Take a look at this article: How Trainers Can Add Value: More Problem Solving, Less Training. I was struck by the truth of this statement: “Training is often—and mistakenly—assumed to be the silver bullet that can solve performance issues, and training managers are usually the ones charged with delivering the solution.”
Is Lack of Training Really the Problem
Training is not the silver bullet solution and not the answer to every performance problem. That might seem a strange statement coming from a training consultant. But it’s true. I work with training professionals all the time. I think it’s safe to say each one at some point has been approached by a manager who thinks training is needed to solve a problem. The manager will state that employee performance is down and the staff could use more training.
Most of the time, the manager may be right. There may have been a recent influx of new staff and perhaps they didn’t get all the training they needed. Or perhaps a process or regulation changed, and not everyone is up to speed on the correct procedure. However, as training professionals, it’s incumbent on us to be sure training is truly the answer.
Digging Deeper to Find the Real Issue
There are important questions to ask the manager who approached you: What events led you to believe training was needed? What makes you say performance is down? Have there been measurable mistakes? Has productivity decreased? Has customer service received higher calls with complaints? You need to drill down to the actual problem to determine if training on a knowledge or skill will actually solve the problem.
As the above article states, sometimes some tool, incentive, aptitude, or data is missing for the employee. If that’s the case, then no amount of training will resolve the issue. As a training professional, part of your job is helping the manager find that answer. And, when necessary, to point them away from training and back to other fundamental issues.
Do you agree? Do you think training is a silver bullet? Do you consider it part of your job to help managers drill down to the real problem? Do you find managers hard to convince if you tell them training isn’t the problem? Please tell us in the comments. I’d love to know your thoughts.
Do you know how to partner with managers to determine true training needs? Contact eParamus for help.
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