Are You Investing in Training Your Staff On The Job?

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If you read my last blog, you'll remember I discussed some reasons why college graduates don't always know everything we think they should. We can complain about this but the truth is that most employees' training must occur on the job. Another truth is that some employers don't make an adequate investment in training activities. I don't mean they aren't sending their staff personnel to outside training; I do mean they aren't spending sufficient time training on the job.

CPA firm personnel attending my staff training seminars tell me that their bosses are very good at telling them WHAT to do, even HOW to do a task. They complain vehemently, however, that not many of their bosses are good at telling them WHY they are to perform a task. I worked with a practitioner that was like these bosses. Possessing outstanding business auditing skills, this sole proprietor of a firm of 10 professionals felt on the job training was a waste of time. He'd call an assistant into his office, give him a list of instructions of things to do and not once tell him why he was performing a task. Obviously, his staff persons were very frustrated because their boss wouldn't permit them to learn from his experience.

So how can we become better on-the-job trainers? The first step is for management personnel to commit to equipping every employee to fulfill their potential. Staff training and development has to be a priority to achieve long-range benefits, and this priority takes time that won't be recovered immediately. Effective on-the-job training is expensive! We often justify our decisions by reasoning that we can do the task faster, that the task is too complex for a subordinate or that training staff will cause a budget overrun. While these reasons may be valid justifications for not training staff, they are also the reasons for high employee turnover!

Many CPA firms and businesses are recognizing that their most important assets are their employees. Training and developing employees to fulfill their potential retains staff and results in a firm or business accomplishing its long-term objectives. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate as a trainer? Join me for more training tips next blog!

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