There has been a lot of activity on my blog recently from search terms indicating a need for a work readiness training program. While different programs and recommendations can be found in past entries, I thought I would write a quick summary of an easy to implement, but very effective work readiness training program that can used by any business. Of course, since this is my blog, I will be recommending my tools. However, if you feel comfortable implementing all the steps below, all you need to do is buy a copy of my book. This is not a program where I am recommending using my consulting services where my I have made significantly more money from very satisfied clients. That of course is an option for you as well.
Training approach: demonstrated competencies
It is not enough to teach employees and have them pass assessment and/or certification tests. They need to demonstrate what they learn in the workplace.
Training manual: “How to Get, Keep and Be Well Paid on the Job” (http://www.outskirtspress.com/Goldberg)
This book should be purchased by supervisors (or the training department). The first chapter does not pertain to training existing employees, however, all the other chapters do. The supervisor (or training department) should read each chapter to help him/her teach the information in that chapter to his/her employees. Each training session should be for one chapter in the book. The book uses examples outside the workplace to help illustrate key points. It also explains why specific behavior and skills are valued in the workplace, which is the key in getting employees to actually buy into modifying their behavior.
Employee accountability: After training is completed, hold employees accountable for demonstrating what they learned every day at work.
First, have all employees initial that they attended a training session and understood the material that was covered. Next, write competency statements on the behaviors and skills covered in each chapter. The competency statements need to be in the format of: demonstrate a behavior or skill in a specific and measureable way as evidenced by a specific person/report/etc . For example:
The employee will have zero unexcused tardiness as evidenced by never being late to work, never extending breaks, always taking only the allotted time for lunch, and never leaving early, as evidenced by supervisor observation (could be as evidenced by time clock reports, etc.).
You could also add: unless prior arrangements were made with the employee's supervisor and/or unless there is an emergency situation out of the employee's control.
Another example is:
The employee will demonstrate that he/she is a positive influence in the workplace by being pleasant, courteous, and respectful to all of his/her co-workers at all times, and never starting or engaging in gossip about a co-worker as evidenced by supervisor observation.
Note – supervisors need to document all incidences where he/she observes that an employee is not meeting this competency statement.
A third example is:
The Customer Service Phone Representative will demonstrate that he/she is ready and available to receive calls by having a "plugged into the system" percent of 90% or higher during non-scheduled-break and non-lunch times as demonstrated by a score of 90% or higher for percent of time plugged into the system during non-lunch and non-scheduled-break times on the Daily Representative Summary Report generated by the ACD System.
If you need help developing meaningful competency statements, contact me at JayGoldberg@DTRConsulting.BIZ. Please be aware that I am a business consultant and there will be a fee for writing competency statements.
Employee performance review: Make meeting the competency statements a part of every employees formal performance review process.
Tie all employees’ annual raises to meeting their demonstrated competencies, which should be part of all employees formal annual review process. This formal process (from training to review) can also be used to help support fired employees who legally challenge their terminations.
Good luck with your work readiness training.