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Trainer’s Tip: To Train or Not to Train?


This week's tip from Barbara Matthews aims to answer the question: is training always the answer?

Training should only be done as a last resort. To determine if training is the answer, begin by performing a Needs Assessment. Ask these questions:
What is it that they need to do?
Is it really necessary for them to do it?
Can this be done without it?

You also need to evaluate what kind of need it is:
Has something fallen below standard?
Is it due to an impression someone had?
Is more needed to meet a demand?
Is it to remain competitive?
Is it to prepare for the future?

By asking a few questions along these lines, you will have a better idea whether or not the time and costs of training are the right way to go.

* Read other members thoughts on how to decide when training is, and isn't, needed here.

2 Responses

  1. Disagree
    I don’t agree with your note, training should only be done as a last resort. Perhaps it’s not quite what you meant. Training is not only for the “job they are doing”. Training can be used for many diffirent reasons, to prepare a team for change, to motivate, to inspire, to retain staff, and to help staff consider other options within their company. If you don’t train then you can’t blame. Training should be part of a companies business plan. Even David Beckham needs training!
    Denise Barlow
    ([email protected])

  2. is training the answer?
    I was given this schema to answer the question.
    Can you answer “Yes” to the following questions about the proposed trainees?

    • Do they know exactly what their job is?
    • Do they know what doing the job effectively and successfully looks like?
    • Do they have the resources and space to do it?
    • Do they get accurate regular feedback about how they’re doing?
    • Are they properly informed about actual or potential changes in any of the above?
      If any of these get the answer “NO”, then see that things are put right before suggesting training (or discipline, in fact)

      It doesn’t apply to every situation, but it’s a very good start


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