(In my last post, What’s Your Problem? I shared some common gaps that managers encounter between expected performance and behavior and the actual performance and behavior of their employees.)
Many performance and behavior concerns can be resolved through training. Very many can not. How do you know whether supplying additional training might be The Answer?
If people know your expectations and know how to meet them, but still aren’t doing what you expert them to do, training is not the answer.
Here’s an example:
Your employee, Penny Laine, is late to work more often than not. She knows that you want her to arrive on time. She no doubt knows how to arrive on time. Yet she continues to arrive late two or three times a week.
Will sending Penny through a class called “Tardiness and Punctuality 101” get her to straighten up and fly right? It’s highly unlikely. She already knows what the trainer will tell her to do. She just doesn’t do it.
We’ll have a lot to say in future posts about dealing with employees like Penny. For now, we’ll focus on helping employees who want to meet your expectations, but don’t know how to meet them.
It’s difficult to know for sure that an employee wants to perform and/or behave according to your expectations, of course. If the employee seems generally upbeat and is performing/behaving according to Hoyle in most respects, however, proceed on the assumption that they want to meet all of your expectations, but don’t know how.
(There is another possibility: the employee may want and know how to do it, but can’t due it, due to some personal incapacity or environmental obstacles. We’ll devote future posts to discussing situations of this type.)
Let’s consider the case of Abbie Rhodes, who is falling short of your standards for accuracy in filing documents. You don’t think Abbie is less capable than her peers, and she seems to be trying hard, but she keeps making mistakes.
Will further training help Abbie? It might, but there is likely to be a simpler, quicker and less expensive (in terms of time expended or hard coin) way to bring her up to speed: give Abbie a Job Performance Aid.
What’s a job performance aid? Find out in my next post, Solving Problems with Job Performance Aids!