Why We Fired Our Trainers

Earlier today, credit union leadership summarily fired all members of the Training staff. Usually, we would keep the reasons confidential due to trivialities our attorneys refer to as “laws” and “ethics”, but this situation was too juicy to keep under wraps.

Besides, even though our rumor mill is stunningly efficient – you have to admire a system that lets all employees stay abreast of the Game Of Thrones-levels of intrigue in Accounting while simultaneously helping a vast majority of us claim doe-eyed ignorance to every single policy, product, and procedural change EVER – we thought we’d speed up the gossip process for you. You’re welcome! Now, on to the dirt:

Reason #1: They refused to believe every problem was a training issue

Since time immemorial, we know the best way to handle an employee’s performance problems is to complain about him behind his back to everyone else in the company, assassinate his character and competence (with some passive-aggressive shout-outs about him on Facebook for good measure), march into a trainer’s office and demand that the employee retake every single class on the calendar and endure every Fred Pryor seminar in the Western hemisphere, then blame all of the Training staff when he keeps screwing up.

These treasonous former trainers decided to push back against this practice, though. They had the audacity to suggest this sacred tradition fails 90% of the time because inadequate training is only 1 of the 10 primary reasons human performance breaks down on the job.


What really made us fling our Frappuccinos was their shocking claim that the majority of those reasons can only be influenced by changes in the way the employee’s manager coaches, leads, and communicates. Change the way we do things?! Clearly these heretics forgot what industry we’re in.

Then they got real uppity.

Reason #2: They didn’t stay where they belong

Out of nowhere, your former teammates began venturing out of the training room to spend time in other departments and branches. They’d blather about “observing employees” and “finding performance gaps” in the interests of “changing behavior” and “having bottom-line impact” because it was “good for the credit union.”

Give us a break! Didn’t they know that we and we alone know what’s best for this organization? Didn’t they know that they needed to stick to their murky training buzzwords like instructional design and adult learning theory, pump out bullet-riddled PowerPoints and teambuilding activities, and leave business to the grown-ups?  

As we were firing them, they tried to defend their approach of thinking like a business partner, and the merits of holding us and others accountable for changing our behavior and performance at all times – not just in the training room.

Don’t worry, team…we reminded them what their job as the lowly training folks actually was: to create tons of fun-filled classes, packed with lots of games and snacks and breaks and activities, delivered exactly when and where we wanted, to edu-tain us for a few hours so we could keep the regulators off our backs but not make us so uncomfortable that we’d actually have to do our jobs differently…to play their scapegoat role without complaint.

We went on to clarify what our role was in the employee performance process: to complain about the timing of workshops and cancel out of them at the last minute, roll our eyes at every activity, whine if our favorite snacks weren’t on the menu, arrive late and come back later from every break, check our smartphones and laptops and iPads and emails and texts and voicemail every 17 seconds, step out as often as we wanted for as long as we wanted, return to our desks and complain to everyone in this time zone about how little we learned, and turn a cold shoulder to the trainers if they dared to ask us weeks or months later about our performance because they’d clearly forgotten that our jobs are infinitely more important than theirs will ever be.

We could go on but we just received word that these terminations have caught the attention of the board and they have something to say.

We believe they’ll commend us on a job well done maintaining the status quo and proving the time-honored truth that those who can, do – and those who can’t, teach. Right?

Have a great day and remember we’re People Helping People!

Andy Janning

Andy Janning

Andy Janning is a popular keynote speaker at events across the country, a national award-winning expert in talent development, the host of NCUF’s Herb Wegner Memorial Awards, and a ... Web: https://www.andyjanningphoto.com Details

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