What’s the key for a company to succeed? Well-trained workers. Study after study has proven this. The most productive workers are the ones who undergo training. They aren’t only the keys to success. They’re the keys to their company’s future. Upper management should be hiring individuals that have the right skills. But, the labor market has never been more competitive. There aren’t enough skilled workers to go around.
Before we get into employee training tips, let’s do something else. Let’s go over four major signs that your company is in need of business training.
4 Signs Your Employee Training Program is Bad
1) The goal of the training program isn’t clear.
Many reading this right now have sat through a training session. Did you ever wonder, ‘Why am I even here?’ This is common. And it’s a sign that a company’s program needs an overhaul. A great training program connects with day-to-day objectives and tasks. If the program doesn’t help your employees develop new skills, it’s a waste of time for everyone involved.
2) Workers fear that they’ll fail.
Training programs sharpen skillsets. They’re not supposed to strike fear into the hearts of employees. If you’re expecting perfect results, forget it. That’s never going to happen. Allow your employees to use the new information they’ve acquired. But do so without having to face humiliation or potential termination.
3) No one receives feedback.
Most workers, at least the motivated ones, want to know how they’re performing. They also want to know in what areas they need the most improvement. This especially applies to younger workers, such as millennials. You can’t leave employees in the dark. Their training must show them how to get better at their jobs.
4) Upper management makes the assumption that workers don’t want to get trained.
Because a worker doesn’t ask to get trained doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t WANT to get trained. Believe it or not, most employees desire to get better at their jobs. They may be afraid to ask. Why? They don’t want to get rejected or seem incapable of doing their jobs. Most workers crave the opportunity to develop as professionals..
If your company’s training program correlates to any of these four points, you better keep on reading. This article will provide you with thirteen tips. They will help you turn your training program around. You may still think that your training program is effective. But you’ll still find information that will improve your program. Let’s get into it:
1) Think of training as both a short-term and long-term investment.
Too many companies consider business training programs to be optional instead of necessary. Why? They view training as an expense instead of an investment in their organization’s future. Sure, some training programs can be costly. But you know what’s always even more expensive? Having mediocre or lackluster workers and having to replace them. Training is an investment in growth and development of workers.
2) Figure out your company’s major needs.
A training program doesn’t have to be comprehensive. Those programs cost the most anyway. Not to mention, they take up a lot of time. Your program can focus on what you feel is most important to the success of your company. The first step is to check out the skills and abilities of your workers. What’s needed the most? What will provide the biggest pay-off? Do this so your employee’s skills and abilities never fall too far behind.
3) Emphasize learning.
Today’s business world and the economy is more fast-paced than ever before. If your staff isn’t acquiring new information and strategies—they will get left in the dust. Learning doesn’t have to be torture for your employees. Find creative ways to make learning fun. It’s not as hard as you think. Provide the right informative resources that apply to your employees accomplishing their tasks.
You can even go a step further and try to determine how each of your workers learn best. Everyone learns in a different manner. Some workers respond better to video courses. Some respond better to one-on-one negotiation role-playing. Don’t test out your employees. Test out each individual. You’ll then position your company to provide training that gets into each person’s brain fast.
4) Ensure that upper management approves of the training.
You must do something before speaking with management about training possibilities. You must develop an outline of training topics. It needs to correlate to the imperative needs of your organization. Once this outline is presentable and ready, then—and only then—can you make your case. For what? For a new or revised training program. As with all things in business, upper management cares about results the most. Provide evidence that the training program gets results. Then it’s likely that the program will get approved.
5) Don’t do too much at once.
Before you dish out the new training program to the employees, rehearse it with a few trusted minds. Take their suggestions and feedback into consideration. You might realize that there are weaknesses in the new program that need to get corrected. Take your time and fine-tune the program before any employees begin their training.
6) Select the right instructors who can provide the right material.
Put a lot of thought into who you want to lead your training program. The instructor can make or break a program. If it’s a staff member, being knowledgable isn’t enough. He or she needs to show that they can connect with the employees and communicate well. The person must have access to material that’s effective and easy to understand. The material should be so good that people want to hold onto the material after training.
7) Determine the right location.
Even the place where training takes place can make or break your program. It’s got to be a location that’s great for learning. For example, it would be idiotic to hold training at a place like a restaurant. The setting is too unprofessional. Employees would get too distracted. Instead, find a place that’s quiet and big enough that the workers don’t feel like they’re crammed together. Ensure that the room is ready with wi-fi, outlets, a projector, etc.
8) Provide a copy of your training plan to all employees.
Business training only works when there’s structure. That’s why your plan needs to have structure. It also needs to be precise. Otherwise, you’ll waste the worker’s time with information that has no real value or benefit.
The plan should be precise. It must convey information in simple terms that everyone can understand. Begin the program with the most simple and foundational statements. Save the complicated stuff for the latter half of the program. For example, say some of your employees lack basic knowledge when it comes to using computers. Don’t begin your program by explaining advanced details of CRM software. Save that for the second half of the program.
9) During training, clarify how it benefits your employees.
Your program might be excellent. But even then, you’re still going to have to deal with some disgruntled employees. They might think the training doesn’t benefit them at all. They might have tight deadlines they’d rather be working toward. No matter the case, prevent the room from fill-in with apathy and contempt. The best way to do this is to make it VERY clear why the program matters. If necessary, promise to offer some sort of reward (or award) to those who complete the program. This might help prevent some personalities from lashing out.
10) Make the program ongoing.
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that training is only for new-hires. Rise above this way of thinking. Routine training should be for everyone. It’s the only way to keep up with the ever-changing business climate. Ongoing training ensures workers continue to stay educated, motivated and improve as professionals.
How often you hold training sessions is up to you. It depends on the needs of each department in your company. The sessions can be once a month. Once every six months. Once a year. No matter what, any training session is better than not having any session at all.
11) Find a way to measure results.
The results are great. But they don’t mean much if you and the rest of management are not aware of them. Figure out a procedure or two that will help management. They must see that the worker’s skills and abilities have improved. Your employees could take a no-pressure test at the beginning of training. Then, they could complete that same test at the end of the training. You’ll be much more likely to secure funding for future training sessions. All you have to do is prove that training is effective.
12) Cross-train some of your employees.
It would benefit your company to teach some workers how to do other jobs. For example, you could teach a salesperson how to do some of the marketing department’s tasks. Cross-training helps people become better at their jobs. They get a better understanding of the “big picture.” Not to mention, your company will get prepared if there’s ever a staffing shortage.
13) Consider hiring a coach or consultant.
Your trainer doesn’t have to be a manager or staff member. Sometimes, for many reasons, it’s better to bring in a coach or consultant. He or she can apply their outsider perspective to your company’s problems. A fresh pair of eyes never hurts. It only helps.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that business training programs aren’t important. As you can see by the items of this article, they sure are. So, what are you waiting for? If you want your staff to perform their best on a consistent basis, begin setting up your program today. You and your company have nothing to lose. And a lot to gain.