Training is not always the answer

Training informs, encourages and communicates company priorities. Companies cannot expect employees to behave in certain ways if they are not trained in everything from sick time to travel policies to installation details.

Good training is interactive, involves everyone and seeks to ensure participants walk away having fulfilled expected objectives. However, even in the best circumstances, trainers understand people will not retain everything, and they expect to retrain and remind employees regarding behavior expectations somewhat regularly.

But what should company management do when training, retraining and reminding are not enough? How can they handle employees who continually engage in unsafe practices, seem to forget their responsibilities daily or repeatedly perform tasks incorrectly?

At these points, supervisors need to engage differently with underperforming or misbehaving employees. Conversations should focus on whether employees are unable or unwilling to conform to company expectations.

All the training in the world will not change the behavior of an unwilling employee. This is a discipline conversation—not a training need.

If you determine an employee is unable, you must determine whether the inability is tied to lack of information or knowledge or whether it is something more. In some circumstances, inability is not a training issue—physical or mental concerns may be too limiting for the tasks at hand. Continuing to put unable employees through training will only frustrate everyone.

The purpose of training is to change behavior; however, training is not the answer for all behavior concerns.

Date : Jan. 01, 0001


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