We all know that, in order for a plant to grow, it must be fed—water, soil and sunshine. An organization, like a plant, must also be fed in order to grow. Think about all of the different types of plants located around and maybe even inside your home. Some may need more sunlight than others, some may need to be trimmed, while others may need to be pinned or threaded around a stake. Some may require more water than others or even a different type of soil.
Organizations, like plants, may differ in what they need depending on size, industry, culture, values, customer requirements, available resources, etc. And of course, there are always the unwanted plants (weeds) that are not fed or nurtured, but end up growing so high and so fast that they end up smothering the others. So, what’s a weed to an organization in this comparison? Weeds are practices, which left untended, that can quickly override any positive growth made throughout the organization. In an effort to save the other plans, weeds must be uprooted immediately. This means that organizations must do the same and weed out the practices that threaten to weaken and stunt growth.
In a world where masses of knowledge are just a mouse click away, it’s easy to get lost in the abundance of information. So, before venturing out into this world, take the time to determine what your organization actually needs.
Start with Purpose and Principles
What is the purpose of your organization? The purpose of an organization should relate to providing customers with a service, a product, a price point and/or a solution. It’s equally important to fully understand your organization’s principles. These are things you value and believe in without needing the evidence to support it. It’s crucial to keep purpose and principles at the forefront as you make decisions about what to feed your organization. If you have a hard time quantifying either of these, be proactive and work with others to create clear definitions.
Create a Training Matrix
After gaining a clear understanding of your organization’s purpose and principles, identify your organization’s individual training needs by topic. Remember to include all team members from all levels and departments within the organization.
Then, create a training matrix for each employee so that supervisors and managers can easily determine which team members need to be trained, and on what and when. For example, if there are specific topics like machine operation or safety in which team members must train every year, create a matrix that enables visibility to these types of ongoing needs.
Form a Team
When all of the different types of training topics are identified, form a team to develop a plan for each. The team should consist of a variety of different subject matter experts and leaders so that those who are most familiar with the work are the ones creating the plan. The plan should outline the delivery or the method of knowledge transfer.
Use a Decision Flow Map
Help your team develop a decision tree in order to maintain consistency. The checklist or decision tree should include the types of questions listed in the infographic.
There is no one training method that’s right for every organization and situation. Depending on how an organization is structured and resource availability, the best way to educate team members varies from business to business. It’s important to be methodical by creating structure and standardization around employee training in order to reap the benefits and see results of the investment.
Robert Martichenko is the CEO of LeanCor Supply Chain Group.