Monday, August 25th, 2014

I DARE YOU TO BE TRAINED—–


I dare you to be trained like an entry level person is in your company is.
I think you would be appalled and you would certainly get the best of what your company does not the haphazard stuff normally thrown at people.

Good solid training for people who touch your customers could be your best secret weapon. I don’t know how training got to be so low on the totem pole.
And don’t give me budget reasons.  Get the nerve to do what’s good for the business at the very pedestrian level. Then you’ll earn the money in sales to do some of the rest that you want to do.

I have five adult children who all worked many jobs as teens and college students.  Not one of them was trained to do their job and certainly given no context about how their work fit into a larger picture.  They were scared at first that they couldn’t do the jobs from cutting donuts to repairing tires to cutting vegetables for an industrial kitchen to launching a ferry.  Then they asked questions, figured out their own way, kept wanting to do a good job, lost respect for their supervisors until they realized their supervisors  didn’t know what they were doing either. Everyone was faking their way through the day.  And then they took their gumption, their desire to do good work, their talent and left these workplaces.

Recently i read an article on the decline of training due to fear that trained people would leave anyway  and the cost of continuous training was too much.  Whoa. How about creating a workplace that people don’t want to leave??  And one of the tools for retention is people’s inherent pleasure in mastering work. Being good at something, doing it well, is a motivator itself.  I remember pick by light warehouse workers with bandaged fingers who knew their productivity numbers and relished digging in to beat their results from the day before. I was looking at retention and job satisfaction. They liked the aesthetic of picking–the speed and finger skill they used.  I had a good supermarket bagger the other day and I complimented her. She said she loved to bag things just right. It was a challenge and doing it well pleased her. Without the compliment. I asked if she was trained to do it.  And she said, “Oh yes, by the best, my boss” Lucky lady.  On the job examples of good work trumps all other approaches to training.   

Think of well-trained entry level people as a primary retention tool. It taps intrinsic satisfaction that can’t be bought. And it sets the thermostat for excellence as they stay and grow with your company.



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