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My current manager called me in today and asked me to give training on the technology that I worked in i.e. Power BI. He suggested I give training during 3 weeks for 2 hours daily or something like that.

Currently, there are a few folks in my company who do work with it but are struggling to achieve any basic features. I did mentioned to him that I'm more than happy to help them, since I am an expert in it, but he insists to set a training agenda and give training to the entire company (~35 people) about the tool so that my "expertise can be utilized".

Since there is no major project/task in my plate right now and since I have enough experience (roughly 10 years), is this a trick to train employees in my tool so that he can, at the end, fire me from the company or is this just a basic training (like any other training) since I am free right now?

Thanks in Advance :-)

  • Just curious, is your ten years of experience in Power BI? It wasn't released until 7/2015. – Steve Sep 5 '19 at 12:06
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    Voting to close, because this seems like a pretty opinion based question; we would've to know a lot to determine if this is simply a training or a possible firing. – espindolaa Sep 5 '19 at 13:23
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    No. It means he wants you to train the new employees – David Sep 5 '19 at 14:19
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    @espindolaa It's no more opinion-based than any other question on this site. Had the OP had 10k reputation, you wouldn't be voting for that, and we both know it – David Sep 5 '19 at 14:20
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    @xorpower Sounds simple, but you are in a simple situation. I literally mean what I said. If he thinks you are incompetent, why would he put you in charge for training new employees? – David Sep 5 '19 at 15:54
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Sharing knowledge is seldom about firing people and more about reducing the "bus-factor". So I wouldn't worry about this.

See it rather as an opportunity to secure your job by making your toolchain more valuable and more used by your co-workes and thus your deep knowledge more needed than ever.

As a personal note: I also frequently train people to use the tools I am the domain expert for. They then are able to use the tools more independently and free up time I otherwise would spend teaching them again and again how simple things work.

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    And the "bus-factor" could even be a reason to get rid of people. Non-team players who have a lot of knowledge and don't share are a risk, and some businesses might decide to remove that risk and take the short term pain. Plus the OP could also look at it as something added on their CV, if they train 35 people that's a good skill to use in this company for a salary negotiation, or in a new one. – MattR Sep 5 '19 at 12:55
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    If only one person knows a technology and in the enterprise only one person knows it, not sharing the information coluld also mean that the management is more interested to use other solutions rather than invest the one man band solution. – Michele L'Intenditore Sep 5 '19 at 15:53
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Training an individual everything about what you do for a job might be something to worry about. Training a whole group on a specific tool or portion of your job is about knowledge sharing and is not something you should be worried about. On the contrary, it means your boss holds your knowledge and skill in high regard, something that a few training sessions will not replicate.

Go forth and teach :)

  • Could it be possible that one or two of the people in the group are replacements for the OP ? If the training is "comprehensive", then replace the OP. If not, then maybe have a few people get comprehensive training from the OP and then lay him off ? – RemoteGuy Sep 5 '19 at 16:43
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    @RemoteGuy, then why bother having OP teach a whole group? That just wastes most of the group's time. Time which the company is paying a pretty penny for. And if they need more people with those kinds of skills, why let go of OP when they are a) highly skilled in that area and b) capable of teaching it to others? It makes zero sense to waste everybody's time on a cover and even less sense to get rid of someone sufficiently skilled in desired areas yet put them in charge of teaching others. – 520 says Reinstate Monica Sep 7 '19 at 19:06
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Just because you are asked to train someone doesn't mean you will be fired. Also if you refuse to train he can use that as a reason and fire you.

In my opinion train the employee, and if you feel you will be let go prepare for that look for other options so you will be safe.

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Wow. What a paranoid lot we've become. Your question is a great example of the fear that has bred and taken hold in the workplace.

Training your colleagues is about many things, like having a more well rounded work force, about making sure that if you leave, etc. that there will be people who can step into your role, about making sure that people have the skills that your manager thinks are important.

It's not about firing you.

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    Thanks for your inputs. It is good to know what you and others have mentioned. I understand what you mean and yes I'm a bit paranoid about my job security. Since my company consists of small group of employees, it becomes easy for them to fire people as they cannot afford to pay an employee to sit idle who has higher pay. Also, there are people working in python/CRM etc but they haven't been told to train other employees in their respective technology. – xorpower Sep 5 '19 at 12:07
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How would you know you are on the to-fire list and asked to train your replacement?

  • You have unresolved conflicts with your management. Whatever you did or didn't do would have gotten other people fired, but not you because your unique knowledge is too important for the company.
  • You are asked to train exactly one person, or maybe two if they want a backup. (It doesn't take ~35 people to replace you, and if it does, I hope you also make 35 times their salary).
  • You are not asked to teach them the general aspects of a technology, you are asked to teach them "everything one needs to know about your job", mostly focused on the details specific to your personal responsibilities.

People who don't just have important expertise but are also able to teach that expertise to others are a very rare and valuable resource. You usually don't fire such people without a very good reason. By positioning yourself as the local Power BI guru, you gain a lot of visibility. Maybe there is a small chance that management believes they don't actually need a Power BI guru and can get along with 35 Power BI dabblers (and they would very likely be wrong about that). But if that's the case, you also established that you have another very important skill which makes you worth keeping around: Teaching. That gives you the opportunity to become the "New Technology Person" - the one who gets to try out all the new and shiny toys and then teaches them to the others. I have such a role at my current company and I can highly recommend it.

  • Would it help if he offered to quit after the training is over due to "personal reasons" ? That could help him see where all this is going. Some bosses can put up clever facades and you'd never see it coming. – RemoteGuy Sep 5 '19 at 16:47
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As other answers have already suggested, refusing to do the training on the basis that your boss is setting you up to get fired will not make matters better for you. In fact it will just give him a new and better reason than whatever he had before. If he wants you gone, he'll find a way to make it happen, no matter what you do or don't do.

If you're really that worried about getting fired, I'd suggest you begin making preparations to leave on your own terms. That's really the only way to protect yourself if we start with the assumption that your boss is out to get you.

And, if you're planning to leave anyway, then doing the training is a good thing for all concerned, as someone will need to pick up after you're gone.

Do the training. If you really think you're about to get fired, then start looking for a new job, but make your focus here about you and what's best for your career, not about what your boss may (or may not) be planning. Not about this training.

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