Don't pay for training: Simplify the task


Can the task be simplified?

After you look at the expectations, the resources, the rewards, the punishments and the way feedback is given, you should get a good idea of some actions you can take from here. However, all of this is based on the assumption that the task itself won’t change.

The task may actually be more complex than it needs to be. It could possibly be simplified without having a major impact on the end result. Don’t pay for training without fixing this first.

By changing the skill requirements to fit your people’s skill level, you can make your people more productive. It is simpler and often much cheaper than any other solutions. There are four different ways you can do this.

  1. Change what “success” looks like.
    Perhaps the current expectations of the job have set standards too high. Consider slightly relaxing the standards of accuracy, speed, and neatness, then ask yourself: is the resulting difference acceptable?

  2. Make mental tasks easier.
    If the task requires someone to memorise lists, numbers or combinations of both, consider including resources to assist with this task. This could simply be a list pinned on the wall where the task is being completed or a checklist for your people to use while completing the task.

  3. Make physical tasks earlier.
    This could be anything from making the required walking distances shorter, to including the option of sitting for long-standing requirements or to simply adjusting the height of a computer screen. Anything that relieves the effort and stress on your people’s bodies can help simplify the task.

  4. Redesign the task.
    Perhaps parts of the task could be given to other people. Perhaps duties could be sorted to allow your people to do fewer tasks. 

If you are able to apply any of these measures, the task will be simplified for your people to allow them to deliver the expected results.

Using a bridge to cross the river is much easier than rowing. The result is the same; you’re on the other side your clothes are dry AND you don’t need to train people how to row.

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