Initiating new employees can be quite a challenging experience for both sides. If you’re relying only on hands-on experience, you might be doing a lot of damage to your business as well as your people.
As many as 40% of employees who’ve had poor training leave the company within a year. People have a need to grow and learn, and if they feel they’re not engaged enough, they’ll search for new opportunities elsewhere.
Training has become vital for the success of any modern business, no matter what you do. That’s why it’s essential to do it the right way. Here are some tips on how to achieve that.
Have a Clear Goal in Mind
The best way to teach anything is to have crystal clear learning objectives in mind. What knowledge, skills, and even attitudes should your trainees acquire? What concrete tasks should they be able to perform? What mental tools do they need to achieve them?
Maybe you need several training programs for different employees within your company, or they can have similar learning paths up to a point and then diverge. An IT support technician obviously won’t go through the same training as a personal assistant, for example.
Maybe you can have several programs across different departments. The important thing is to understand what exactly your trainees need to learn in order to become competent employees. Having a vague idea and “winging it” won’t get you far, and it will cost you a lot of time and money without achieving the results.
Design Your Materials Carefully
Great training material is half the job done. However, if your material is poor, both your trainers and trainees will suffer, and the program will be unsuccessful.
In order for your materials to be useful and engaging, they have to be structured in a clear, easy-to-follow way. Think about what needs to be learned and start by drafting the order in which you should present it.
It’s extremely important to have every part and each lesson relating to others in a logical manner. Think about each part as a whole, and what small steps are required if your employees are to fully understand it.
Finally, keep the materials concise. Don’t go on unnecessarily or insert irrelevant digressions that the trainees won’t need in their work. Remember that you’re not a university — your goal is not holistic education but applied knowledge and skills.
Put Yourself in the Trainees’ Shoes
It’s difficult to design any type of course without actively thinking about who you’re making it for. In this case, your employees are your students, and you need to think long and hard about what you can expect them to know.
People often lose a sense of how little a newbie knows about the workings of their company. When you’ve worked somewhere for too long, your tasks, as well as the company culture, become second nature to you.
That’s why it’s essential that you imagine that you’re a new employee, completely unaware of how things work around there. If you started out as a newbie in the company, you can remember your first day — how you felt, what was intimidating to you, and what you wished people told you.
Use a Training Management Platform
Sure, you can print out copies of all the resources and distribute them manually. You may proceed to hold the training the old-fashioned way, but think how much time you’ll save if you make use of corporate training software.
These platforms will not only help you keep your resources organized and distribute them easily, but they will allow you to streamline the whole process.
By using a piece of training software, you can structure your program in such a way that your employees can have more freedom and autonomy in learning. They should not be completely dependent on their trainer.
This kind of platform will also allow you to keep track of the effectiveness of your training course.
Don’t Forget to Talk About Company Culture
The technical side of how to do a job is the obvious thing your employees in training need to learn. However, don’t forget about the human element. Make sure to talk about your company culture and the dos and don’ts of your work environment.
If there are things colleagues tend to do together or avoid doing, make it known. Help your trainees feel welcome and at home by allowing them to fit in smoothly.
Corporate culture is actually the number-one reason why people start looking for a new job. You should start nurturing a pleasant environment from the beginning.
Put Into Practice
No matter how many papers you make them read and learn, your trainees won’t be ready to do the job before they’ve had some practical experience in actually doing it.
Depending on the nature of the job, you can always start with simulations. For example, if your employees are training to become customer support agents, you can act out some calls with them and have them listen in on senior agents. You can pretend to be a particularly nasty customer to demonstrate what they should do in the worst-case scenario.
Having your trainees practice what they have learned will also allow you to see which areas need more work and where they’re lacking.
Evaluate and Revise
Arguably the most important stage of the entire training process is evaluation. Once the training is done, you need to evaluate the success of it, the areas that need to be revised, and how you can make the program even better.
You can also ask the trainees themselves what they would have changed and how you can make the program better for the next group. This will not only provide you with some useful insights, but it will also make your new employees feel like they’re already contributing to the company.
Once your new employees have settled in, ask them if there was something they wish they had known before they started working. This will give you more useful info on how to improve your program.