“I must not be good enough if I need to be trained”

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Part of my role in Step involves coordinating the training of our paid staff and our volunteers. It’s on my mind now, because July is when we put a programme in place for the following year. But that word, training, really can cause problems. I’m going to have to come up with a new one.

Training is often associated with ‘being back at work’ (said a volunteer) which leads to an almost automatic mental checklist that has ‘waste of my time’ right at the top.

This response is because too often in our paid places of work, training was delivered by one person talking from the front with no interaction - just information delivered.

Often, training has the added mental note ‘I must not be good enough if I need to be trained’ – and again, this is from the old days at work. I remember being given lots of tasks to do when I worked in the city, but I was never trained on any of them - no wonder I found the work a challenge!

Training is a vital part of Step. So, to clarify:

In Step, training is for everyone, all of the time.

It takes all forms. It might be a chat about a lesson and what to expect. It might be a formal requirement such as safeguarding.

Sometimes we invite guests in and sometimes it’s one of our own that leads the training. If we pay for a member of the team to go to external training, the expectation is that they will feed back what they learned.

At a Step training session, you can expect refreshments at the start. The subject matter will be discussed and the attendees ask questions and interact. The subject matter might be serious and will be delivered with care, and with humour where appropriate. But at the end there is time to chat to the team, or to sit with diaries open to book into what is coming up.

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In a year we provide approximately 55 hours of training. We know that when we are trained we feel competent and equipped. It gives us confidence. It is important in Step that everyone has this level of feeling prepared for their role.

If you would like to join our team please do contact Terrie and help me ponder how to change ‘training’ to empowerment.