6 Ways To Determine Whether Training Is Your Best Solution
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How To Determine Whether Training Is Your Best Solution

Has this ever happened to you? Someone comes to the training department to tell you that their department needs more training on a subject, and they need the training completed in 2 weeks. How do you know if training is really the issue? Here are 6 practical tips on how to dig deeper in order to understand if training is really needed.

1. Start With The End In Mind

What is the end result? What behavior change will the training produce? Most people say they need training when they really need more time, or assistance working with the steps of the process. Find out what the person wants to see in their staff after the training to understand if training is the best solution for this issue. Will training really help reach the end? How will the behavior be measured? Ask questions to understand the need and to make sure that the measures are in place before moving forward. The behavior needs to be measured before, and after the intervention in order to show that the intervention was successful.

2. Save Your Life

Could the staff perform the task if their life depended on it? If the answer is yes, then this is a performance issue not a training issue. You now need to dig into why the staff are not doing the process the way they have been trained to do it. What is stopping them from performing the task the way they were trained? If the answer is no, then training is needed.

3. Coach For Performance

Could coaching be the solution? Maybe coaching the staff through the process would help them get the process down. What steps could the staff take to ensure that the trained process is the one they do? I know that in order to change a process, I need to remind myself to do the task a different way. Post-it notes at my desk are a great way to ensure that I have that information at my fingertips at all times. Other times, I put reminders in my Outlook to ensure that I am completing the correct process. So, how can the staff remind themselves to do the new process instead of the old process? Do they need reminders at their station or hints on the forms? Find out what will help them remember to do things the new way.

4. Give Them The "Why"

Why will the new process help them or their customers? Why is the new process better than the old one and how can it improve their job performance? If the staff can see the value in the change, it will help them buy-in to the new change, and help them be advocates for the new process. If you are learning a new computer program, teach the program, as the staff would be using it. For example, if the staff would be taking orders, teach the program as scenarios that the staff will encounter in their job role. This way, the buttons and clicks make more sense, and give the staff the beginning of screen recognition as they go through their everyday tasks.

5. Find Your Cheerleaders

Who understands why the change was needed and can perform the new process well? Have these people be your cheerleaders to help the rest of the staff get on board. What helped them get the process down? They need to share their process of understanding with the rest of the staff so they, too, see how important this new change is.

6. Finalize The Decision

Once you have asked the questions about what is going on that prompted the training request, you can decide if training is really needed. Make sure you discuss who will be responsible for the intervention, in other words for teaching, coaching, and measuring the end result. How often will the measures be shown, and what will happen if the measures have not moved as intended? Having the plan in place will make it easier to execute and keep everyone on the same page.

To Sum Up

Sometimes managers need a sounding board – someone who can help walk them through the process, so they can then determine whether training is really needed. Other times, they ask for training because this has worked in the past, and they haven’t actually sat down and thought through the process. When this happens, you can be the one to ask the hard questions to really understand the root of the problem, and then give suggestions on how to help the manager with their dilemma. This will ensure that the manager gets the behavior changes he wants, while giving you an opportunity to help his department improve. It sounds like a win-win situation to me.

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