I know … it sounds funny to hear a training professional say that. But it’s true.
And as tempting as it may be when we get the call asking for training…if it’s not a problem that can be fixed with training, the answer should be “no”. Here’s why.
Let’s say the vice president of operations runs into your office. She complains that managers can’t seem to get work done on time. Says she wants time management training. Can you put together a time management training program? Of course. Do we know that the reason managers aren’t getting stuff done is poor time management? Not really.
This is where training pros can get a bad reputation. Some would do the training just because senior management asked for it. Because heaven knows it’s rare that senior management is asking for training.
But what if the training doesn’t fix the problem? Six months later, someone says the word “training” and that same vice president says, “I don’t think training brings value. I asked for training to help me with an issue and it didn’t fix the problem.”
What people hear is “training doesn’t fix the problem.” And companies become reluctant to devote time and resources toward something that doesn’t appear to fix problems.
So, how do you figure out if training is the right solution for a problem? Ask these three questions.
- Does the person have the skills to do the job?
- Does the person have the desire to do the job?
- Is the person being allowed to do the job?
◊ If the answer to all three questions is “yes”, then training is NOT the answer. It could be an equipment problem.
◊ If the answer to #1 is “no”, training may/may not be the answer. The answer could also be coaching.
◊ A “no” in #2 means you may have a motivation challenge.
◊ And a “no” for #3 might mean a policy or procedural issue.
These three questions will tell you if the issue can be properly addressed using training. And if training is the answer, then you can start working on an assessment to figure out where employees currently are and where they need to be. But, you need to figure out if you should even be doing a training assessment in the first place.