Even the most experienced new hires need to be shown the ropes. Every company has its own unique methods, strategies, rules, and procedures for training, and even highly skilled employees need to adjust and adapt to new settings. When it comes to small business training, it’s worth putting in the time and effort to do it right the first time. After all, even just one error can turn into a major problem if you’re not careful. Poor employee training procedures also lead to increased turnover rates as both new and seasoned employees alike become frustrated and overwhelmed. Follow these easy tips to make your employee training sessions more effective.
Use the Right Trainers
The first step is selecting the best possible employees to perform employee training. Naturally, it makes sense that you would rely on your top performers. Most professionals have their own little tips and tricks they use during their workday, and employees who are thriving are clearly doing something right that they should share with others. At the same time, you don’t want your trainers to venture too far outside the box, so make sure you teach the trainers how to train properly first. Once you’re confident that at least one person is able to provide optimal training, they can train other trainers to lighten the load.
Start at the Beginning
While you probably want to get your new employees acclimated as quickly as possible, overwhelming them with information is only going to hinder their progress. Focus on one skill at a time, and then move on when the trainee is comfortable and confident. Break your training down into levels, and start with the easiest information or tasks. Once employees have proven they can handle the basics, you can elaborate and build upon them, eventually moving into more complicated territories. Look at training as climbing a mountain; you have to start at the bottom and take individual steps to reach the peak.
It’s essential that your new employees don’t feel nervous asking questions. Everyone learns in their own unique way, and some teaching methods may not match a trainee’s learning style. It’s always better for someone to spend a small amount of time asking for clarification rather than wasting a large amount of time (and possibly money and resources) making a mistake. Be realistic with your expectations, and don’t disparage employees who take a little longer than others to catch on. A positive environment is more conducive to effective learning than a high-pressure one.
Provide Physical Training Materials
During the first few weeks of employment, new team members have a lot on their minds. Provide them with a written guide that covers their training so they can review it as needed during the workday and also on their own time. Encourage them to take notes during training sessions. You may even want to film training sessions so they can have a solid reference available.
Correct Errors Kindly
Fostering a positive environment is important, but so is performing the job properly. When a new employee makes a mistake, don’t just let it slide — correct them kindly but firmly. You may also want to test them from time to time to make sure they’re genuinely acclimating, not just faking it. For example, if you run a retail store and someone pays with a large bill, you could use that as an opportunity to test employees to see if they know how to spot counterfeit bank notes. Be on the lookout for opportunities for new employees to use their training in real situations. In the long run, good training makes life easier for everyone involved, so make sure you continue the training process until your employees reach your high expectations.