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Training Does Not Improve Productivity (4 of 4)

3 min
Average Score

Jacco van der Kooij

Founder, Author & Sales Mentor

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In today's management landscape, the burning question is, "How do I extract maximum productivity from my team?" Productivity, in this context, means achieving more, getting better results, and optimizing the potential of every team member. For years, the prevailing belief was that training was the key to unlocking this productivity. However, a closer look reveals that training often leads to certification, not necessarily enhanced performance.

The Limitations of Training

Traditional training programs are structured to impart knowledge and skills to employees. While this approach has its merits, it primarily results in certification. Certification, in this context, means that employees gain the required knowledge and are certified to perform specific roles. However, this doesn't automatically translate to improved real-world performance.

Consider a scenario in sales, where training on sales methodologies may lead to better forecasting skills. While improved forecasting is valuable, it doesn't directly translate into increased productivity. It merely enhances visibility. To truly boost productivity, one needs to focus on developing the core skill of selling itself, not just acquiring knowledge about it.

The Shift to Coaching

To bridge the gap between certification and productivity, a shift towards coaching is essential. Coaching goes beyond training; it delves into the realm of skill development. In a coaching environment, individuals are actively engaged in applying their skills while receiving guidance and correction to enhance their performance.

In essence, training imparts knowledge about "how to do it," whereas coaching cultivates the skill of "actually doing it." The distinction between these two approaches is crucial, as it underlines the difference between achieving certification and achieving true productivity.

The Role of Managers

In the modern management landscape, managers are taking on distinct roles—those who train and those who coach.

Managers who train: These managers focus on delivering instructions and knowledge to their teams. They tell their team members how to do their tasks and provide guidance based on their own expertise. However, this approach often leads to certification without necessarily translating into improved on-the-job performance.

Managers who coach: In contrast, coaching managers take a different approach. They work alongside their team members, guiding them to develop the necessary skills to excel in their roles. They emphasize "what to do" rather than simply "how to do it." Coaching managers are more concerned with skill development, which ultimately leads to increased performance.

The Path to Enhanced Performance

To truly boost productivity and performance, organizations need to prioritize coaching over training. This paradigm shift recognizes that knowledge alone doesn't equate to productivity.

Consider a sales team. While improved forecasting skills are valuable, they only have a substantial impact if paired with enhanced selling skills. The ability to close deals, build rapport, and persuade clients are the true drivers of productivity in sales. Coaching is the mechanism through which these skills are developed and honed.

In the quest for productivity, it's vital to understand the distinction between training and coaching. While training can lead to certification and improved knowledge, coaching is the catalyst for skill development and genuine productivity.

In the modern managerial landscape, organizations should cultivate a coaching culture, with managers taking on the role of mentors and skill developers rather than mere instructors. This shift will lead to a more empowered and high-performing workforce.

For further insights into the power of coaching in enhancing performance, stay tuned for our upcoming episodes. We'll delve deeper into the strategies and techniques that organizations can employ to transition from training to coaching, unlocking the full potential of their teams.

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