Don't pay for training: Remove punishment


Is desired performance punished?

Your people could already have the skills and expectations of what they need to do. If that’s the case, what could be the problem?

Often, the answer can be this: the desired performance is punishing. This isn’t to say that they will receive 50 lashes Captain Hook style after doing their job, but perhaps your people find their world a little worse off because of it. If your people are punished for doing the right thing, why would they continue to do it? Don’t pay for training without fixing this first.

Let’s look at an example. In school or university, it is not uncommon to prepare for a lecture or class by reading some textbooks or material beforehand. Let’s say this is our desired action. The benefit of this action is to come to the class prepared, armed with knowledge that can be expanded on.

But what happens when you go to the class, and the time is spent with your teacher reading through the material you have already read? You will find it boring and a waste of your time.

Alternatively, not preparing for the class has no negative effect on you because that same information is just going to be read in class anyway. Preparing for the class is punishing, as the class will be dull and the time spent reading would be wasted. Naturally, you wouldn’t prepare for the next class.

What you consider as punishment and what your people see as punishing can be different things. The important thing is to understand how your people feel after completing the expected task.

Watch your people complete the task and observe what happens to them because of it. If something punishes your people as or after they complete the desired action, do everything you can to remove it. No eLearning course is going to fix that problem.

Your people are only human. If they're punished every time they do something, naturally, they'll find a way to do it differently.

This is part of a series of posts that shows the steps you should take before creating training. Here's the full list.