I was talking with a group of mid-level managers last week about conflict resolution when the topic of corrective action came up. We discussed when corrective action should be taken or more accurately when it shouldn’t. When a team or individual doesn’t deliver the expected activity or results a manager should determine the causes before jumping to disciplinary action or critiques. The leader should determine if there were outside consequences that affected the result, did the teammates involved have the tools they needed, and were they properly trained. Because if they weren’t given the needed trained, they don’t need discipline they need training.

What is Proper Training?

So, what is proper training? It means that they have the knowledge and skills to follow the training. They know what to do, and how to do it. It doesn’t mean they were shown one time or handed a checklist. Proper training means giving the trainee the training he or she needs to fit their learning style.

My youngest daughter is an award-winning AP Macro Economics teacher. Teachers from other districts and even other states visit her classroom to monitor her activities. They want to know how she maintains her high-level classroom test scores. She even spent an hour meeting with the head of the federal reserve, Janet Yellin. (Okay, the proud dad might be bragging a bit.)

One of her teaching methods is the day before an exam she sets up several tables where students can study within the learning style that fits them best, visual, kinesthetic, audio, and more. She adapts her teaching to the needs of the students.

Covering all the Bases     

An installation manager I worked with would hire inexperienced people of character and then train the installation position. He onboarded by distributing a manual to trainees before training began. During training, he gave them a checklist and then showed them each step. After he completed a step, he watched as each trainee did the same. Next, he would assign tasks, leave, but check progress throughout the task. Before a trainee “graduated” they took an open book test using the manual he had given them. Some of the trainees grasped the trainee in one or two sessions. Others took longer. However, before any new installer was sent to a job site, the manager knew they had the skills to complete the job.

The manager also gave the trainees expectations throughout the training, which continued when they went on the job. He didn’t talk training done – he acted.

How Do You Know What Training Your Team Needs?

The easy and obvious answer is you ask them. Ask how they study, what ways do they learn, and what doesn’t help them. You can also do what my daughter does and share multiple methods or do what the installation manager did and cover all the bases. The important point is to understand that not everyone learns the same way you do. So, what training methods do you use?

If you enjoyed this post you might also like, Why you should set expectations with trainees from day one.  

Photo by Ferran Feixas on Unsplash