WHOM TO TRAIN IN WHAT
The quality of a company, like the quality of a team, depends on the continuous improvement of every member. A training program that recognizes who needs what types of specific training has an advantage over any program that provides only one course in quality for all employees.
All employees require some quality (and related) training. For example:
- Every Northern Trust employee is trained in client satisfaction.
- Every Globe employee has had team problem-solving and safety training.
To yarying degrees, these and other quality leaders train all their employees in quality awareness, problem solving, reducing waste, process simplification, teamwork, and meeting customer requirements.
- The process is like teaching the fundamentals to a baseball team. Learn what the fundamentals are for your company (Northern Trust's list is a good place to start), then teach those fundamentals to everybody in the company. With that foundation in place, use a variety of methods to continuously identify the additional training needs of departments, work units, teams, and individuals.
- The additional needs differ with each "player." in baseball, all pitchers run, to strengthen their leg muscles; they practice-throw in the bullpen, to work on their pitches and develop a rhythm; and they keep track of Iıow other pitchers approach different hit-ters, to learn what will get those hitters out. The nonpitchers learn and practice other skills. Within the pitching group, each individual pitcher works on additional skills only he needs, such as developing a new pitch, improving a pickoff move, or changing speeds on an existing pitch. To improve the quality of the entire team, the team's coaches work with the pitchers as a group and with each pitcher individually.
- Organizations that are larger, that are new to the quality improvement process, or that are involved in rapidly changing industries will need to first develop a quality training program that teaches the fundamentals to all employees, and then establish a mechanism, as Globe has done, that allows them to respond quickly to specific needs.