businessman-607831_640It’s hard to believe. But, there are only two reasons you need to offer training.

1.  Employees need to deal with something new.

Examples of something new can include laws, products, responsibilities, markets, and systems.

The something new can also be a role. In this case, employees need to prepare for a new role.

Finally, something new can come in the form of hiring a lot of new employees into a specific position. In this situation, you may need to replace shadowing a peer with a more structured experience in order to efficiently onboard many newcomers at once.

2.   There is a difference between employees’ desired and actual performance.

The tricky part about this situation is determining what is causing the difference. Training is only warranted if a lack of knowledge and skill is the culprit.

Unclear or uncommunicated expectations, lack of adequate resources, competing priorities, lack of clear feedback, or inappropriate rewards can all contribute to causing a performance problem. So, it is important to sort out what is really going on before you jump on the training bandwagon.

For example, if claim adjusters working at ABC Auto Insurance are simply paying claims without investigating liability, it may be because they lack time rather than knowledge.

My experience in this situation is that most often it is a combination of a lack of knowledge and something else. Unless your solution tackles all the issues, though, it is unlikely that training alone will be sufficient to close the performance gap.

So, the next time, you get a request for training, see if it fits into one of these two buckets. If not, maybe training isn’t the right solution to address the issue after all.