This article was first posted on the China Solved Weblog. It is about a misconception of on the job training. It suggests that companies should focus on hiring better qualified applicants than relying on teaching them what they need to know when they get on the job.
Look for managers who can train other (potential) managers. This not only builds stronger teams, but makes your managers more proficient at a key skill.
What’s that you say? You already have an ‘on the job training’ program? Well, it may be worth investing in a Train the Trainer program to make sure your middle managers aren’t traumatizing your new hires.
Train the Trainer programs divide the world’s knowledge into two categories.
1) Technical skills.
2) Communication skills.
Technical skills are the ability to sell, work the machine, find the inventory, collect the funds, or whatever else is involved in the job itself. You want your new hires to acquire these technical skills as quickly and cheaply as possible, and the easiest way for them to learn to have your experienced workers teach them. 2 problems quickly emerge: Your old workers may not have any interest in training their own replacements. Even if they want to teach the skills in question, they may have not idea how to effectively transmit the information.
Communication or teaching skills are COMPLETELY different from technical skills .This refers to your managers’ abilities to effectively and efficiently transmit their knowledge and successfully teach new people. This is NOT a natural skill or ability for most people, and requires learning and practice.
If you are depending on an “on the job” training program, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that standards are high and that there is proper feedback. This is a great subject for coaching and relationship building between you and your managers. Discuss training methods, goals, benchmarks and feedback rules so that your entire team is delivering consistent, high-quality training within your organization.
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