Employee Non-performance: Training Issue or Operations Issue

Determining the best approach to address employee non-performance is the source of many discussions in organizations.  Many training departments function on the premise of teaching employees based on “ideal” situations while operations staff manages employees in the not so ideal reality.

An employee uses a cell phone while driving a company vehicle.  An employee is repeatedly late for work.  An employee fails to report an inappropriate incident.  An employee is insubordinate.  These are just a few examples of how an employee may be deficient in performing his or her job.  Many managers confuse whether to address as training or an operations issue.   I might be partial, but as a training administrator for over 10 years, I propose using the following thought process to determine which approach is best.

1.    Are there written policies or procedures that prohibit the deficient behavior?  ___Yes ___No
2.    Is the behavior expectation addressed in a formal training program?  ___Yes ___No
3.    Did the employee complete the training program?  ___Yes ___No
4.    Has the employee received formal or informal counseling and given an opportunity to improve?  ___Yes ___No

YES to questions, 1-3;  indicates an Operations issue
NO to any of the questions indicates a Training issue
YES should always be the answer to question 4

Your HR/training department will appreciate that you took the time to evaluate the situation to determine how to address the employee’s non-performance.

Can you think of ways in which operation issues can be better communicated to training staff to improve training program content in your organization?  What are common barriers to overcome?


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