Are You Kidding Me?


By Phil Harwood

Jordan started two weeks ago. He has a good attitude and seems eager to learn. But I’m discovering that he is lacking some basic knowledge and skills. And I’m realizing that for him to be successful, we are going to have to train him up in some areas we weren’t planning on. My first reaction was, “Are you kidding me?” But after more reflection I changed my mind about how to approach this. Let me explain.

After thinking about it and talking with my peer group, I realized that employers like us have an opportunity to fill in some educational gaps for our employees. Instead of placing blame on public education or bad parenting for not equipping young adults for life, we have the opportunity to train those who may be unprepared for a full-time job to develop skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. 

Instead of asking, “Are you kidding me?” ask, “What can we do to help the situation?” The first question is based on frustration and anger. You can almost hear the comments now: “This generation is a waste of time. It’s not my responsibility to teach a person basic life skills. Where are the parents? What is wrong with our schools? My generation was so much better.” The second question is based on pragmatism and creativity. If this is the situation we are in, let’s find a solution that results in a win-win. 

What was Jordan lacking? He struggled with a routine that would help him to show up to work every day and on time. His communication skills were lacking. He was afraid to say what was on his mind. He didn’t understand basic math. On top of these things, he was new to the industry, so he was a bit lost with the lingo, specialized equipment, etc. 

We have always trained new people in industry-specific areas, but we hadn’t previously considered training on more basic skills. But honestly, if these skills aren’t in place, the industry training is pointless. Once the lightbulb went on, we realized we needed a fresh approach to onboarding and training. 

Jordan is a fictitious person but the scenario is very real. Employers today are taking seriously the need to reimagine employee onboarding, training, mentoring, and professional development. What worked before isn’t working anymore. A new approach is needed. 

If this blog post resonates with you, perhaps now is a good time to make some changes. is part of the solution. We invite you to learn more by checking out one of our free courses. If you like what you see, one subscription at $97 per month provides you with 10 seats for your employees. 

Now go forth.

Tags: Training , Employees , Skills , Knowledge ,