Employee Training: What to Do When Employees Don’t Measure Up

These should be the first go-to tools when employees are not meeting your expectations.

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Often, when the job performance of an employee is falling short of expectations, managers resort to mandatory training sessions for their employees. Either workers are sent offsite for instruction, or trainers are brought in to provide new training. Yet, when it comes to underperformance, are training sessions the most effective way to improve productivity?


Employee Development and Training Costs

When your company pulls an employees off the job for training, momentum is interrupted and productivity declines; workers are not working. This downtime has an obvious cost — employees are paid to be trained, and then paid overtime to catch up on their work. Meanwhile, trainers must be paid to conduct classes and materials must be purchased.


Do Employee Training Benefits Meet Expectations?

Does employee training meet managerial expectations? The answer to this question is: Too often, no! But it isn’t hard to understand why. How do we learn any skill? Is it ever by being “talked at?” Do we learn by hearing about something, by seeing something, or by doing?

If you reflect on every skill you have acquired in your life, you will quickly discover that you have learned by doing. As a child, you didn’t learn to ride a bike by being told how to do it, or by reading about it. The same goes for sports you played in your childhood. In every case, though you may have seen a demonstration of the skill you learned, you actually learned by doing it.

But it is important to keep in mind our own personal experiences with learning. For example, the first time we attempt a new skill, we usually don’t get it just right. We often fail in order to achieve success at all. Many of us need a coach – a teacher. This person doesn’t tell us what to do, they show us.  They helps us correct the aspects of our effort that are preventing us from achieving success. Each time we receive correction, we attempt our new skill again. We may improve; we may also still need help to reach the performance level we desire. We repeat this process until we reach our objective: learning the new skill.

We conduct this process for every new skill we learn. It is only after we are able to perform the new skill at a useful level that reading about it, or seeing it done by an expert will be meaningful to us and add to our ability.

So, how does this relate to employee development and training?

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