Headline news scandals that include preventable employee behavior — case in point, News Corporation — are always helpful for justifying training budgets. Even if your work is far from the publishing industry, hedge fund or media arena, the very public closing of a business unit certainly supports the case for skill and knowledge reinforcement on ethics. This is one of those topics where sending out a policy may satisfy some internal, or external, compliance requirement but is unlikely to fill a training need.
On-the-job training gets a bad rap. It conjures up an image of being thrown to the fire to sink or swim. Employees should be able to figure everything out and absorb needed information by osmosis. The impression is pretty accurate. Too many times people are left clueless and just as frustrated as the boss who does not see results.
It’s not always easy to determine whether a management skill gap requires coaching or training. During the past few weeks I’ve been presented with a few situations that required review to identify the best approach.
It’s well past the start of summer, but does workplace training take a holiday too? Each year in July and August, class scheduling seems to slow. The common rationales: “We need to work around all those vacations.” “What day is the company picnic?” “Who wants to do training during the slow season?” “It’s too hot.”
When did new employee orientation become onboarding? I’m not sure, but the concept has taken hold to describe a more comprehensive process than sitting an employee down on day one to fill out I-9 and W-4 forms.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin
It’s a safe bet that your company would benefit from some form of training on communications. When I sit down with a CEO to discuss training, the subject will inevitably pop up on the short list of must-have classes. The key to identifying the true need is to differentiate between breakdowns in processes and skill gaps.
Whether training is conducted online or in person, video glitches can wreak havoc on a presentation. My first significant training mishap occurred early in my career. As the Safety and Security Supervisor in a manufacturing facility I had persuaded my boss to purchase what seemed to be an expensive video on hearing protection. With new standards, I thought it would be a good way to reach the 1,300-plus employees working shifts around the clock.
Trainers will often identify whether an individual has completed level one of a technical program before moving to level two — but just as often they fail to go back to basics of cataloging employee knowledge before training begins. Big mistake — here's a personal tale that explains why.
A: Don’t save coaching for a special event.