This is the final entry on morale killing behaviors and how to avoid them.  Click here for part 1 of this series. Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

7. “Employees need to know what is expected of them and need to be given the training, tools and resources to accomplish their goals.”

I work in a Training department so naturally I would gravitate toward the training aspect of this quote.  I have to point out that training is not the answer.  We crank out a lot of training.  If that is all that was required we should be successful, right?  But we’re not.  Why is that?  Is it quality?  In some cases, yes.  Is it because the training is not linked to a clear organizational goal?  Sometimes. Definitely.  There is another problem that often goes overlooked.  The mindset of the organization.

Why was it decided that there would be a Training Department?  Training has such a passive quality about  it.  It implies that all one has to do is attend the seminar or read the handout and you will know what you need to know and be able to do what is required to do your job.

I prefer “learning” over “training.”  There is shared responsibility with learning.  The instructor is responsible for providing learning with clearly stated goals, objectives that will achieve the goal, and learning activities that ensure the focus is correct, the objectives have been met, and remediation is provided as necessary.  A learner is expected to be an active co-participant in this process.  The learner is responsible for being fully engaged in the learning and making sure they acquire the knowledge and skills being taught.  The instructor holds each learner accountable and models engagement.  When this is done right it creates a dynamic environment where all participants, instructor and learners, are equally engaged.

If a learner walks out of a class and cannot clearly articulate what they learned and the ability to apply that knowledge or skill then it was a waste of time.  They also need to know how the learning links to their responsibilities and what they are expected to do with their new learning.  If this isn’t true, somebody failed and it wasn’t the learner.  The materials may not have been adequate or appropriate for the content.  Maybe the instructor wasn’t right for the subject matter.  The learner may have needed a higher level course or more challenge.

The bottom line is that effective learning requires planning.  Its an active process.  This kind of learning is a morale booster not a killer.  It shows a commitment to provide support and a desire to equip employees for success.  Subjecting employees to bland training with no link to their job duties or concern for their unique needs or preferences does the opposite.