Consider this scenario: until recently, your department was meeting most goals and metrics. Now it seems like every day there's a new red flag, quality violation, or lowered score. You've talked about the situation at every team huddle and your people appear to be doing their best. Your boss knows the effort you've made and wants to help you get back on track. There's one thing left to try, so the word goes out.

"We need another round of service training."

When experienced employees start dropping the ball, leaders often look to learning teams to supply the magic bullet to get back on track. Before you invest the time and money in building a new learning solution, make sure you've identified the true cause of the performance deficiency.

Adding training can help solve performance issues if team members:

  • Lack knowledge of specific job tasks;
  • Need additional support or hands-on practice at a task or skill; or
  • Do not know how their actions impact colleagues upstream or downstream from them.

A training solution is not the answer in situations where:

  • Supervision or leadership support is sporadic or not available;
  • Poor morale impacts employees' desire to do a good job; or
  • Performance benchmarks and expectations are not communicated and reinforced.

Work performance typically depends on two things: will and skill. A quality learning solution will remediate a skills gap, but no amount of training can fill a void caused by a lack of motivation. In high performing organizations, leadership and learning are complementary efforts that scaffold and support team members appropriately.