Q: We have a new coworker that has been with us for about three months, and he has been a really fast learner. However, a problem has surfaced because it seems like he misses some things, overlooks some details and occasionally doesn’t understand why we are doing each of the procedures.
He sometimes forgets things that are important, but always does it right when we remind him. Why would someone who learns so fast make so many little mistakes?”
A: Sometimes when a new employee appears to be a fast learner, we speed up the training process. While this may seem logical, the result is usually an employee who does some jobs very well but has gaps in his or her training that become evident later. We may see that the person doesn’t do a thorough job of completing records, he may forget to do some procedures, he may do some basic tasks incorrectly and so forth.
Every pork operation should have a thorough, consistent, structured training program, and all new employees need to go through the same training process. This type of training assures that all
employees follow the same procedures and can be held accountable to the same performance standards.
Training allows us to see the real capabilities of our new people and get a sense of their true potential. It also builds self-confidence in the trainee as he learns new skills, confirming to himself that he can do the job at a proficient level and envisioning progress in his abilities. Monitoring and reviewing each employee’s competency is critical to assuring that the production standards are maintained at a consistent level.
As our industry becomes more technical in its equipment, management and procedures, and our daily animal husbandry practices come under closer scrutiny from people with no understanding of basic agriculture, we need to be certain that all our employees are fully equipped to do their jobs at a high proficiency. This really can only be achieved with training that assures each employee is well-versed in every aspect of the operation.
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