Tackling poor performance

Almost every organisation I come into contact with admits to needing training for some or all of their managers in how to manage employee performance.

Employers know there is a lack of skill to confidently and competently manage performance. Their employees know that their under performing colleagues are seldom properly managed. And their managers themselves often admit to feeling out of their depth.

The reality of course is that very few organisations feel they have the budget for training and those that do, often tell me that they just can’t afford to release managers from their day jobs to attend training.

But after years of recession when spending on training has been minimal ( or zero) coupled with years of organisational change which has resulted in both the loss of experienced managers and the promotion of those with no management experience, the problem most organisations now have cannot be ignored.

The reality of course is that you can’t afford to employ under performing staff but equally you can’t afford to lose good staff who have lost faith in your ability to manage their colleagues professionally.

Interestingly, I do think there is a solution for many of you right under your noses. And the solution can be achieved if you come at the problem from a different angle. I think that if you take the time to transform your training (or HR) department into a train the trainer department, you might be able to crack this nut in a cost and time efficient way.

In essence, your trainers stop delivering your courses and instead they put their time into 1) developing (or sourcing) training resources and 2) training your HR staff and managers to deliver the training instead. Your training department then becomes responsible for ensuring that training is cascaded down the line.

Instantly, with managers delivering training, this will result in training that is relevant and focussed on the actual issues their line managers face. No room for theory overload or idealistic best practice if managers are delivering it.

And just as a tip: if you rewrite your materials so whole courses in the future comprise of a series of one hour stand alone modules, you will find that managers can cascade training during team meetings, lunch meetings and other convenient times. This way your managers will no longer have to be absent from the job for hours or days at a time.

Problem solved! How great is that?

If you are rethinking your training strategy, why not give me a call. Always happy to be used as a sounding board. But first, a few points to reflect on:

1. Trainers might not like training being taken away from them. There will be talk of ‘managers won’t be good enough’, ‘managers won’t have time’ etc. these are genuine issues, but they should not be insurmountable. So be sensitive to the feelings of your current trainers, but be firm about what your organisation needs.

2. Managers might not see themselves as trainers. Tough! Managers are in the perfect position to help roll out training and training and coaching skills for managers is going to be the next big thing. Perhaps time though could go into spending time with managers so they can understand the benefits of rolling training out this way.

3. External trainers. It is seldom cost effective for an external trainer to deliver in house training that is less than one day duration. But if time off the job for managers to attend training is your biggest obstacle, then perhaps it’s time to bite the bullet and start developing the in house capability you need to deliver your own training in bite sized chunks.

Prefer solutions to problems? Jaluch supports organisations with train the trainer courses for managers, coaching skills courses for line managers and pre prepared materials for modular training courses on topics such as managing performance.

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