Training and career development are among the top factors millennials use to rank the attractiveness of a job or company as a place to work. And 46 percent of employees say their company’s training courses make them more likely to stay.
New Employee Training Checklist:
1. Research Training Trends __
a. Use games to make learning more interactive __
b. Find methods that are specific to your industry __
c. Take note of what works and what doesn’t work __
d. Create a schedule for training exercises __
2. Review Training Strategy
a. Ensure all resources are up to date __
b. Check to see if training materials align with your company’s goals __
c. Add new material to ensure that employees are in touch with the latest industry trends __
3. Divide Training Into Modules
a. Schedule blocks of time for each module __
b. Develop assessments for each module/unit __
c. Assign training sessions to experts in your company __
4. Prepare Presentations
a. Include visuals __
b. Incorporate interactive activities __
i. Case studies __
ii. Question and answer period __
iii. Video learning __
c. Rehearse your presentation __
5. Communicate Outcomes to Employees
a. Explain the purpose of each training section __
b. Allow time for employees to ask questions __
c. Give out a short survey at the end of training __
6. Provide Feedback
a. Review assessments and provide feedback in writing, or in person __
b. Allow time for one-on-one sessions to give personalized feedback __
Ways to Improve Your Training:
1. Make sure that it's targeted to the employees.
Don't make your engineers sit through the same training as your sales team. Target your training as finely as you can, so that you can relate it directly to how it helps individuals perform in their jobs.
2. Make it real by having trainees use the training immediately.
After the training, give employees a task that actually requires them to use what they've just learned. It will help them cement the learning and will show you exactly where they still need work.
3. Make training more enjoyable.
Training doesn't have to be a drag. Take breaks, and build in time to socialize. Don't let training become synonymous with boredom at your company.
4. Train them when they need it.
Don't train now for something an employee will need in 2 months. Segment employee training, and try to plan it so that they'll be using it as much as possible after the training is over. They'll retain more, and you'll waste less time having to retrain overloaded employees.
If you do need to retrain employees, check out our guide.
Get Strategic with Your Training for Long-Term Gains:
The sad fact is, most companies spend more money on coffee than training. If the goal is to have a high performing workforce, we need to spend the resources to develop employees. Aligning resources to goals is the strategy.
Now, if you allocate more resources to training, you can be sure someone will want to see measurable benefits - as they should. As business legend Peter Drucker said, "what gets measured gets managed."
So, set goals, and create a simple measurement process for your training so you can see the results.
One number you can use to measure effectiveness is employee turnover. Better training should reduce turnover. You can measure turnover by calculating your churn rate.
Look at your historical rate of voluntary turnover, and see if improved training helps decrease it. You can also use this report to see how you stack up on employee turnover versus your industry.
To measure if employees are really absorbing new training, you can have them turn around and train other employees on what they've learned.
This leads us to another way of getting strategic with training: cross training.
Besides being a way to measure what an employee has learned, cross training allows for career growth and development - satisfying your employees’ desire to learn new skills, while allowing you to increase office coverage. So, if one employee is out, there’s always someone who understands their job.
As your company puts more strategic focus on training and spending surpasses coffee levels, it may become the type of company that puts employees first.
Turns out companies that use the strategy of putting employees first gain enormous competitive advantages, and end up with happier customers as a result. The key to an employee first company? Training and developing your workforce. It's the approach of companies like Southwest Airlines and Virgin.
For companies that put employees first, including Richard Branson's, good training strategy essentially becomes good business strategy. Whether you decide to focus your priorities on employees or not, it should be clear that better training makes better companies and happier customers.
Signs of a Poor New Employee Training Program:
1. The purpose of the training is ambiguous.
Ever sat in a training session and wondered, why am I here? Training that has no connection to day-to-day tasks will fall flat. Show employees exactly how it pertains to their job and the company's mission.
2. Employees are afraid to fail.
Instead of training employees and expecting them to execute perfectly, give them a chance to fail. Let them use what they've learned without fear of repercussions if they make a few mistakes.
3. No feedback is provided.
This is especially important for millennials. Employees want to know if they're doing a good job, and where they can improve. Don't leave them in the dark on their performance.
4. You assume employees don't want training.
Oftentimes, employees don't ask for training, but it has nothing to do with their desire to learn. They may be unsure how to ask, afraid of rejection, or under the impression that it will make them look incapable. Most employees want opportunities for professional development and will be glad if you offer it.
What is the best way to train my new employees?
Start by carefully listing each step. Review your list and be sure that each step will eventually guide the trainee to the desired outcome. Communicate the outcome to the trainee. Walk trainees through the task, then have them do it on their own, and review the results.
How can I retain my employees after training?
- Offer continued training opportunities.
- Create a training program that is built on the values and goals of your company.
- Develop a system for recognizing employee achievements.
- Offer performance-based incentives (bonuses, extra time off, etc.).
- Promote successful employees to new roles.
How long does it take to train a new employee?
Generally, it takes about 1 to 2 years before an employee is “fully productive” in their role, according to our research. Once your employees have been hired, they may not be as productive as the previous employee. You will need to adjust along with your new employee.
How do you train a difficult employee?
Be sure to listen to your employee. Generally, when an employee is being difficult, employers tend to stop paying attention to what's actually going on. To help better communicate with your employee, give clear feedback, be consistent, establish consequences if things don't change, and work through the company's processes.
Any suggestions on how I can improve the training course of my new hires?
- Test training trends such as on-demand and gamification to see if they work at your company.
- Review your overall training strategy - be sure your goals and resources are aligned.
- Make training hands-on, interesting and divide it into digestible chunks.
- Don't make employees afraid to fail or let training purposes be ambiguous.
- Do give the feedback and assume they want to learn.
- Get prepared, do ice breakers, add visuals to your presentation, and rehearse the delivery.