Training Solves All Problems

May 18, 2016 - 4 minutes read

Training solves all problems. It doesn’t matter what the performance problem is, training will fix it. Right? Wrong! Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

I’m sure many of us have had a client, SME or management approach us to develop a training solution to fix the performance problem. Because they believe that training will fix the problem. But it doesn’t.

What is needed, before developing a training solution is an analysis of the performance problem. Often the performance problem is associated with other issues, that training will not resolve.

When undertaking the analysis, and considering if training will fix it, you need to consider two factors:

  1. The will of the individuals involved
  2. The skill of the individuals involved

By looking at these factors you will be able to identify if training is needed. Using a Performance Analysis (or Skill/Will) Matrix, you will be able to see where on the quadrant an employee (or team) sit and the performance intervention that is required.

Skill/Will Matrix

The Skill/Will Matrix can help to determine if training is the solution.

Let’s have a look at a few examples:

  • Alan has been hired as a data entry clerk. He really doesn’t want the job. He doesn’t have the ability to ensure the accuracy of the information he is entering, and doesn’t really care as he is bored by the repetitive work. Training is not going to solve this problem. Well, training for John is not going to solve the problem. Possibly some training for the management team on recruitment practices might help. Simply training John on how to enter data more accurately might only increase his skill, not his will.
  • Barbara is also a data entry clerk. She is also bored by the repetitive work, but does know how to ensure the accuracy. She just doesn’t want to. Training is not going to solve this problem. Performance management can be used to address the attitude. Motivational techniques may also be used to remove the boredom issue.
  • Christine works as a loan processing officer in a bank. Her manager thinks she (and others in the team) need further training on the loan processing system as they are behind the service level times that have been set. Jane knows what to do. She understands that customers need to have their loan applications processed quickly, however she is always behind the service levels as the system has issues requiring her to do manual workarounds. Training is not going to solve this problem. The system and/or associated procedures need to be fixed to resolve this performance issue.
  • Damian is a contact centre worker. He is really keen to help customers and solve their problems. Unfortunately, he can’t help many as he doesn’t know a lot of the processes, as he is relatively new to the team. Training will solve this problem. He is motivated to work but doesn’t have the skills. Training will provide the skills and will resolve any performance issues.

Training doesn’t solve all of the problems. By carefully analysing the root cause your training is going to provide better outcomes and better returns.