Team training can avoid a sense of drowning

Training: Sink or Swim is Not a Training Method

Sink or Swim is not a Training Method!

Have you ever started a new job and been expected to get on with the job with next to no training?

If so you’re not alone.

It has happened to me on a couple of occasions when I was starting out in my career and it was a horrible experience. In the first instance it was a really busy workplace so I felt like I was swirling around in a washing machine, not knowing which way was up. On the second occasion, it was less busy and I found myself sitting quietly not knowing what to do and feeling terrible about being unproductive.

Unfortunately, I know that there are still many businesses around Australia who don’t offer staff enough training to do their job properly.

I’ve even listened to managers in my coaching office tell me they believe in the ‘sink or swim’ method of training. Just throw them in the deep end and see if they cope.

(Give me a moment while I clear my throat)… Just to be clear, ‘sink or swim’ is not a training method.

What you’re really saying is “I don’t know how to train my staff, and I’m way too busy anyway, so I’m just going to let them pick up the skills they need from the rest of the team.”

If you know your business falls short in providing adequate training to your team, I’d like to ask you to consider the following thoughts:

  1. How do you know the people on your team are picking up the right skills?
  2. How do you stop them from picking up bad habits and shortcuts from the employee on the fringe that you want to sack but haven’t got around to yet?
  3. And if an employee is actually able to thrive in this environment of ‘insufficient training’, what makes you think they will stay? After all, they’ve just accepted the challenge of thriving in a chaotic work place, proving that they potentially have more advanced interpersonal and organisational skills than anyone else in the business. Once the initial challenge is conquered there is a very good chance that brilliant employee will get bored and leave.

If you don’t take the time to effectively train your team, don’t be surprised if your team becomes dysfunctional and fails to perform the way you would like.

Businesses take on employees to help with the workload. They are expensive. Not only wages, but all the on-costs. Surely it is worth taking the time to train them effectively to maximise their productivity – AND –  the more time spent developing the team – the less work the manager has to do!

Training is good business!

PS: I wrote this a few weeks ago and didn’t post thinking it might be a bit basic. but then low and behold this week I have had 2 different conversations with 2 people who recently had to endure being thrown in the deep end. One was a High school student in a casual job, the other a professional. So it is still happening, hence why I am now sharing.


warm regards


PPS: If you’d like to have a chat to me about setting up a professional training program for your team please give me a ring on 0421706068