To Train or Not to Train

A group of teachers’ assistants at a local school are given one hour each day to make copies of tests and assignments for the teachers. Often, one or more of the assistants return without the needed copies at the end of the hour. What would you do if you were in charge of providing education for these assistants?

Training is probably the most common solution when there’s a performance problem. But it isn’t always the best one. Courses, whether they’re delivered online or in a classroom, take a lot of time and planning. When they only address the symptoms of a problem they’re not likely to lead to any real improvement. The process of tracking down “the real culprit” is commonly called needs analysis or root cause analysis. It’s always a good idea to identify a goal and then figure out what’s causing the problem. Then you craft a solution that addresses the issue or issues, because there can be more than one.

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