3 Reasons Why Relying On ‘Scenario Based’ Training Is Playing Russian Roulette With Your Career
A few days ago, I was tagged on Facebook with a message that read:
“Corey Jahnke, here is an interesting example of “No Go-Giver” service. This happened down the street from us.”
Attached to the message was a video that was taken by a customer at a well-known fast food chain.
In the video, the customer was trying to redeem a competitor’s coupon and the employees he was filming were less than cooperative.
As a high-performance coach and customer service trainer, I constantly receive notes like this from people wanting to “get my take” on these types of service events.
As I watched the 3 minute video, my heart sank as I witnessed a relatively simple customer service opportunity dissolve into an absolute mess that is sure to have tremendous repercussions for the employees involved and their immediate supervisor.
When most people see a video like this one, they think about the times when they had similar experiences, or whether or not they would frequent the involved establishment, but when I watch them, I ask myself three questions:
- What caused this situation to fall apart?
- How could this negative experience have been prevented?
- How can I keep these types of situations from happening to me, my team, and/or my clients?
This particular video reeks of either scenario based training or lack of training altogether. We know this from the combativeness of employee number one, the complete avoidance of the other team members, and the “deer caught in the headlights” look on the shift supervisor’s face.
In preparation for the release of my current book, I surveyed 102 full-time middle managers, and I found that more than 70 percent of them felt that they did not have the time and/or resources to properly train their staff.
Consequently, they either left the training to computer-based scenarios or skipped training altogether.
Computer or video based scenario training goes something like this: “Mrs. Jones walks in and is angry because… Mrs. Jones says… Your response should be…”
Unfortunately, this is extremely ineffective because when Mrs. Jones does walk in, emotions run high, egos collide, and the employee forgets everything about the “training” and ends up relying on natural instincts.
As we see in the video, the consequences can be devastating.
This scenario can be avoided in the future by adopting a personal development based training system.
In a personal development based training model, the company concentrates on teaching and training employees how to build character and create effective problem solving frameworks.
If you think about legendary NCAA basketball coach John Wooden and his training philosophy on “building fine young men”, the picture becomes clear.
Wooden believed that character based training would create a team centered philosophy that would always allow the players to draw on the character they developed together.
Consequently, when the games got “hairy”, Wooden’s players were not scrambling, they were working together to create intelligent, well-rehearsed, problem-solving strategies.
In other words, by building better people, Wooden’s teams were responding to challenging events.
His opponents were reacting.
Reaction, as evidenced in the fast food video, is almost always a recipe for disaster.
There are 3 reasons why strategic managers and forward thinking companies abandon “scenario based” training systems:
- The stakes are too high. When I first saw the video, it had been viewed 155,000+ times and shared 3100+ times. As of this morning, only 3 days later, it has been viewed 229,081 and shared 4,182 times. This is alarming because the entire issue was over a coupon that probably amounted to less than $5. The repercussions are sure to be extremely damaging to the entire company, not to mention the involved workers and their immediate supervisor.
- Scenario Based training is unethical. Quite frankly it is simply not fair to improperly prepare an employee for front-line service and then reprimand or even fire them when they make mistakes. As leaders, it is OUR job to make sure our customers receive the best our company has to offer. We do this by building the best possible employees and by giving them the tools they need to be successful.
- It’s bad business. Even before the days of social media’s viral sharing, it was well known and well documented that an extremely happy customer would tell an average of five people about you and your company. Unfortunately, dissatisfied or angry customers tell an average of 12. Furthermore, well-trained employees have higher job satisfaction rates and attract other higher quality employees. Smart companies and smart managers know that to the customers, front line employees ARE the business.
The amazing thing is that personal development based employee training is easy to implement and incredibly cost effective.
Contrasting the costs of committing to giving your employees the education they need to “WOW” your customers, with the costs of increased turnover, lost customers, and negative social sharing should leave you committed to rewriting and reinventing your employee training program.
In the current business climate, it is only those business leaders who adopt progressive character building training strategies who will be left with a business to lead.
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Posted by Kelvon KC Carter on Thursday, April 2, 2015