Employee Training Versus Teaching and Coaching: The Value of Assessment and Reassessment

Wonderful new employee; energetic, motivated, bright and inquisitive, not afraid to speak up. What could go wrong? Well, nothing too serious, thankfully, but I thought I would use this occasion to remind me as the teacher/employer to never assume and always assess and reassess.

As a lacrosse coach my goal is to teach skills, enabling the young athlete to become an empowered player. Enjoyment of the game is highly correlated to one's skill level. The sooner they learn to pass and catch, the greater their enjoyment of the game, the greater their success. My personal goal as coach is to help players become the best players they can and want to be, with the goal of developing them, not to benefit me. As a coach, day after day of practice is spent teaching skills, assessing and reassessing; practice, practice, practice. Which is not the same as developing employees‚...or is it?

As a teacher of students, our goal is to educate and empower young minds with the ability to make intelligent choices in farm management. Our goal is to teach the skills of critical thinking, reviewing data, facts and gauging which will work for them, to determine which are credible and which are dubious or simply testimonial, to be objective.

As an employer the difference from teacher and coach is that YOU are vested in the employees' ability to do the job correctly. As teacher and coach, sure we want them to do well, get high grades and win some games, but it really does not affect my success. If an employee does not perform well, it does hit your business interests.

I was so excited that my new employee appeared to fully understand what needed to be done. I was so happy to be able to go on to the tasks I had to get done, that I didn't go back and assess the employee's work. MY BAD. I assumed the model employee did not need to be assessed. Like coaching, check in and review, first daily and then weekly then periodically. As the teacher/ employer I fell into the trap of focusing on my to do list rather than keeping employee assessment on my to do list. Without hovering or hounding, be sure to follow up and make sure protocols are being followed. Assess and reassess your employees work before their failures truly become your losses.