Updated: Nov 28, 2019
“Anyway boss, I didn’t realize hitting the red button that says don’t touch was going to start World War III. Oopsie! It looks like I might need more training.” Obviously, this is a crazy scenario that we’ll never face, but if you ever had an employee blame his/her mistakes on a lack of training then read on. If not, let’s learn something new today and read on anyway!
When an employee approaches you with a training related issue before you reach for the stapler to toss at him/her remember to get curious. Maybe the employee actually needs training? If the employee received training, was it adequate? If not, why not? Was the task documented somewhere easily accessible to the employee? Who made the mistake; Newbie Joe or Seasoned Suzie? Was the task overly complex? If so, could it be simplified? Is it something the employee does once in a blue moon or every day? These are all things to consider before reaching for that trusty stapler.
If you have a training program for your team, make sure it provides the opportunity for the employees to learn the material, apply the material, and then teach what they’ve learned to the rest of the team. All too often, employees are sent to expensive boot camps or computer-based trainings and not given the opportunity to apply the training upon their return. In this scenario, fast forward two weeks and the training has gone the way of my deceased goldfish, Chubs; down the toilet. RIP...
To allow the employee to apply the training while minimizing risk for the business consider pairing the trainee with a more experienced employee. Let the trainee shadow the other employee for a set period of time and then switch it up. This gives the trainee an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in a safe environment. Finally, create a culture of continuous improvement by having the trainee teach the other employees what he/she learned. Find ways to reward your employees when they demonstrate new-found skills. This will help to encourage a culture of learning and growth.
In closing, everybody fails. Remember to use failures as a way to learn. Prior to throwing staplers, consider the impact of the failure, the frequency of the failure, and what can be changed to mitigate failure in the future. It’s possible the employee may need more training or that the training receiving wasn’t retained. Let’s figure out why. If you need help creating an effective training program, consider Great Family Management Consulting. Let’s take off together!