So your employees are not performing up to your expectations. They seem unmotivated and show little care for quality or customer service. What should you do? Your first thought may be to train your employees and their supervisors.

Not necessarily.

Be very careful before you spend time and money on a training program to improve operations. You could easily waste thousands of dollars and lose credibility with those whose performance you’re trying to impact.

Billions of dollars are spent annually on training employees. Unfortunately, a lot of that money is wasted costing organizations and their managers millions in profits and personal credibility. This is because so much training is directed towards treating the symptoms of problems, the problem itself.

Too often, training programs result from a “training needs survey” with a shopping list of topics selected by your employees, such as leadership, coping with stress, performance appraisal, problem solving, customer service, motivating employees and time management. So, how can you know which issue is the problem and which is the symptom? If you can’t identify the difference, you may need a root cause analysis done from an experienced and objective consultant; otherwise, the result of training can negatively impact operations.

Beware of training consulting companies that don’t understand how your organization works. They may prescribe training solutions to problems which when properly diagnosed are not training-related problems at all. Too often training consultants are not properly educated in systems thinking themselves and fill orders for courses. At that time, the unsuspecting client assumes that the training will benefit the company and the individuals attending. As a result, funds are drained from the business, whatever problems existed may remain, the health of the business is jeopardized, and the employees begin to question the judgment and value of training itself.

For more information on choosing the right consultant, contact us.