It’s been said that you ‘train’ animals and ‘educate’ people. However in baseball they call it ‘spring training’. So let’s keep it simple and refer to new-employee training. Your on-boarding process for new hires can be near perfect, however if you drop the ball at this point, then much of what you’ve accomplished has been useless. It’s much like taking the ball downfield and dropping it on the five-yard line; if you don’t score then what’s the point. With a proper training program in place you increase your chances of scoring and developing an outstanding team member.

How many times have you seen training that consisted of learning on the job, or giving the new hire a manual or CD to learn on their own. Not that there’s anything wrong with manuals and the latest in technology, it’s simply that they are better used as resources to reinforce the training that has been learned from a trainer. Imagine how to learn how to skydive simply from a manual. It could be down, however why not increase your odds of success by working and learning from a trainer. Yes, it may take longer, and be a bit more expensive; however the results are more lasting. Those who are trained properly may become trainers in the future.

Providing adequate training materials and a plan for the training are vital for the success of the new hire. It reminds me of the story about Abraham Lincoln who was challenged to a log splitting contest. He accepted the challenge. As the contest began, his challenger forged ahead at a quick pace. Lincoln, on the other hand, decided to sharpen his axe and dedicated a considerable amount of time accomplishing the task. Once completed, he began to split logs at ease and at a much faster pace than his challenger. By the time the contest had finished. Lincoln had easily defeated his challenger. The importance of planning can’t be underestimated.

When your new hire has completed training, that doesn’t mean the job is finished. It simply means the new hire is ready to begin with the trainer available to answer questions or provide direction when needed.

By providing he right foundation with appropriate training in combination with your new hire’s talent, skills, ability, and motivation your company has strengthened its’ position in a competitive market.