We certainly didn’t win the league. We barely won any games. And we got trophies for that?!

The Connection between Little League and Corporate Training

Just about every training workshop and conference I attend is very similar to little league in this way: everyone gets a certificate at the end of the session. Honestly, when I receive a certificate, I either dump it in my hotel room trash can or it ends up in the recycle bin when I come across it as I’m sorting through ancient piles of stuff that have accumulated on my desk over the past six months. The certificates are meaningless. It doesn’t matter how much effort someone puts into their participation during a workshop. It doesn’t matter whether someone does anything at all after leaving a conference session. They all get the same certificate.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

About a month ago, a program director from another organization asked me for some thoughts on how to improve accountability and outcomes. He works with doctors who have annual CME requirements, and actually need certificates as proof of their continuing education.

I suggested that, instead of ending a 3-day course on the third day by handing out certificates, he turn his courses into “6-month” courses. In reality the course would still be 3 days of in-person training. But it would be important to set an expectation that the course doesn’t end on the third day when people walk out the door (thus the “6-month” course label). Perhaps it could be followed up with 60-minute webinars (or in-person sessions, depending on funding and logistics) during which trainees would have an opportunity to report on what they’ve done with their new skills or knowledge. At the 6-month mark, once trainees have demonstrated that they have done something with their new knowledge or skills, they could receive their certificate.

And the organization would suddenly have data to report on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of their training program.

Are you doing anything to give “real” meaning to your certificates (or are you just handing them out like little league trophies)?

Articles Similar to Corporate Training Isn’t Little League… Not Everyone Should Get A Trophy

Nate Martin on Escape Room designs for training
Instructional Design
Brian Washburn

Instructional Design & Escape Room Design

If you’ve ever been to an escape room, you can observe what a group of highly engaged people look like for 60 straight minutes. Is there a way to harness escape room design elements and bring them into the world of corporate training?

How to create a training plan in under 10 minutes

Using a lesson plan template (which is the most downloaded resource from this blog) can help give you structure. Using Soapbox can save you all sorts of time (and still give your presentation some structure)!

Does training actually change behavior?

Does training actually change behavior? It’s a question we should be able to answer honestly. (And the answer is: No, not 100%… and yes, but seriously, not 100%)

Hybrid Learning: When to use it

Recently I had an opportunity to talk with the folks at Mimeo about hybrid learning and when to use it. In today’s post, I share a link to that podcast, which is one in a series of podcasts they did with industry leaders on hybrid learning strategies.

L&D Lessons Learned from Being a Parent (Part 5 of 5)

Once we get into a comfortable routine, how easy is it to want to try something new? Erin Clarke shares a few ah-ha’s about what she discovered and how she became better when she decided to leave her comfort zone and try something new.

Subscribe to Get Updates from Endurance Learning

Brian Washburn, Author

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll send you the latest updates from our blog. Thanks for following!

Grow your L&D Career Today!

The Foundations of L&D course through the L&D Pro Academy provides the concepts and practical experience you need to grow your confidence and abilities as a well-rounded L&D professional.

Enter your email below and we’ll be in touch with an info sheet!

L&D Pro Academy

Find Your L&D Career Path

Explore the range of careers to understand what role might be a good fit for your L&D career.

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the What’s Possible in L&D Worksheet.

What's possible in L&D

Let's Talk Training!

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll get back to you soon.

Download the Feedback Lesson Plan

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the lesson plan as a PDF.

feedback lesson plan
MS Word Job Aid Template

Download the Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the Word version of this template.

Download the Free Lesson Plan Template!

Enter your email below and we’ll send you a Word document that you can start using today!

free lesson plan template
training materials checklist

Download the Training Materials Checklist

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the Training Materials Checklist.

Subscribe to Endurance Learning for updates

Get regular updates from the Endurance Learning team.