Fastest Way To De-motivate Employees: Don’t Train

Have you ever worked a job and you were given little or no training, expected to perform at a high level, and when you make a mistake you are reprimanded. I’ve been on both sides of this situation and I can tell you that you that it will demoralize your employees very quickly. I my work with a veterinary clinic sometimes what’s missing is the basic blocking and tackling. I’m training the manager on how to be a Lean manager and we are currently working on standard work. One of the questions I had were what is the standard way to check in and check out a client. The manager had one response and the three other people at the reception desk has 3 other responses. This surprised manager but didn’t shock her. She knew that they made mistakes and the inconsistencies were not out of the blue. I asked how do you train the people. “They’ve all been here for over 4 months to over a year and should know the process by now.”

I challenged her to run through some dry run scenarios with the folks. During a slow time walk-through examples by pretending you are a client and see what they do and them correct them as you go. Initially she was she thought it was a waste of time but after the first walk-through she was absolutely shocked on all the errors and mistakes they were making.

At this point we then had the conversation about how the lack of training is de-motivating her staff and causing customer service issues. This is an easy fix of training a little bit at a time every day. It only takes 60 minutes at fist and as they learn and get faster the training session will be as short at 10 min a day. The important thing to remember is that you are always training.

As a result the manager went from spending 1.5 hours a day in rework for miss entered information in the computer to less than 30 minutes in just 1 week of training. The goal is to be down to zero by the end of the month.

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