Soon to be sticking out like a sore thumb in the potato chip section of a grocery store near you is Pringles, recently determined not to be a chip (crisp) at all but a cake. Thanks UK! Apparently the UK courts don’t know that I try to avoid cake. A cake that conveniently fits in the cup holder of my car. Did you know we eat one billion dollars of Pringles each year? I know right?
I’m sure you have (or have had at some time) some ‘pringle-like’ content in your training. You know the one…the course/class that is actually training for something that does/did not require training.
Remember the mandatory ILT for a group because one person has crappy customer service skills? (And they didn’t think the training applied to them anyway). Remember the off-the-shelf soft skill e-learning to address morale-type issues that are actually the result of a bad manager (yet no training for the manager…waahhh?).
Although you won’t be the most popular kid on the block this is probably one ‘fight’ worth fighting. At least I’ve always thought it was. Why? Because your training solution will fail – that’s what people will see. And you’re employees won’t be happy with you. Training that didn’t work. Yuk. No one wants that. You want to be helpful. You want to improve the performance of the work force. No time to be a yes man/woman. But being a realist, if you must provide training, at least don’t cave without stating your position. “I’m not confident it’s the right solution because…blah blah blah…I’m just sayin’.”
A process for handling (and rejecting) incoming requests should be part of your trainer DNA. Here are some suggestions for triaging those incoming requests.
- is it a learning strategy item? (if not, why? is it new? should it be discussed? should it be politely turned down because of other strategy-linked priorities?)
- is it tied to the organization’s business plan? (if not, why? is it new? should it be discussed? should it be politely turned down because of other strategy-link priorities?)
- is it a problem that requires training intervention? (ask five “why” questions…Q: why do you think you need this? A: because we have complaints from the customers. Q: why? tell me about it. What prompted it? A: well, we received a complaint that was elevated to the C-level so I got a call to get some customer service training in here. Q:(thinking…aah, now we’re getting to it)…hmmm…one complaint? that doesn’t sound like much of a problem given the fact your employees are on the phone all day. why do you think you need this again? A: basically, I don’t. but I do have to address this promptly. Q: Why not a discussion with the one person that the complaint is against? Is it a pattern? If so, will training help this person or is it a performance issue or are they in the wrong job? A: I’m not sure that customer service is right for this person but she’s been coming along. Q: Why don’t you think about it – and the money that can be saved – by not making everyone attend training they may not need. A: OK. I’ll call you back.
- is it funded or can funding be obtained? (the greatest solution in the world won’t fly if there’s no funding for it.)
- if it’s not a strategy item…don’t turn it down right away. Is it something that can save the company money and be done quickly and inexpensively? (flexibility, value is a must)
I do hope you enjoyed the cheesy tie-in (or should I say Pizzalicious because that’s my fave) of Pringles and training. Proof that I am way uncool and always thinking about training. Sigh.