Analysis of Company Training Programs
If my life as a new employee were a lottery, I would be filthy rich for having hit the crackpot of company training programs in just about every place I’ve worked. It amazes me that I could be so lucky and still no better-off on the job for any of the instruction I’ve received.
I am frustrated. So you will also understand why I cannot take another orientation that greets me at the doors with promises that touch the clouds and then smashes to the ground for need of its own retraining in how to train me.
The saying goes that it’s not how one starts but how he finishes that matters. Well I’m here to stamp a big ‘MELARCHY’ on that expression.
Starting matters a lot more than somebody ever thought (or until he finished and didn’t have the gumption to come back and tell us the truth.) How I begin does affect my outcome. Society makes the association all the time. We give our children chores and piggy banks to teach them about money before they grow up and shipwreck their lives for lack of financial prowess. We call our graduation ceremonies commencements and speakers paint panoramas of future success and retirement that hinge on how we place our first few steps.
So why in the world would any organization with a decent human resources department not invest its full worth in making the outset of its new employees the best possible learning experience? Figuring out this answer—for me—is nothing more than shaking the soda bottle and uncapping it. There are just too many possible reasons, and they probably all boil down to money and poor planning leaving the poor new guy to suffer the consequences. He must possess rock-solid motivation in that workplace to succeed when the odds are already stacked against him. It becomes a survival of the fittest within the organization crafted by the company itself, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
And so I complain. That’s about the most of it until I become CEO, which isn't happening any time soon. What I present now are a few of my notes kept on training as I’ve learned (or failed to do so) and discovered better ways to comprehend my work. They mostly deal with the trainer, or teacher, so let them guide you when it’s your turn to train. Don't walk onto your next job blind!
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1. A human resources department is necessary to a company’s profit margin. Although it may seem that these internal matters don’t really matter to building clientele and increasing revenue, analysis shows that they have everything to do with them. It’s simple to understand: High workplace morale and satisfied employees translate into worthwhile productivity. No one cares for a company that doesn’t care for them. That stated, an HR training department willfully shoots itself in the foot when, for trying to capitalize, it attempts to shortcut the training process (profit v. the person). The training process is one thing that must be fully supplied. It must have an appropriate duration, every information resource and necessary tools, and various teaching methods for learning needs. It is the company’s first chance to show how much it cares for its new workers. To do any less is to risk having employees that feel undervalued and are unprepared in their jobs and roles. The bottom line is directly affected should the company need to spend more money to retrain these people—if they stick around.
2. It is never a trainee’s fault that he is new and trying to learn. It is irresponsible to convict a new worker for not knowing new information. It takes time for a person to learn and understand. Information may need to be offered more than once to be retained; and this signals no intelligence problem on the trainee’s part. He is dealing not only with new subject materials (perhaps) for his work, but he is also in a new environment, around new people, and using new tools and programs. This can be much to take in initially, and it will take a person time to get comfortable with it. If the subject is new some concepts might be tough to learn alongside the fact that people learn differently and at varying rates of time. People are not cookie-cut creations; they are different and have their own unique creativeness. Could it not be that the more creative a person, the more creative the learning has to be for him or her? Further, the trainee has to learn how his subject is done at his new company. Marketing or Finance was what he studied in college and what he did at his last job, for sure, but now he has to do it at a new company, the way that company wants it done. It’s not his fault that he is new.
3. A teacher must be able to instruct clearly, systematically, and broadly enough to convey the point to every student listening. The trainer must be simple but challenging. Then he must be patient to allow learning to happen. Concepts sometimes come with time and progression in the learning process. Learning cannot be rushed. If a teacher were present only to train people that were already proficient, there would be no need for him. His role as a transmitter of knowledge is significant.
4. A teacher should always explain the protocol. A company's training plan should be written and handed out so participants can always know what is expected of them personally and educationally. Never leave trainees out of the loop.
5. A teacher cannot be non-supportive in the training process. It is essentially a foul for the trainer to hurry a student along in his learning process all because the teacher can see the goal and end result. No, the teacher must help the student see that goal as much as he can so that the two can get there together. The trainer may see the wildfire of passion and proficiency that awaits the student, but should he snuff out the flickering flame that kindles in the leaves, this teacher has made his own efforts to become futile.
6. Learning must be objective. Remember it this way: ‘What is the point?’ is the point. A trainer of mine used to pace the floor and bark “Read! Read! Read!” He was adamant that the trainees’ job was to daily devour the thousands of rules in the tome that was our rulebook in order to learn the job. He didn’t know that only those who are motivated can learn this way and then with inglorious success. Most trainees need direction, and it is the instructor’s role to simplify learning by explaining concepts. So such injunctions are pointless (pardon the pun) if training is not targeted. There is no point. Without objectives a company's training program is shortchanged.
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