Written By: Joel McGinley Managing Director at Hubtek.
World-class organizations spend a lot of time and money training their employees. Therefore, no matter what the size of your organization, you should never be too busy to train your employees because they cannot meet your expectations if they don’t have the right skills and knowledge.
You are responsible for identifying your employees’ training needs and providing the training. As I have mentioned before, most employees don’t know what they don’t know so they are not going to raise their hands and tell you they need training.
Your training does not need to be IBM level, although that company certainly provides their employees with world-class training. However, it needs to be more than just, “Here’s how the computer operates, here’s who our customers are, and here’s how to make coffee in the morning,” this represents the training found in about 90% of companies. The major shortcoming with this kind of training is that it does not help your employees perform their jobs properly or at the level you expect.
Your training also should be on going. In other words, an effective training program is not a one-time thing.
Organizations both big and small need to have a training program in place although the nature of their programs may be different. For example, if your business is small, it’s okay if your program is not extremely formal and you don’t develop need multi-page manuals for every job. It can amount to on-the-job training instead. However, it that’s what it is, make sure the training simply amounts to asking your employees to “figure it out” or to watch their co-workers do their jobs so that hopefully the new employees will understand what to do in a couple days or weeks, depending on the nature of the job.
Your on-the-job training program should actively help employees build the skills they need and educate them about all of the processes and procedures they need to know about.
Warning: Having a poorly trained workforce is risky business! It creates legal risk – your business could be sued because of what a poorly trained employee did or did not do – and financial risk – your business’ margin may be affected by your employees’ lack of know how. It also creates emotional risk because employees who are trying to do their jobs but have not been adequately trained often experience emotional turmoil, which can make them feel frustrated, demoralized and even depressed. They may also become fearful that other people will realize they don’t know how to do their jobs and they will develop cover-my-ass attitudes as a result.
About the author:
Joel McGinley has led teams large and small all with similar results, accelerated growth and profitability. For over 25 years Joel was an executive or owner in high growth entrepreneurial organizations where he developed many of the methodologies that allow him to coach other entrepreneurial organizations to greater levels of success.