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Employee Training Question

I work in a very small shop, 42 employees. Actually I am one of two HR personnel and am solely responsible for designing training programs among other responsibilities. We have only 3 first line supervisory personnel and one upper manager. The problem I am finding is that regardless of how much time I put into designing training programs they don't seem to carry over to the job. Because of this improvement is rare. I believe the supervisors and managers should be more involved in the training projects rather than observing after-the-fact to see if the training made a difference.

I'm also getting pressure now to cut out all training programs because they aren't effective. But I continue to suggest to the manager and supervisors that they become more involved in the training programs. Invariably the answer is "That's not my job. It is your job and it seems you aren't doing your job very well."

Anonymous Submission August, 2006 : Posted with consent


Training is everyone's job!

Research has consistently shown that training is futile if leaders are not involved in the entire process. Employees and managers alike must be involved in the design and implementation of training programs. This creates a link between training and what happens on the job. Also, the employees will not take training seriously if management does not actively and visibly support training. Most likely they will see you as an inconvenience. Employees and managers must be involved in the following steps:

  • Identifying performance improvement opportunities and what caused that opportunity

  • Identifying alternative solutions and selecting the best solution (not all needs are training needs)

  • Designing and implementing the solution (whether a training need or not)

  • Evaluating the results

You do have a more serious underlying problem within your company. If anyone claims that "It is your job", you have a major problem related to the culture. Barriers, departmental and job titles, must be eliminated. One important thing to stress is that each and every person within an organization has but one title, customer service. It is everyone's responsibility to satisfy customers. Otherwise their titles or departments are useless. If training happens to be the best solution, it is everyone's job to see to it that the training resolves the problem.

Unfortunately, your situation is all too common. If there is the possibility that you can go above your upper manager, a president or CEO perhaps, you should schedule a meeting with him/her. Explain this proven fact: investment in training equals higher net sales and gross profit per employee and higher ratio of market to book value. However, this is only true when training is clearly identified as the solution, training is designed and delivered properly, and the training sticks on the job. This is only possible through employee and manager participation. If your internal upper manager is the highest rung you can reach stress these points to him/her.

As this situation stands I feel safe in predicting no gain in market share for your company and continued quality issues. If you are anything like myself, you will see this as a challenge that must be met head-on. In such a small company you very well may be entirely alone in your efforts to improve the organization. At this point, I recommend that you continue to press this issue and back it up with research showing the connection between training and organizational performance. The current attitude however will most likely lead your company to a downward spiral. You have a huge challenge before you. I wish you the best of luck and do urge you to be assertive, not aggressive, in pressing the matter. If you need further info on training or would be interested in a short seminar please contact us. We may be able to assist in motivating managers to get involved.

Great question though. Thank you!

Feel free to contact us if you have further questions.

Thank you for your interest in Lean Consulting and Training LLC.

 
   
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