Workplace Knowledge: Understanding
5 things that can happen when you don’t understand something at work
– By Eddie Martin
So at some point (maybe daily) we find ourselves confused about how to do something at work. This can typically be resolved by asking coworkers or management. But not everyone will do that for fear of looking like they hadn’t paid attention in that training class from last year or possibly they fear loosing their job for not knowing. Better yet, they ask a coworker for the answer and they don’t know either. They’ve just been doing it their way and haven’t been corrected, caught or disciplined yet. You see, they hadn’t paid attention in that training class last year either and so the cycle continues. It goes without being said that this is a problem that can get out of control rather rapidly without anyone knowing, until its too late.
Here is a short list of some of the things that can happen when employees are not properly educated on how to complete a task. Obviously there are an unlimited amount of scenarios that could play out from being improperly trained on the job. But for this article we’ll just focus on these basic 5 things that happen with a lack of workplace knowlege.
- They Stop learning new things- It has been found that when people are learning new information that they stop progressing once they come across something that they do not understand. This could be a word, a process or procedure. Just imagine the mess that can unfold when someone continues to try and complete steps 4-6 when they do not know what step 3 was. Sure they knew how to start the task but once they hit the middle, a road block of workplace knowledge will inevitably compromise the finished product.
- They blame and make excuses- Call it what you want, but when people make mistakes on the job, they tend to point the finger in any direction but at themselves. Taking responsibility for not knowing is not a quality that most people posses. Its either “He told me to” or “I didn’t know” or “I thought you said?.” Most companies don’t have a way to track, measure and monitor training, so they just have to cross their fingers that employees were paying attention.
- They spread bad information- When an employee does not understand how to properly complete a task, they may figure out a way to do it their own way. Sometimes this may work but other times they may come up with a solution that will work for them but not for others. This “solution” may work in certain cases but not all. What happens then when another coworker who is not adequately trained asks this rebel for help? You end up with a bunch of rouge employees doing things they think are correct and aren’t. You can see how this can spiral into a huge messy game of telephone. Best to train your people daily so that they do not start “reinventing the wheel.”
- They disengage and shut down- If an employee does not know what to do, they may just do nothing. Complacency sets in and accidents can happen. Corners will be cut, people can get hurt and clients can be lost. You entire business could even go under if you do not make sure and train your staff on what they need to do on a day to day basis. You have to keep your people engaged and ingrained in your culture of excellence.
- They work in a state of fear- When an employee does not know how to properly complete a task at work, they may be too nervous to ask someone for help. Especially if that training they received when they started last year covered this task, they just can’t remember. In a market where people are fearful of loosing their jobs, the inadequately trained employee is less likely to ask for help. This leads to a timid employee that is way more likely to involuntarily cause harm to the business, the client base and themselves. No employer wants this to happen. so a culture of training and understanding must be created to avoid your employees working and living in fear of the unemployment line.
Workplace knowledge issues and countless others can easily be solved by creating a culture of growth. Transform your business into an efficient and cohesive machine that wins by developing an environment where training isn’t something you did, it’s something you do. When you can inspect what you expect and your people know what to do and how to do it, your company will thrive, your customers will be happy and you’ll attract an amazing community around your business. Training matters, but not all training is created equal. Schedule a demo of the LightSpeedVT platform today and I’ll show you why the best in the world will use LightSpeed.
Eddie Martin is a lifelong student of service and communication with a 14 year background in professional problem solving and solution based consultative sales. He has made it his life’s work to provide value to his clients, friends and network. He operates under the philosophy of the great Zig Ziglar, “If you help enough people get what they want, you can have everything you want