When Training Comes Too Late


Good training prepares an employee with the skills necessary to do the job at hand.  Along with work experience, well-trained employees can tackle future responsibilities when the need arises.  But what happens if training comes too late in an employee’s journey?  What happens when a company decides “we are doing just fine right now, and we will start training later?”

10 years ago the mortgage industry was a very large employer.  Most banks had large staffs of employees concentrating on home mortgage loans, and there were dozens of large mortgage companies across the country employing thousands of people.  Each of these companies had robust training and learning environments to keep growing their employee populations.  When the housing bubble burst, there where a lot of highly skilled, but unemployed people without work.

Yet over the past couple of years, the mortgage industry is coming back online.  It would seem at first glance all these companies would have to do is rehire from the past and training wouldn’t be necessary.  Yet new laws, compliance changes, and different products are now part of the new mortgage industry.  Likewise, all of those former employees needed to find work and a majority of them found new careers.

So you might imagine that restarting the mortgage industry would be a little like starting from scratch, and with that in mind, include training in the foundation of the company.  Most though are trying to make it without expending money and attention to employee development.  They are waiting.  Waiting for the need to become so obvious that it may be too late to make a difference by that point in time.

Training is not magic.  Rather it is more of a science when it comes to adult learning.  Not only do adults prefer to learn as they see a need, they also want to apply what they learned rather soon after acquiring the skill.  This means that the training function cannot arrive the same day that we want to train a skill.  There is a lot of upfront work to make sure a training initiative is implemented correctly to achieve the desired results.

Now while I chose the mortgage industry as my example in this blog, they are by far not the only industry waiting and postponing the implementation of training.  Some companies wait too long, and fail before they can adjust to change.  If your company employs people, then you should have a training function.  Unless of course your goal is to go out of business someday. And without training, it is just a matter of time before you do.

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