1. What’s the point of training and learning in an emergency?

– If you’re a manager, there are only two ways you can get your staff to perform better – train them to be better at their jobs, or motivate them to work harder. Training them makes the most effective use of your time. You spending a couple of hours planning and delivering training that makes a 5% improvement in how your staff work will save hundreds or thousands of hours of time over the next year. See more on this idea.

– It would be great if everyone you hired knew how to do their jobs perfectly straight away. That’s never going to be the case. The very best professionals are still going to need help understanding a new organization or learning the specific process for purchasing supplies.

– In lots of places where CARE works, it is hard to find the very best professionals. In those cases you will need to hire people with potential and train them up. Even brilliant people who haven’t been able to access education or training will need extra support.

– If you plan as if your staff will be able to work perfectly from Day 1, your plans will go wrong. There’s nothing wrong with high expectations; explaining expectations is an important part of training. But you will need to train them to reach those expectations.

Training and learning helps you to get more done. There will definitely be a learning process for new staff, whether you deliberately train them or not. Good training speeds up that learning process and gets a team doing more, faster. If you’ve got the right strategy, that means saving more lives.

Remember, training and learning are not the same thing! You are really interested in learning. Training is a common way to get people to learn, but it is not always the best. You need to think about other approaches, such as creating checklists and getting people to use them; how-to videos shot on your phone; coaching; mentoring; communities of practice and many others. The best ways to use some of these are below. This part of the toolkit does talk a lot about training though. That’s because it is a very common way to go about building capacity, and if you’re committed to that way, then we want you to do it right. It’s also often a good choice when people need to learn skills quickly and don’t have time to build them up slowly on the job.