Employee Training Doesn’t Solve All of Your Problems

by Compass Cleaning Solutions • January 13, 2017

During his tenure at the University of Miami, Jimmy Johnson used to say that his goal was to recruit the best athletes, not position players. He often said ‘I want the fastest strongest and biggest players I can find, I’ll teach them what they need to know about their position’. This philosophy changed college football for years to come. The speed and size and strength you see today is a result of that subtle difference in recruiting. You might be asking what does that have to do with a commercial cleaning company or any business for that matter? A lot actually.

Business in many respects is like any athletic team. Individual positions need to be filled with talented people and they need to do what they do in conjunction with the roles of everyone else on the team. When one position fails to function properly it creates a weakness that makes the whole team or business vulnerable. What the philosophy at Miami taught us was a simple nuance to that basic set of principles.

Skills Aren’t Enough

I watch people with great skills and wonderful potential royally under achieve all the time, and so do you. Skill isn’t enough. Skills can be taught and an individual can be trained to be the best at their role or job but not without the ‘basic equipment’ to apply those skills most effectively. What ‘basic equipment’ you ask? In business it is the intangibles. The person that keeps working, keeps getting up and doesn’t quit even when they run into obstacles. It is the person who is motivated, has integrity and a desire to learn and improve. These are not skills, they are inherent core values and can’t be taught.

Speed, Strengthand Size Make The Difference

In athletics speed, strength and size coupled with a will to win and dedicated training can overcome a lapse, or a mistake and the athlete can recover without significant consequence. A mistake for the person who has the fundamentals is a learning experience, and that mistake just made them better. Without the fundamentals a mistake is a catastrophe. I can teach a person how to do their job and I can give them goals and the feedback to help them achieve, but I can’t make them do anything. Whether in athletics or in business drive, motivation, character and determination matter.

Training Can Cost You More Than You Think

Pouring time and effort into an individual who neither has the inclination or desire to build upon what they have is in a word, foolish. Even though a person may have the basic potential and ample opportunities, if they do not have the drive to do something with it, you are wasting your resources of time and money. You can train with the best materials and best coaching but without their buy in the results will be meager.

So am I saying that training is unimportant? Absolutely not! Training is essential for success. Any athletic team that thinks they can win without constant training and improving of skills will fail in spades. In business we have to reinforce and revisit the skills repeatedly. We need to add new skills and new techniques to remain competitive. We are constantly challenging our people to improve and to be better, providing opportunities to achieve more. What we have found is that those who have character and a personal drive, the fundamentals, are the ones who excel, while others with great opportunity and potential simply under achieve. Train wisely.