More training might not be your best choice for closing skills gaps or improving communications. Here’s how to diagnose the real issue.
We have provided customized training content at all levels for nearly 22 years in the security industry and we are pretty good at it, according to our clients, large and small alike, at least.
We spend a significant chunk of time helping our clients with organizational development, skill building and coaching that leads to gaining tactical business results.
Business traction keeps their trains running on time. It’s a Swiss thing. We also sell chocolate, watches and Army knives … just kidding.
Sometimes, clients want to take a training approach to solve an issue or problem, and we must look them in the eye and tell them not to waste their money.
Diagnosing the real underlying problem/issue will ensure you are treating the cause and not a symptom. So telling them to “take two training workshops and call me in the morning” is not the best advice.
There are several reasons why training is not always the first or best answer. Let’s delve into five of them and present alternate strategies:
1. When your managers fear conflict with the people they manage.
Managers are paid to make the tough decisions. Hoping things will simply work out on their own is a great way to derail the rest of the department. Simply put, if someone “gets away with murder,” why should I play by the rules? If as an owner you are dragged into needless and unproductive drama on a regular basis, you need to discover the root cause. The first step is assessing your management talent, and then perhaps targeted training will be effective.
2. When your train tracks are crisscrossed with little logic or signal control.
When your company processes are broken or inefficient, training will not make them better. When processes/systems/workflows are inadequate, people will naturally find shortcuts to reduce the pain to get the job done with the least amount of stress. Evaluate your processes, fix them collaboratively, and then train for skill competency.
3. Casey Jones may be asleep at the wheel.
When supervisors responsible for teams don’t quite understand or buy-in to a revised process, people will recognize their supervisor’s indifference toward that new process. Comfort zones and resistance to change with passive-aggressive behavior is very dangerous. Any training on that new process will be quickly and quietly for-gotten by the team. You must gain commitment from supervisors to achieve traction with a new skill, process or tool for the team to implement change.
4. To train just for training sake is not smart.
It is a mistake to make training an artificial ticket to punch for managers. Buy training tickets to the right destinations. Companies want their people to continue to hone their skills and advance their professional development.
5. How will you measure training success?
We recommend checking competency as soon as possible. How will they apply what they learned? How will it help the company or department? This is especially true with technical training. Don’t let too much time go by!
Identify Skill Gaps & Improve Communications
So when does training make sense for your business? When broken workflow processes need to be collaboratively fixed by your teams, training your teams to work together to identify, map and improve processes is a good training investment.
Be ready to be surprised with input from those you would least expect to contribute.When repaired processes require new skills for efficient performance, we help guide process mapping that will identify those skill gaps that need addressing to realize tactical traction. This is a necessary step in organizational development.
Technical and sales people may not readily volunteer they need help. It is up to you to observe competence.
Fundamental business communication is needed to support a company’s culture or core values. You need to understand how well your team communicates.
All positive change is founded on the ability for your team to develop better communication skills to gain traction.
Supervisors must recognize and reward in real-time those who apply new skills learned in training sessions. This will improve the on time schedule of your customer train and deliveries.
Make your managers more accountable by emphasizing the need to target training to build specific skillsets early in the year for their team and your company reputation.
“All aboard” the train to success!