Training! We Need Training!

When I worked in corporate Learning and Development, I got many requests for training. Any time there was an issue where someone was not doing the job, the immediate “answer” was to provide training. One request I remember was to develop training on filling out a departmental form. People were not filling out the form so, of course, they needed to be trained to do that. The problem is…that really would not have fixed the problem. By asking the following questions it became clear that a different solution was needed:

• Do people know they need to fill out the form? (Yes)
• Have they filled out the form in the past? (Yes, sometimes)
• Do they have all the information at hand needed to fill out the form? (Yes)
• Is it easy to fill out the form? (No, it’s confusing…that’s why we need training!)

So what was the real issue here? Should you train people to fill out a confusing form, or should you work with them to clarify the form so that it’s easy to fill out? I suggested that before we develop training, the manager should ask a few people in the department to look at the form and suggest ways to make it easier to fill out. The result…a revised form that made it very easy to collect and record the needed information. It was beta-tested by the department and once implemented, resulted in a 100% compliance rate for completing the form.

Conclusion: training may or may not solve your performance problem. Ask questions about what is really happening before investing the time and money needed to develop and implement training. Your bottom line will thank you for it.

Sharon Hamersley is Principal of Keys to Performance, Your Resource for Workplace Productivity. Sharon helps businesses hire, train and retain outstanding employees and create workplaces where everyone can do their best work. For more information, visit her web site or call her at 614-395-9440.


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