I find it amusing at times, although not often, that
managers will send their subordinates to a six hour seminar and expect
it that six hours for their employee to return the next day to the
workplace and be trained competently in their position. I know this to
be the case because I read their comments when requesting a refund.
When we interview
candidates for staff positions, we often recognize deficiencies in
their skills. Even the individual we finally hire may not posses all
of the skills necessary to for the position. Yet often when the
individual begins work we forget those deficiencies in experience that
we identified during the hiring process.
make written observations of deficiencies during the hiring process so
they can refer to this information during the new employees first week
on the job. as a part of new employee orientation, they identify
specific training objectives for both the short and long term
objectives. This provides the new employee goals and starts the
employee off positively in his or her new position.
Together with the new
employee, the manager discusses the employees responsibilities and
what is expected of them. This includes who will be responsible for
training the new employee and how they expect performance to evolve
during the probationary period, assuming there is one.
The job description
should be the basis for determining what training is necessary. Where
the new employee’s resume illustrates gaps in experience or skills
to perform job requirements or progress through the department, then
these should be noted. A well written job description will identify
answers two questions:
does the individual need training?
specific training is required for the employee to succeed?
The new employee is
more responsive to the need for training if the manager can be
specific in answering these two questions.
When doing training
needs assessment, here are some beginning questions to ask about an
employee with a performance problem whose answers might lead you to
consider that the problem can be solved with training:
the individual received less training in a specific area than
changes in the workplace have occurred that would affect the way staff
works? For instance, if new technology has been introduced, has there
been sufficient training?
has the employee handled his or her work in the past? In the case of a
long time employee, is the unsatisfactory performance unusual?
Once the need for
training is identified it is important that a meeting with the
employee be held to discuss the deficiencies and what type of training
would be beneficial to both the employee and the organization. Do not
make the mistake in sending the employee off to a one to four day
seminar without knowing what is going to be presented and most
importantly the credentials of the seminar leader.
In some cases staff
members may be able to learn from each other or you may consider
bringing someone in to conduct training for the entire staff, or you
may consider doing the training yourself.
Regardless of what
method is employed, successful managers are those who have a year
round training program in place to insure that any deficiencies are
addressed before they become a crisis.
I wish you well.