Train ’em, Danno — Training Employees

Now, if you aren’t old enough, my title won’t mean much to you…

 Training is essential for success—always has been, always will be.

But like everything else, not all training is created equally. Nor is there one-size fits all when it comes to employee training (leadership, technical, interpersonal, whatever).

Some things to consider…

1. Don’t dump into training. In the short term, an employee will only rise as high as his or her trainer. Put an idiot in charge of training, and don’t be surprised when you’ve got intellectually challenged drones rolling off the assembly-line.

2. Segment or modularize training. It’s true that “the brain can only absorb what the butt can endure.” Thinking you can sit a plebe in a classroom setting (or technical training scenario) for five straight days and them actually learn anything, well, that even sounds stupid. Create useable, absorbable chunks of homogeneous learning. Send ‘em out, and let them try it on for size. Bring ‘em back and try some more… rinse and repeat.

3. Don’t train on anything unless you’re certain it’s a training opportunity. If an employee’s job is to press the big red button when the big black dial reaches “10,” and they don’t, it’s likely not a training challenge.

We frequently confuse training needs with corrective actions, and sometimes even discipline. They are neither. Training is for—and only for—demonstrated skills shortfalls.

Olympic athletes need training; professional actors and musicians need training. Even the best professional sports players in the world need training. It’s only in business where we think, “…nah, she’ll be ok. She can just learn by watching Bob.”

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann

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