In the US over $70 BILLION dollars is spent on employee training and trainers each year. This figure continues to grow because of the ever-increasing competitive nature of business. The problem is that this money is not being funneled towards great training but instead it is being thrown against the wall and leadership hopes for the best.
Let me review two scenarios I continue to run across and offer suggestions on what a great trainer would have done.
Can you see potential problems with these training scenarios?
Scenario: The new hire completes their initial paperwork and then they are brought over to the head of the department. They are sat next to someone and told to watch what they do.
When training is done by word-of-mouth you risk a diluted version of training. You run the risk of the veteran employee spending time giving the new employee their jaded feedback on how to “Ignore what the manager says because, my way works”.
Alternative: The very best trainers don’t allow others to interfere with the success of their team. They have these skills or processes that set them up for high performance every time. They have a documented process that every single employee goes through. They make sure they have a consistent trainer that they have developed as well as testing throughout the process to make sure the training sticks.
Scenario: A company missed the monthly target.
The manager of the department calls a meeting, tells the team they need to “pick up their numbers” and says that there will be some training going on this week.
When training is called in an emergency style fashion due to a lack of performance, you run the risk that emotions come into play as well as a broad based approach that could do more harm than good. I have seen managers coming in speaking to the whole team as if everyone was underperforming yet included in the group are some individuals that are meeting their goals.
Alternative: When results are not meeting expectations, the best trainers take a moment to let emotions wind down. They understand that if they do not monitor their emotions, they can make mistakes and hurt their team in the long run. They take a moment to break down each team member’s performance. Those that have achieved their goals, the trainers discuss what they did to hit their goals so the team member can repeat their behavior.
For those that did not hit their goals the best trainers review their behavior to see what held them back. They make time to follow the 8-Step Coaching Process to target their training on the areas they need to improve.
Extra: A final trait that the best trainers have is a coach’s mentality versus having a manager’s mentality. Managers tell people what they need to do and at times use their title as a stick to threaten people into production. They are always looking for ways to improve their team.
The difference between a great trainer and training done in a reactionary way costs companies large amounts of money with wasted resources, turnover and a culture of fear. I think these two solutions can help improve the performance of your team and a company’s bottom line.