Creating an effective employee training program is an essential part of creating a profitable, lasting business. Employee turnover happens in every business, no matter how careful you are about your hires, and finding an effective way to train new employees can save you a lot of time and money, especially as your business grows. To help you create the best training program possible we’ve put together these tips which you can use to train new employees and make them valuable team members as soon as possible.
Implement an Online / App Based Training Program
Online training, whether through the use of a smartphone app or an internet website, is an effective way to train new employees because it gives them a chance to work on the training program away from the office. That means they’ll be able to get into the loop and start producing beneficial work sooner. It also allows for variations in learning style. Some people take longer than others to absorb new material, and by putting it online you give people the option to train at a pace that works for them. However, it’s important to realize that online training can only do so much. That’s why it’s important to keep the next point in mind.
Offer Hands on Training to Employees
Learning a new skill and then putting it into practice in a real world situation is significantly more effective than simply completing an online training program or reading about how to do something. That’s why you should give new employees a chance to actually practice their future jobs in a controlled environment. To do this effectively you may want to pair them up with someone experienced in the company, or even train them by the book then let them work on their own and provide feedback when they make mistakes.
Review the Training Program Personally
Unless you created the training program yourself and you understand all of it, you may want to consider running through at least the essentials of the program, so that you can ensure it’s interesting and actually teaching new employees what they need to know. If you find out that the program is uninteresting or could do a better job of teaching the necessary skills, then change it up! If you don’t have time to review the training program personally, at the very least you should look at all of the comments and feedback from people who’ve taken the course and improve it based on what they’ve said.
Only Teach Employees Skills That They’ll Actually Need
If you have an effective training program it may be tempting to teach new employees a wide variety of new skills. It might seem like these skills could prove useful at some point for all employees of your company. In reality, providing the same training to all employees rarely makes sense. It’s better to only teach skills that will result in tangible results, as it relates to an employee’s job. For example, if you’ve hired a computer programmer, teaching him customer service skills probably won’t have any benefit to the company.
Reinforce Skills Again and Again
Learning a brand new skill takes time, and you shouldn’t expect a new employee to pick it up after a single training session. Instead, you should teach the sill and then continually reinforce it in the coming weeks until it’s second nature. You can help to reinforce this skill by providing continuing feedback, and by having the new employee work with someone else for their first month on the job. Alternatively, you can also meet regularly with your new employee to talk about their performance and discuss any questions they may have about their role and the work that they’re doing.
Build on Employees Strengths
It’s a lot more effective to build on a person’s skillset instead of trying to teach them brand new skills that they don’t have. For example, an extremely extroverted employee will me more naturally gifted at customer service, where as an introverted employee will probably be a better at creating reports or analyzing detailed memos. As the training program progresses, it should have some room so that employees with different strengths can receive the type of training that works best for them.
Give Existing Employees a Chance to Share Their Expertise
By letting experienced employees share their knowledge with new hires, you give them a chance to feel like valuable members of the team, and you also ensure that new employees will learn skills that they’ll be using in the company. This is actually a good idea outside of just the training program as well. You can create one day a month where employees can share a new skill or experience with other employees, in order to benefit everyone at the company.
Make the Training Interesting
There are going to be some things that you need to teach new employees that aren’t going to be particularly fun to learn. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do your best to make the training program as interesting as possible. You can do so by breaking up the training sessions with interesting activities, or by giving trainees a chance to chat amongst themselves about what their learning. A good way to make training more interesting is to share some of the interesting stories that have happened at the company over the years. If there’s a lesson that you can teach from these stories, that’s even better.
Regardless of what your industry is, your business can benefit from having a great training program. It can help to quickly bring new employees up to speed and to make the most out of every new hire. Using the advice above you should be able to effectively train employees and ensure that your work culture is maintained, now matter how large your company may become. If you’re ever in doubt about a certain part of your training program and whether it’s effective or not, don’t hesitate to ask employees who’ve just been through it what they thought, and if they think that there is anything that you can do to improve the program.