HR Coach: Too Busy to Train, But Too Busy Not to Hire?
As your operation is returning to a busier pace, you’re probably working on rebuilding your team. We’ve spent the last few months talking about a variety of topics related to hiring and rehiring—interviewing, handbook updates, even COVID vaccination policies—but we know there’s another big worry on your mind. Where are you supposed to find the time to train your new and returning team members?!
Hey, I get it—you are (re-)hiring because your core team (or maybe it’s just you!) is stretched to the max. You need new staff yesterday. And yet, you may hesitate because you cannot imagine where you’ll find the time to accomplish all the training involved.
I have good news for you that might give you the courage to take the leap. It lies in something you might have heard of: the 70-20-10 model for learning and development (rooted in the 1988 research of the Center for Creative Leadership). Whether you know all about it, or this is the first time you’ve heard the term, if you think about it, I suspect it will ring true with your own experience. So what is 70-20-10? Simply put, it’s a balance of the ways we learn best. The research shows that people (like your team members) learn the most—about 70 percent—by DOING; next—about 20 percent—by EXPOSURE; and only about 10 percent in FORMAL TRAINING. What does that mean? I’m going to break it down for a little:
Many people refer to this as on-the-job training, or simply “experience.” Your new team members will get most of their learning by actually putting their hands on the work: taking calls, entering reservations, detailing vehicles, and driving with passengers. It turns out you don’t need to wait as long as you might think before these folks start to contribute to your operation. While certainly they will need more supervision in the beginning, the very best way to get them up to speed is to get them started. The research bears out the old adage: “experience is the best teacher.”
This piece has many names as well, like “social learning” or “learning from others.” This refers to how much your new team members will learn by observing more seasoned employees. This can take the form of job-shadowing, or simply working with or near your team. Listening to recorded phone calls, riding along as a second driver or on a practice trip with a leading chauffeur, or participating in team meetings to learn from others’ successes and mistakes: this is what people mean when they say they “learn by osmosis.”
10% FORMAL TRAINING
Yes, you are reading that right. Only 10 percent of your team member’s learning happens in a formal training or classroom setting. This includes the orientation and training materials you present to them directly—reviewing handbooks and procedures or direct training and tutorials on your dispatch system. You also might spend time teaching industry lingo, Smith System, or safe driver training. Of course, this time of formal instruction might be heavier in the first week or two, but overall the balance of the first 60 or 90 days should come down to just about 10 percent. The other good news about this formal instruction time? Much of it can be outsourced to trusted industry partners. For example, an HR partner can deliver the formal training on your employee handbook and compliance paperwork, or a strategic operations partner can deliver the dispatch software training or instruction on your SOPs. So even this 10 percent that requires traditional training may take a fairly small bite out of your time.
The bottom line? Training new or returning employees doesn’t have to be nearly as disruptive or time-consuming as you might have thought. That’s not to minimize this incredibly important process. Does it take a long time before your new team members are fully capable? Sure. But that time does not need to prevent yourself and other resident experts from doing what you do best! [CD0821]
Amy Cooley is HR Administrator for The LMC Groups. She can be reached at email@example.com.