Speed Up Employee Training In Slow Times

Speed Up Employee Training In Slow Times

I’m finding that some managers are looking at cutting back on the investment they make in training their employees. Tight money, tough times they say. No budget for non-essentials. So, training suffers.

To me it seems like they have their priorities upside down. The way I see it, these challenging economic conditions make the case for more training, not less.

There are several arguments:

1. Take your best people – and make them better.
If your organization has had reductions in force, chances are, the people who were furloughed were the younger, less experienced, less productive or less proficient ones. That would suggest that the people still on the job are good and knowledgeable.

These are exactly the people who would prosper from training, especially advanced programs that build upon their existing knowledge, experience and professionalism.

By making these people even better, they will provide leadership, example and effectiveness while you have a reduced staff – and will also be there to bring your newer people along when conditions inevitably improve.

2. Training investment will pay off in reduced maintenance costs.
The hidden secret in MRO is that equipment is rarely maintained as well as it should be. The press of time and need for production usually means that the work performed is just good enough to get the gear back to work. This means that each repair can tend to sow the seeds of the next failure.

Properly trained MRO people will do the maintenance or repair job better, faster and more effectively – because they’ll know how. So, downtime will be lessened in its duration, and lowered in its frequency and severity.

3. Training is not a frill. It is a serious part of improving an organization.
Training people not only helps improve knowledge, it affects attitude. The net effect is better performance.

There are many ways to send a message to the work force – whether it is positive or negative.I find that the best companies we work with care about work force communications. They realize that motivated workers are loyal workers and solid contributors to the organization’s health and effectiveness.

By training a worker, your message is clear, positive and effective. You are telling that worker that their contribution is important, that they are valuable, and that the organization cares about their knowledge and their efforts and commitment.

And, as my old farmer granddad used to say, that is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. It would be irresponsible of a manager to spend blindly for training. But that is a principle that applies in boom times as well as to slow-downs. By the same token, it is equally irresponsible to starve the need for greater knowledge of your workers under any economic conditions.

Technologies change. Products evolve. People’s good habits can erode under the press of day-to-day urgencies. If not identified and corrected, bad habits are frequently reinforced.

All these forces add up to the inevitable entropy of even the best organization operating at the highest levels of efficiency. And, how many of us can say that we are operating at that level?

So, the knowledge of the work staff needs to be refreshed on a regular basis. Training, especially the practical, detailed, hands-on, multi-media type of lessons that IBT has become well-known for providing, may be just the refresher that your people need.

If you have a need for any type of training on mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic systems or equipment, IBT can help. We have a full range of courses, offered in public trainings. And of course, any training program can be customized precisely for your equipment, people, situation, special needs or problems – and delivered on your premises.

So, let’s talk about how it might work.


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