Training Alone is not the Solution

SME expert Richard McLeinster offers some words of warning for SEOs who believe that training alone will develop a competent workforce.

Even the most ingenious swimming instructor in the world cannot teach a child to swim before their charge has entered the water. For the past half century we have slavishly devoted ourselves to the fetishisation of qualifications and training. The conventional wisdom states that without a Bachelor’s Degree one cannot access the higher echelons of the white collar working world; that without rigorous training one cannot open and operate a successful business of one’s own.

A word of warning to those business owners who would hold this philosophy to be true: it’s tripe.

Case studies

Of course, in many jobs it is essential to be trained – sometimes highly – in the skills of the profession, and a world in which brain surgeons operate on instinct alone is certainly not something which this article would condone.

Something which this article does condone is the primacy of real life experience over formal training. We see this in practice throughout the entire human experience. We don’t find our partners through closely studying our approach to them, but by getting out there, talking to whoever it is we like and trying our luck. A great footballer learns to dribble perhaps partially from watching Christiano Ronaldo on the television, but to a far greater extent through having a kick-about in the local park; whilst a skilled poker player may well learn the rules from a textbook, but only masters the nuances of the game through long practice with peers or digitally through a site such as Gaming Club’s online casino UK. 

Train dogs, educate people

 To para-phrase football manager Brendan Rodgers – a man who certainly knows his way around leadership – train dogs, educate people. No individual arrives at your business as a clean slate, yours to mould in whichever way you please. Be sensitive to this fact and understand that sometimes, talented individuals who can bring a great deal to your business may not be willing or indeed able to completely adapt their working style to meet your will. Don’t over-train. Don’t micromanage. Instead, show trust in your chosen employees by allowing them sufficient free rein to build a body of experience in the milieu of the workplace. This is the best education you can give them and the basis of a trusting and positive employer-employee relationship in which you play the role of respected leader, rather than that of slave-master.


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