Although this sounds like a dance move, its’ really a great approach to use when your clients want a “training fix” for each and every one of their employees when they’re “not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
This tool is based on the premise that there are only two reasons why an employee is not performing: either they cannot do it or they won’t do it. The age old skll vs. will battle. However in real life it is usually a combination of the two. There are 4 different combinations we can examine.
1. Can/Will. Learners CAN do the task and are willing to do it. No intervention needed here – just give them the tools and resources they need, i.e. clone this employee population!
2. Can’t/Will. Learners have the will to perform but not the skill. This is the prime opportunity for training.
3. Can/Won’t. Learners have the ability to perform but refuse to do so. At this point you need to ask, “Hmmmm – wonder why?” and hopefully you’ll uncover those barriers that can be removed so that the learners can perform. Partnership with management is crucial here.
4. Can’t/Won’t – Leaners do not have the skill or the will to perform. A bit deeper digging is needed here. Is it a proper job fit? Is there something in the environment that is sending the message that this is not a good thing to learn? In addition to training, what else needs to be provided in order for the learners to be willing to perform?
So, the next time a manager approaches you and wants a quick fix, take a moment and do the Can-Can’t, Will-Won’t approach. It will prevent you from jumping into a quick fix and in the end save everyone time and money.
Elaine Slonina, Senior Instructor, The Training Clinic