Practice Tip – Training your Staff with Best Practices

Has this ever happened to you? You thought you trained a team member to do a job a certain way, but the results were not what you intended.  If this is the case for you then you should understand some different training methods.  They are listed in the order of least effective to most effective.

  1. The sink and swim method  – You ask a person to do a job and then expect them to get it done and if they don’t make it then you just reassign them to something else or worse let them go.
  2. The benevolent sink and swim method – It’s similar to the first sink and swim, but you just continue to let them plow through the tasks and hope they get it right someday.  You believe they will get the task done and there is no threat of being fired.
  3. Written instructions on how to do the job, now go and do it – This is getting better. At least they have instructions on how to do their job.  But in many cases they still are sure exactly what to do because the instructions aren’t necessarily clear and they are hard to understand.
  4. Watch – Do Together – Ask Questions –  In this type of training you actually sit down with the person to show them how to do the task. Then you do the task together.  Next, they do the task on their own with the ability to continue to get feedback on what is working.  You also have instructions that are clear on what needs to be done.

The reality is that the effort you put in to training your team member is critical to your success.  If you aren’t training them with the best practices possible you’re setting them up for failure.

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