Is training the best solution for my problems?

If you feel that your staff members are underperforming at work, or you are achieving lower sales than your targets, you are sure to be keen to attack the problem as soon as possible. But what is the solution? Is it training? Is it to work on staff motivation? Is it to provide an improved working environment and better tools to help your staff do their job effectively? It is important to determine the root cause of the problem before deciding on a solution.

Training is often the first thing that springs to mind when considering how to deal with staff who are not achieving expected targets at work, but it may not always be the most appropriate solution. When considering if training can solve your business problem, you need to ask yourself three questions about the staff members who are underperforming:

  1. Does the individual have the skill to do the job?

  2. Does the individual have the will to do the job?

  3. Is the individual allowed to do the job?

Potential workplace problems and possible solutions

Lack of skill: If your staff do not have the necessary skills to do their job properly, training solves the issue, but not in all cases. Sometimes coaching can be a better solution for some individuals. In other cases it may simply be that individuals have not received adequate feedback and may not be aware that they are doing something incorrectly.

Lack of motivation: Unmotivated members of staff do not achieve their full potential at work. Training may provide some temporary motivation but will not solve the problem in the long-term.


Procedure or policy problems: if the individual is prevented from doing their job properly due to inappropriate policies or procedures, training will not solve this. You need to review your policies and procedures, together with your staff, and identify any areas that need clarification or changing.

A combination of reasons: If you answered, “yes” to all three of the above questions, training is definitely not the solution you are looking for. You need to look for the underlying reasons why members of staff are not performing well. Perhaps there is an equipment or environment problem that is making it difficult for staff to achieve their targets or the problem could lie with management providing unclear expectations or feedback.

Training requirements

Before deciding that training is the solution to your problem, you need to eliminate any other possible causes of poor performance. You should consider:

  • Inadequate materials, tools or workspace: Talk with your staff regularly to discover any difficulties they may be having with equipment or obtain suggestions on what you can provide them with in order to help them work more effectively. This could be a fundamental problem such as out of date computer equipment, or something very simple such as providing fresh drinking water within easy reach.

  • Unreliable equipment: Individuals cannot be expected to work to their full potential if they can’t rely on the equipment they need to do their job properly. Unreliable communications systems, IT equipment and other vital technology can have a huge impact on business success and staff motivation.

  • Unclear expectations: Staff should have clear goals and targets, which are reviewed regularly.

  • Inappropriate consequences or incentives: Individuals must be made aware of the consequences of poor performance and how they will be rewarded for good performance. These incentives and consequences must be appropriate for the job in question and effective enough to provide motivation for the members of staff they apply to.


  • Lack of feedback or coaching: All members of staff should receive regular feedback on their work and should have a personal development plan detailing how they can make improvements. Some individuals may benefit greatly from coaching, which can be carried out in-house from a senior member of staff or provided by an outside consultant.

  • Inappropriate job assignment: To avoid inappropriate job assignment, you first need to review your hiring policy to ensure that individuals are placed in a role that best meets their strengths and weaknesses. As skills change and develop over time, regular reviews are recommended to ensure that all staff members are still working in the role that suits them best.

  • Work environment: Nobody does their best work in an environment that is uncomfortable or unsuitable. To get the best from your staff, provide them with the best environment for work, within your budget and abilities.

  • Other factors: There are many factors that may influence the effectiveness of your staff and their ability to hit targets. Ensure you have regular team meetings and discussions with individual members of staff to identify any problems quickly so they can be dealt with as soon as possible.

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO for our customers. Rod mentors and coaches CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to triple their sales, double their profit, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK