First, before you read any further, let me make ONE THING violently clear. Training is NOT the same as employee development or leadership development. Training is about acquiring skills, NOT about becoming a “better” whatever. Leadership develops the person. Training develops a person’s skills.
But leadership alone is pointless if the person in charge has no marketable skills. Let’s look at some reasons why training can help you build your team and make everyone better, individually and collectively.
Training creates a team with a single mindset. Some might want to use the word “brainwash” or “indoctrinate” … well, yeah. You want your people to buy into your system. To not only understand the way you do things but to also understand why you do it that way. Training can help you accomplish that while making it more likely that your people will understand the merits of doing it “right.”
Training can also help your team solve their problems and correct observed issues. Despite the tendency to want to do everything yourself, you do not have the time or the ability to get it all done on your own. And you certainly don’t have the time to stop and redirect every time someone has a question. You need team members who can solve issues without your involvement. Training can do that for you.
How you do something is every bit as important as what you do and why you do it. Training can not only teach a person what to do, it teaches them how to do it the best way. Yes, someone will always want to do it “their way,” and, while innovation can be exciting, it’s not always the best option. Certain things should be done certain ways. If you understand that, share that information readily with your team.
Compliance may seem like a dirty word in our independent society. But there is a place for compliance in a team situation. Once the vision is cast, and the mission is given, people need to fall in line. Here’s the thing, if they are not working your plan, they are working someone else’s plan. And, if that’s the case, then they should probably be working for someone else.
That may sound harsh, but it’s really simple. You have standards for a reason, and you don’t have time to deal with every question about or objection to that standard. That would be a ridiculous waste of your time. If someone is demanding that of you, that person is an impediment to your success, in the same way, a raging, demanding toddler is to their parents’ sanity.
So, what about it? How’s your training program working for your team?
Eric Vainer is the Chairman of Dear Feet and the Director of Pala Community Care. Vainer is an expert on corporate culture and a heralded entrepreneur from New York.