If knowledge is power how do, we keep our employees empowered and performing at optimum levels throughout our companies? Why is it when purse strings are tightened at our respective companies, for many, employee training becomes expendable? Although I’m speaking in terms of liability when this occurs, we invariably pay a steep price with “negligent training” given it’s highly compensable and attorneys often make such the “cornerstone” to their expensive and long drawn-out, costly lawsuits. See my February 2018 Blog: “Excuse me, there’s an attorney here to see you” @ www.jimmywmercer.com
Knowledge is a valued and perishable commodity and we must treat it as such. Until what we learn becomes effectual through memorization, practice and “muscle memory” we ultimately lose a sizable potion of the information that goes into our short-term memory. If the information is not practiced or rehearsed and transferred into our long-term memory it vanishes in a matter of minutes. The brain perhaps unarguably is the most complex organ within our body and it needs to be fed and nurtured not unlike when batteries need to be recharged to remain effective. Knowledge must be actionable to make it more than merely information. At the risk of being seemingly rude or inattentive, when I attend training conferences one can expect to see me with my iPhone in hand taking copious notes. I literally have notes which span a period of years. It’s a valuable resource and within easy grasp. We’ve all attended training at some point in our careers when we left a training session, stoked and supercharged with information and excitement, anxious to return to the workplace and put into play some of the ideas and techniques we were taught. That is a functional process, one that can be good for all.
Learning must be constant, whether it’s on the job training with a mentor or at the behest of a subject matter expert who provides instructor based training or remote training via some web-based platform. Whether one is an investigator assigned to investigate “abused and neglected children”, or educator, workplace supervisor, etc. to be otherwise knowledge deficient is detrimental and crippling, lending itself to yet another contentious point evolving around negligent retention. That is the very reason so many occupations/professions require “continued education” credits.
As a former Chief of Police, I knew the State of Georgia required 20 hours of Police Officers Standards Training (POST) per officer, per year. Knowing the importance of training, I simply didn’t want to settle for the minimum, so what I opted to do was elevate the number of hours to 40 hours of Police Officers Standards Training, twice the amount of what was required. All too many times, a decision maker arbitrarily decides, well he or she had that type of training 12 years ago and thinks better of any refresher or renewal of information. Training is most always documented, as it should be. Employee mistakes are very telling whether it’s of the heart or of the mind. It’s human to error but when such errors contribute to a loss of life, injury – literal or figuratively or a liberty interest deprivation, mankind is unforgiving.
A well-heeled, impressionable company is a company in which its leaders had the foresight to make a valued investment to train and continually train its personnel from top to bottom.