Magazine article Mortgage Banking

What Training Can't Do. (Training)

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

What Training Can't Do. (Training)

Article excerpt

BECAUSE THE ROLE OF TRAINING IS NOT always well understood by management, because certain problems seem to be endemic to our industry, and because human nature wants to look for quick, simple answers, the training department is sometimes tasked with things it really can't do. This leads to frustration on the part of both the department and the internal customer. Recognizing impossibilities for what they are helps minimize the problem.

Here are my nominations for the top five things the training department can't do. (We Americans seem to be list-crazy. This is my way of giving in.)

1. Training can't fix hiring errors. About 10 percent of the employees who go through new-hire training courses are hiring errors, plain and simple. It is unfair to Training to blame the later performance of these employees on their training, and it is unfair to the employee to use training performance as a screening mechanism. Screening should be done before a person is hired, not after. And training is too expensive to use for that purpose anyway.

Related to this, while training can give management feedback on performance in the classroom, training should not make or communicate termination decisions, except in the most extreme cases. That responsibility rests with the hiring manager.

2. Training can't fix nontraining problems. Too often, people are sent to Training as the solution to a problem that is caused by equipment, management, staffing levels, conflicting directives or plain old workload. This is particularly bad because participants come into the training understandably dubious about Training's ability to fix the situation. Nothing happens to change their mind, and they leave even more cynical than when they arrived. Then the upper manager says, "We sent them to Training, but nothing changed." The Training department receives a large black eye, and possibly is not called upon another time when training really is the needed "fix."

3. Training can't make surly, rude people into happy, friendly people. Training can communicate standards of service and job performance, but we've all seen people who can say, "Good-morning welcome to McGonigle's may I-take-yourorder," in less than a second, and with all the enthusiasm of a toad. …

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