If the state of the economy is as bad as “they” say it is, you might wonder how I could tell a potential client that my training services won’t serve their needs. Why would I turn down business? Because my business exists to serve the needs of my clients and training isn’t always the answer.

Companies hire employees and as employees do their jobs sometimes performance problems arise. Performance problems may stem from a bad fit, a lack of stated performance expectations, a lack of necessary skills, or other common reasons. In any case, a solution is needed and often training is plugged in.

Training can be of great value when:
• Skills are lacking
• Higher-level skills are needed
• Changes occur in the business or the job
• Employees are made aware of their performance deficiencies and training is part of the plan to succeed.

Training is a waste of money when it is used as a substitute for good old-fashioned management coaching.

Here’s a Recipe for Disaster:

1 underperforming employee
1 manager avoiding direct communication with employee
1 course in _________ (whatever the employee’s “problem” is)

Require the employee to attend training without telling him/her why

It just doesn’t work!

Here’s a recipe you can count on for every occasion:

1 manager skilled at coaching for top performance
1 employee involved in performance planning and problem solving
Performance expectations, clearly communicated (as much as you need)
Hands-ful of ongoing positive and negative performance feedback
Support and guidance (as needed for the individual, which may include training)

Simmer (avoid over-mixing or abandoning). Enjoy!