Adapt

Should a startup invest in a training program for new employees?

Having no training program in your company is bad, but creating one big training program at once is also not a perfect solution. Eric Ries recommends building, as he called it, an adaptive organization. One, that automatically adjusts process and performance to the current conditions. Improve the processes gradually, when you see they will improve the company.

In a startup, new employees make many mistakes. It’s important to notice those mistakes and ask why they really happened. If the mistakes are serious, consider making a training program to prevent them in the future. And yes, there are always many much more important things to do, but not having the training system in place may slow you down more than creating one.

The power of five whys

Leaders know this technique very well. It’s very powerful to find the root cause of any problem. Very often, with asking just one “why”, we see the problem on the surface. When we ask this question 5 times, we get to the root. For example:

Why do servers not work? -> Because there was an error in the source code.

Why did we allow them to have an error? -> Because nobody tested it.

Why did we have nobody run a test? -> Because it’s time-consuming, and we no one has time for it.

And so on.

When you use this method in your team, try to avoid pointing your finger at other team members. You want to find the root problem and create a solution to prevent it in the future, not blame others for their mistakes.

Principles to follow