No Training Even When I Ask


I have asked for more training in a certain area, but no training was given. Now I am getting a verbal warning for not doing well in the area in which I asked to be trained! What can I do to respond to this?




Dear Frustrated:

There are no easy answers to a situation like this, because so many issues could be involved. Let me mention a few considerations and maybe they will help you think about the best thing to do in your specific situation.

The most obvious step for you is to communicate with the person administering the warning–probably your supervisor–in writing, so you have a record. (You could talk to him directly then give them your request in writing too.)

Remind that person of the times you have requested training. As nearly as you can, give the dates when you requested training and what responses you were given each time. Appeal to his fairness about it or ask him to explain the warning and if you could have avoided it if you had gotten the training you requested. Ask again for that training.

If that doesn’t work, maybe you can go a level higher. You would know the culture of your organization best, and if that is an option.

If your company is large enough to have an HR section or personnel section, it probably also has a formal process for official warnings and is more likely to be concerned about the fact that you have asked to be trained. That could present a liability problem for them, according to the nature of the training you requested.

Maybe you can talk to that group or ask to have the warning reviewed, or ask them how you could receive training you need.

On the other hand, the nature of the work you are being warned about could make a difference too, as well as what it is you are doing or not doing that is problematic. Would a reasonable person think you would need training in order to avoid the thing you are being warned about? If so, you have more of a case.

When you were hired was there an expectation that you could do this task already? Have others received training but you have not? Those are all things that might be considered by your bosses as well.

If the warning still holds you need to find out a way to prevent another more serious warning. That is when you need to clearly identify what it is that you need to do differently. If it involves the use of machinery, perhaps there is a coworker who could assist you. Or, maybe you could talk to your supervisor and ask if you can observe someeone or get training in some other way.

As much as possible, put everything you request in writing, so you have a way to prove that you are trying to learn what you need to learn. If your request is reasonable, ask at least monthly, so there is no doubt that you are concerned.

In the meantime, look at the other areas in which you are evaluated in performance ratings and make sure you are able to show strong accomplishment in those areas. It could be your best bet at this point is to offset this one area or at least to show that you want to be a dependable and effective employee.

I wish I could tell you something more specific and definite, but the reality is that there are probably many issues at work and some of them you may not be able to control.

The one thing you know you can do is to make sure you are doing all you CAN do, even without training, and to do your best to do the tasks correctly, so you can show a good faith effort.

After that you will have to rely on your working relationship with your supervisor or manager. If you want to keep your job and do well, try to avoid letting this make you bitter and angry toward them–even though I can imagine there is a temptation for that. Just show in every way that you want to do well and that you will do well if given the training you need.

Best wishes to you with this!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.