If you are finding that people don’t know how to do what they are supposed to do & they went through training & development. Evaluate the training they received to ensure that it matches what they are supposed to do.
- What is influencing this unsatisfactory performance?
- Do they know what they are supposed to do?
- Do they know how to do what they are supposed to do?
When I assign / delegate somebody to do something, that decision is worth the value of the highest cost to the company if that person screws up.
Consulting & coaching a manufacturing & banking team I found similar problems within both organizations.
People making the same mistakes following training. Both companies had training & development departments, the people went through different lengths of training. Some 3 hours others several months.
Meeting with the management & training teams they stated,
“We have people who don’t care. These new employees are a different kind. I guess we have to deal with it.”
My desire to yell BULLSHIT had to be suppressed.
Sitting in on several trainings:
- People sitting in rows staring at a PowerPoint while the trainer lectured for hours.
- No interaction,
- No discussion,
- No subject matter experts to share real-work experience,
- No clear connection to the work.
Observing on-the-job training:
- Experienced workers working. The trainee sitting staring into space pretending to be watching.
- When a question was asked which was rare the trainer responded quickly with some technical talk and kept moving along.
Just because someone is present doesn’t mean they’re learning. Just because someone is experienced doesn’t mean they can teach. Just because an employee attended a training doesn’t mean they know what to do.
It’s the manager’s job to ensure that:
- The person knows what they are supposed to learn & apply from the training.
- The person knows what to do when they are back on the job.
- That training / trainers are developing + offering training & development that aligns with the business goals & expectation of the manager for the person to complete their work.
We fixed this problem by;
- Defining the accountability & authority of the training & development staff.
- Aligning the expectations of management with the role of training & development.
- Supplying each trainer & on-the-job trainer with a written outline to follow in carrying out the training. The outline was specific to the training areas and covered required competencies and evidence of outcomes for the training.
- Following each training, the trainer, trainee, & manager met to review the list of critical concepts based upon the written outline to indicate whether they were covered & understood by the trainee.
- The manager and employee created a measurement & coaching plan to show that the person knew how to do the work & was able to perform the required tasks.
- Testing to show competence was developed that required observed output from the trainee. This had to pass the required level of competence by the trainer, manager + an experienced employee that knew the work.
- Feedback was supplied to the trainer + Manager of Training and Development to the effectiveness of the training with ideas for improvement based upon the work.
- If any of the above areas did not meet defined expectations…the employee received more training & development. Based upon specific requirements from their manager on what is needed to do the work to expectations.
Hold on this takes time and money! We don’t have either of those!
It is a matter of ensuring that people know what they are supposed to do AND can actually do what they are supposed to do. You can make this happen early & do it right OR ignore it and pay the costs later.
The costs for waiting are always more $$ and more time.
Referenced: How to get better results from your employees. Ferdinand F. Fournies