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The Importance of Training

(February 2006) posted on Wed Feb 08, 2006

Formalized training should begin at the top of the ladder.

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By Marty McGhie

In my December 2005 column, I addressed the challenges of
hiring good managers for your company. This month, I want
to focus on another aspect of personnel"?training the people
within your organization.

As much as we hear about it, talk about it, and even meet
about it, most of us are guilty of not focusing enough on
employee training. This is usually true for all company levels"?
from the entry-level worker to the top strata of management.
And while there are several options for training outside of your
organization, the successful companies are those that have
excellent training programs within their own companies.

Organization and structure

If your goal is to develop a truly successful training program in
your operation, begin by formalizing it. This should include training
curriculum from top to
bottom"?for your managers
as well as your newest hires.

All too often we discuss
the importance of training
with our managers and
then send them out with
the mandate that they need
to "train your people." The
problem with this scenario
is we have never trained our
managers in the first place!
Whether your supervisors
are managing three people or 30, if you expect them to properly
train their people you must first train them. Then move down
your organization.

You also need to make certain that your training programs
are structured"?not only in their format but also as to their
schedule. Whether sessions are held daily, weekly, or monthly,
they should be held at the same time in order to create consistency.
And once you set the schedule, stick with it. If your training
is held regularly, you'll find that your employees will take
it seriously, and attendance at these training sessions will be
much higher. On the other hand, if your classes are held haphazardly,
you will likely find that your personnel will begin regarding
them as somewhat optional, rather than mandatory.

Mix it up

In my own company's training curriculum, we use a variety of
instructors to keep the training fresh. Sometimes we will have
our president lead the session, while other times it may be one of
our department heads.