Is the answer Training or Experience?

Some educators and corporate leaders today hold the opinion that good and ongoing training can replace experience in many if not most positions. It is true that training is vital in our high tech world and will continue to be in the future, but is it enough to replace experience or only a compliment? Which is more important, a well trained employee just beginning their career and cable of gaining experience or an experienced competent employee that is no longer able or willing to grow their skill set?

This could be a tough choice depending on the job at hand today and the one coming up tomorrow. Obviously every job, person and situation is different, but decisions must be made every day. Training without experience is just as dangerous as old experience without new training. The correct answer is the same one that has repeated itself all through history. It is not training VS experience, it is training, experience AND ongoing training. It is cooperation and information sharing amongst all of your employees. Information and learning must continue to flow in all directions continuously.

Training however must contain an element of your experienced employees sharing their insight and information and not simply be updated technical information. Remember someone once said, “An expert is someone who has already made all the possible mistakes.” These experts can help others not to repeat the same mistakes they made. If you’re not using the valuable asset of your experienced experts to help train the less experienced, your training will always fall short. At the same time, your experts MUST be willing to continue their education and growth and learn from your new employees. Old dogs can learn new tricks.

More than ever in today’s fast moving world you need employees with both assets and a willingness to help one another grow. As with most things, balance and continued growth will win the day over and over!

Let me know what you think.

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