Why Training Is Vital To Businesses

Larry Price
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Wednesday - October 05, 2011
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Just about everything has a flow pattern. Disturb the pattern, and daily living can become frustrating. Most of this depends on maintaining the flow it’s the hallmark of good management. It is a task that managers ignore at their peril. Having high-potential employees doesn’t guarantee they’ll succeed. Somehow they must know what management wants them to do and how it wants them to do it. If they don’t, new employees will improvise or worse yet, do nothing useful at all.

The whole flow idea begins with the orientation program. Training comes directly after the orientation, and if it’s not done adequately, it will expose employers to serious liability. It’s clear from case law that where an employer fails to adequately train and the employee does harm to third parties, the court will find the employer liable.

Training programs are supposed to support their firms’ strategic goals. Establishing a link between the learning objectives and the organization’s goals and objectives has always been a pressing issue facing people charged with training employees.

If you want to do something interesting, observe a new employee being trained. I had occasion to ride in an ambulance the other day, and was impressed with how the drivers were able to convince casual motorists to get out of the way and allow the ambulance to deposit its fare to the appropriate place. And while the driver was professionally tooting his horn and trying to avoid disinterested motorists, one of the attendants was apologizing for his difficulty in inserting the all-important IV device. He kept saying, “I’m not very good at this, people at the hospital are a lot better at it than I am.” I told him to relax and go with the flow, just act like you know how, no one will know the difference.

About a week later I almost got run off the road by a misguided motorist who had a big sign on the automobile: “STUDENT DRIVER.” I automatically said a quick prayer for the instructor who was hanging onto the dashboard. I gave him a mini shaka sign to let him know there was no foul, there was no harm.

My next adventure was at the bank. With a long line of depositors in front of me I noticed there was one teller who had a sign that declared that he was a TRAINEE. He was doing a good job, especially at making everyone feel welcome. It is quite amazing how out of the 15 people in line and only six tellers working the floor, the customers who are in a rush with a difficult transaction will draw the trainee. Customers have to go with the flow too.

Leaving the bank, I encountered an extended bus with a big sign on its side, DRIVER TRAINEE. I thought to myself: Good, everyone is training their employees today. The bus driver was being trained by another driver riding in the seat behind the driver, pointing out all the do’s and don’ts of the route.

It’s kind of strange, but it appears that motorists tend to make quicker room for a bus to enter a crowded lane than an ambulance with a siren and blinking red lights. Guess the bus is bigger.

It seems everyone is training someone. Even the state Supreme Court took a long time to reject a request by the Hawaii State Teachers Association saying it couldn’t compel the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to rule quickly on whether teachers deserve immediate relief from a new two-year contract imposed by the state. It did rule that the teachers may exercise their right to strike once the prohibited practices complaint is resolved. Makes you wonder who’s responsible for training all these bureaucrats to comprehend the state Constitution and collective bargaining laws that have been around since 1969.

Obviously, being elected or appointed doesn’t mean trained.

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