Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 74 To our clients and friends January 10, 2006
One More Step Can Shorten the Process
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Effective on-the-job training gives your team a competitive advantage

Jennifer, Project Manager Assistant for a general contractor in greater Seattle, Washington, told Session 9B of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

“I recently had the opportunity to use Turbo’s 3-step training method with one of our new Project Manager Assistants. I was teaching her how to do our productivity analysis report. The report is created on a tedious Excel spreadsheet that must balance at the end, so it’s important to get it right the first time so you don’t have to go back over it again and again. I have found that doing it right the first time is several times faster and much less frustrating than having to go all over it a second time at the end to adjust the numbers and fix things so that everything ultimately balances.

I have always used a similar on-the-job-training method to Turbo’s model. Though my process was similar, I had never added the additional second step Turbo instructed us to use. I usually explain and show the person what to do, and then give it to them to do and have them ask questions as they go along. By adding the middle step of having them explain the task as they are doing it for the first time made it easier, and in the end saved time because there were fewer questions, less possible embarrassment and greater confidence than with my old two-step approach.

As I went through the explanation and use of the productivity analysis report process a second time, I realized that the only thing I did wrong was leaving out what all the other columns on the page were used for because in this particular spreadsheet you only use two columns. That is all that ever changes, but it doesn’t mean the other parts are not important.

The lesson I learned from this experience is just how important the second step of having them do it as I explain it is in training people, and that adding this one little extra step doesn’t add time to the training requirement. In the end, it saves time because there are fewer questions. I also learned not to overlook the little stuff because those little points, little parts might just be the most important part of learning for my ‘trainee’.

The action I call you to take is to make sure you are thorough and complete when you are training a fellow employee. Take the appropriate time with all three steps. Be sure that you are as detailed and thorough as possible with the tasks you are teaching.

The benefit you will gain is a qualified, confident performer with the skill you just taught them. You will build your team mate’s knowledge, skill and confidence. You will help create a high performance championship team.”