Oct 26, 2018
In many businesses staff training is a haphazard affair that doesn’t happen very often. Businesses that are in high turnover industries sometimes expect their employees to come already trained, feeling that they lose money on training when people leave. However, the gains for training staff (even if they are not with you for very long) still outweigh the costs and time spent.
Often times new employees are given an employee handbook (that may or may not be up to date) and a run through an overview of their position and tasks. Or the newbie is paired with an employee who has worked in the company for some time to be shown the ropes. Unfortunately, sometimes they not only pick up the information they may need, they also pick up ideas and attitudes that do not help them become a great employee.
It is important for businesses of all kinds to develop a comprehensive training and development program for new staff members. Not only does training give new employees the information they need to perform their tasks well, it also motivates them to do a good job. The company’s investment of time and money for training invariably pays for itself.
Ongoing training can be as simple as getting your employees together to talk about what is going on in the business, what is being done well and what can be improved to longer and more structured training.
Develop a training budget. It doesn’t have to be huge, though allowing enough money for your staff to attend an outside training once in a while will energize and empower them. If that isn’t in the budget, help one of your senior employees acquire the skills needed to train incoming staff.
Create a plan for regular training session that are not part of monthly staff meetings.
Focusing specifically on training at meetings that may be held once per quarter and last for an hour or two will make it easier to accomplish what you want to accomplish. These training sessions also give your staff more confidence and the ability to perform more effectively.
You may start with one training session per quarter to get things going.
Assess the type of training needed and begin to create agendas. Rather than try and get too much into one meeting, create agendas for two- or three-months putting topics in order of importance.
Also ask staff members for input as to what they believe needs to be discussed in the session. Involving your staff members in suggesting training topics makes them more willing to implement new ideas and procedures.
Create a time limit for each agenda item and stick to it. Allow time for everyone to have their say, though add time limits for this portion of the meeting. There is usually someone in the group who tends to talk more than the others and you want to make sure that every voice is heard. If there are employees who do not speak up in meetings, be sure to ask them if they have anything to add.
Start each training session with positive feedback for the jobs being done. Then ask the staff members what they think was done right and what they believe could be improved upon. You may also ask them to name a staff member who they have seen doing something that could be adopted for the whole group or came up with a good idea.
Do not allow the training to devolve into a forum for employees to complain about procedures unless they have an idea on how the procedure can be improved. Definitely there should be no complaining about other employees.
Add in a couple of activities or training options that get the group working together in a fun way. Activities allow you to reinforce informative, they are also motivational and energizing. Have some fun…laugher opens people up and makes them more receptive to internalizing the information and ideas that you are working to implement.
When making a point use examples of situations that have occurred, though without naming names, unless the point is positive.
When you are dealing with important topics, use different words to convey the same thing more than once. People hear and respond to things differently
Provide handouts to impress the points you want your staff to implement so they can refer to them later. It is easy to transpose ideas later on, so handouts make sure that everyone goes forward on the same path.
Ask staff to evaluate the training and make suggestions to improve the training sessions. The more your staff is involved the more they will use the information.
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