When it comes to starting a new job, training is a huge step in the process. So why is it that some companies consider it obsolete? Are we missing crucial facts that prove training is expendable?
Looking into the subject matter of new hire training, there is a surprising lack of standardized agreement in companies across the board. Where one company values training to the utmost extent and works tirelessly towards its improvement, others consider it wasteful, annoying and completely lacking in substance. In truth, I find this completely baffling. I’ve walked down both paths in my career. I’ve witnessed organized training at its best. I’ve struggled to understand training that contained little more than a tour of the office and direction to my desk. And, no matter what I’ve seen, heard and learned, my opinion about onsite training will never change: It is crucial.
I’ve talked with so many different individuals who work in different industries and never, in all of these conversations, have I ever heard from a single person that they wish they had less training. Typically, it’s just the opposite. In his latest article seen in INdiana Business, Robby Slaughter, a principal of AccelaWork, weighs the pros and cons to training new employees. According to Slaughter, “untrained employees may damage equipment, destroy customer relationships, or create unexpected legal exposures and liabilities.”
Given Slaughter’s thoughts above, of which I believe are quite reasonable and expertly thought-provoking, why then do companies continue to justify their failing training programs or lack thereof? Below is a continuation of Slaughter’s point of view on training and the benefits reaped upon the investment.
What happens if we don’t support employees by making sure they have the training and resources needed to excel?
- Untrained employees are easily distracted. If you don’t know how to get your work done, you’re likely just not to do it.
- Untrained employees are less engaged. Why care about being devoted to your job if your employer isn’t devoted to you?
- Untrained employees are inefficient. If you don’t really know the best way, the way you do know is probably slower.
- Untrained employees negatively impact morale. Even if just one person in a group doesn’t have the training to do their job well, they may complain to others about the lack of support.
Unfortunately, alongside distraction comes unproductive tendencies. To those of you avid readers of The Methodology Blog, you may recall the dozens upon dozens of blogs we’ve written that discusses the correlation between productivity and success.
Boy, do I know a bit about this factor. Back in the day (a decade ago), I began a new job with a small event planning company. They had zero training in place for new hires, which meant that I spent the first six months twiddling my thumbs. Not only was I accomplishing nothing, no one would trust me enough to give me work! I was bored and quite discouraged. Luckily, I was unexpectedly thrown into a project at the last minute and, by ways of my previous experience, was able to prove I was in fact capable of my job. But, not every new hire gets that opportunity. In the end, if I didn’t get that break I probably would have left.
“Work arounds” may suffice in the short term, but ultimately, to improve productivity and provide an avenue for efficient project management, it’s imperative that new hires learn all there is to know. It may extend training time and be an absolute nuisance to those teaching, but digging deeper into information will lessen the learning curve and increase positive results straight out the gate.
Why should you train your employees so well they are attractive to your competitors?
- Highly trained employees become brand champions.
- Highly trained employees make your company attractive.
- Highly trained employees will make your competitors spend more money.
- Highly trained employees will have increased loyalty.
One Final Thought From Ashley
When I hear the word “training”, I often think about the military. My brother-in-law is a marine and I know just how hard he trained and worked toward his job. He had two tours of duty in Afghanistan and I’m certain that his preparation for such work was beyond extensive. This thought may be useful to companies that do not have a defined process for new-hire preparation. Perhaps not. But the question I’d like to pose is this:
How comfortable are you leaving a new employee without crucial knowledge which better prepares him for the job at hand? If you’re unsure or have a tinge of worry, perhaps now is the time to improve your company’s process.