Rescue Mission Training Programs

Training is a continuous process. The staff member’s education continues as long as he or she remains on the job. A rescue mission manager, in addition to directing and controlling, must be able to teach staff members things are to be done and the way in which they must be done. A manager must be a good teacher as well as a leader.

Adequate training is the key to developing a proper attitude. Knowledge of the operations and the skill needed to perform well are the best help management can give its employees. Misunderstandings lead directly to poor attitudes and discouragement. A discouraged staff member soon has to be replaced, but confidence gained through knowledge strengthens self-assurance. Self-assured staff members are far less likely to become disinterested. The training period is the time to explain how to use the techniques that will make customers, patients, or clients happy. Training in rescue mission should cover five broad topics:

  1. Staff member job instructions

  2. Relationships with other staff members and with management

  3. Sanitation and safety

  4. Improvement of work methods, quality, and cost control

  5. Technical job information

  6. Learning must be used. Everyone tends to forget those items of knowledge and those skills which are not used regularly. The training program must provide opportunities to use what is gained.

  7. Success is important. Knowledge not only must be used but used successfully to become permanent. The instructor should be careful to see that the trainee is successful in the application of his new knowledge.

  8. Incorrect habits must be changed. Where incorrect responses have been learned, the trainer must first show the learner why they are wrong or undesirable and then help him build up a new pattern of response.

  9. Learning can be transferred. A pattern of response or a fund of knowledge which has been developed to meet one situation can be used to solve a new problem or meet a new need. The training program should provide opportunities to develop this ability.

  10. Learning does not always progress readily. The instructor must be prepared to meet situations where learning slows down for period of time and then shows an upward trend. Individual trainees may have different patterns of progress and the trainer must adjust to these.

  11. Learning depends upon experience. The workplace training program should provide a variety of experiences in order to give the students the greatest possible number of opportunities to learn.

  12. Individuals learn at different rates. Training programs must be flexible enough to allow each trainee to progress at the rate which is best for his own development. The rescue mission manager must show an interest in them and continue to give them a helping hand as is needed.

Involvement—The Key to a Successful Training Program

Donald P. Crane, professor of management at Georgia State University., states, "Considerable attention is being given to the placement of involvement techniques and training programs. Involving the trail maintains interest, stimulates thinking, and helps relate book edge to the real world." People like being involved. They like made to feel part of an activity. Staff members in rescue mission are no exception. Here is how the manager can involve the staff members in developing a training program:

  1. Preplanning. Initially rescue mission staff members can become involved with the preplanning stage of developing a training program. Most rescue mission staff members are keenly aware of their inadequacies.. When asked, they will volunteer topics for study and discussion that they feel will be beneficial to them and to their job performance.

  2. Setting the stage. It is important to conduct the training programs in an area that is familiar to the trainees because they will feel relaxed in a familiar setting. It is also preferable to limit enrollment to ten or fifteen people so that everyone has an opportunity to talk. Pushing tables together, conference-table style, permits face-to-a new pattern face contact. This also encourages involvement.

  3. Encouraging free discussion. Each trainee should be encouraged talk. Communicating orally builds rapport and breaks down barriers. The rescue mission manager will need to ask questions to guide the discussion and to encourage trainees to ask opinions.

  4. Developing awareness. With free discussion, an awareness of common objectives and common problems develops.

  5. Stimulating competition. Once awareness and rapport are developed among the trainees, a healthy competition often arises and stimulates achievement. Education of the rescue mission staff is basically the responsibility of themission manager, with guidance from the experts in the field of rescue mission work.