Client: A Mid-Sized California Superior Court

The Challenge: An effective training program insures that employees share a base of knowledge that enables them to consistently perform quality work and meet an organization’s overall goals and objectives. In this court, a reliance on limited orientation and on-the-job training resulted in different employees performing similar functions in different ways. Most of the available training materials were too generic to provide clerks with step-by-step directions, describe processes from beginning to end, or explain how their work furthered the judiciary’s goals or fit into the broader structure of state and local government. Other training opportunities such as observing courtroom processes, use of available training videos and brown-bag sessions were underutilized. Employees were thus working in a vacuum.

Training was also not sufficiently linked to performance management. Clear expectations that employees would be trained in and demonstrate the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities were missing from the employee probationary process. Supervisors were not asked to assess employees’ mastery of the training material presented, and identify whether additional training would rectify performance issues.

Finally, the court needed to introduce training to help lead workers understand their critical role as leaders and role models.

Our Approach

  • Worked with court managers and supervisors to pinpoint critical training gaps.
  • Surveyed employees concerning training needs.
  • Identified existing training materials and subjects for which new materials were needed.
  • Determined preferred methods of training.
  • Coached division management in program implementation.

The Results

  • Training outlines for month-long new employee orientation and lead worker training, detailing timing, materials to be used and responsible trainers,
  • New training materials including step-by-step procedures in areas identified by managers and employees as priorities.
  • A position description for the newly created training coordinator position.
  • A form linking training to employee’s success during the probationary period.
  • Opportunities via brown-bag seminars for interested employees to expand their knowledge of such topics as court-wide issues, outside agencies, or new laws.

Consultants: Kate Harrison, Susan Myers, Phyllis Smith

For more information about this project, please click here to request the Executive Summary.

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