Look before leaping
By Jeff Thorne
Poor training occurs more often than you might think and it has a direct effect on employee performance. Failure to understand the relationship between training, employee performance and safety performance, can be quite costly and have long-lasting impacts. But what are the true impacts of poor training? Impacts of poor training can be grouped into some basic categories: poor employee satisfaction, lower production and quality, increased injury rates, increased training, and new training.
By Jeff Thorne
When employees are happy, focused and morale is high this usually results in a productive workforce and may result in lower injury rates. When employees do not receive adequate training or the training is not aligned with company goals or objectives, or it is not specific to job tasks and hazards, this could result in the worker eventually feeling unsatisfied. They may feel increased stress from their job, and not perform up to the expectations that have been set. If the training was not specific enough, employees may be subject to hazards without the appropriate controls. If the work environment is one where two-way communication is not encouraged, or speaking up typically falls on deaf ears, dissatisfied workers will not speak up and this could lead to higher turnover rates. This places you back at square one, having to rehire all over again, or it can result in workers continuously performing their job poorly and unsafely.
When an employee receives poor training, this can affect the business as a whole. This is especially true when it’s a small to medium-sized business, as everyone within the internal responsibility system is typically responsible for contributing to the success of the organization. When training has been identified as one of the weak links in the system, or the training is solely completed for legislative purposes, results are always poor.
Training consumes resources. Time is a significant commodity to most people, and having to reschedule hours worth of training for a group of employees who were not trained correctly in the first place can be a huge time drain as well as a waste of time for everyone. Rescheduling means working with the employee’s new schedule, creating changes to your own schedule and making sure employees that require new training can complete the entire training within a set deadline. This has to be managed, while trying to cover any time that is missed as a result of the additional training. Workers having to redo the training again will not be properly focused.
Equally valuable as time, dollar cost must be factored in when employees are paid for their time during training. When employees aren’t trained properly, that means additional costs may need to be absorbed in order to make sure they have all of the right training and can confidently do their job.
In order to improve training and training results, time needs to be spent on analyzing organizational needs prior to training. A training-needs analysis involves gathering information to determine what training is required and what needs to be developed to ensure that employees at all levels have the skills required to perform their jobs, and to ensure that the proper training is being provided. If a proper training-needs analysis is not completed, your organization has no way to determine if too much or too little time has been invested into training.
This type of analysis should be conducted prior to training. In order to ensure the training delivered is the solution to an identified deficiency or problem, we must identify what knowledge, skills and abilities are required prior to hiring or performing the job task. This will reduce the need to train the employee on the bare basics. Training can then be streamlined with more relevant details as it applies to the job. This information can be used to formulate a specific training plan for a new or existing worker to ensure they meet desired outcomes.