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.
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How to Train New Employees:
- List tasks that new employees need to learn.
- Break each task down into a series of steps.
- Have a colleague review the tasks to be sure they are clear.
- List supplies, workspace, and equipment necessary for training on each task.
- After the new employee has trained on a task, have them immediately perform it.
- If there are issues with performance, review.
- Periodically review the employee's competence on each task.
- Review and improve training based on employee feedback and performance.
How to Use New Technology to Improve Employee Training:
Employee training is in a state of flux - there are many new methods being tried, new ways of delivering training to employees, and motivations beyond skills acquisition.
We live in an era in which technology moves so fast that continuous training must be part of the job to keep up.
Technology enables everyone to learn on the go. Tiny screens everywhere can now become powerful training devices. Meanwhile, employees bounce so frequently from job to job, and technology changes so fast, that we’re always training new hires.
1. Offer on-demand training.
Employees want to be able to learn anywhere, especially when they’re mobile, and businesses need to adapt to offer relevant training specific to their needs.
You can create a rich learning experience that includes slides, docs, and videos all using Google drive. Most of the equipment you already have. At the very least you should create a self-paced e-learning library for your job orientation.
At Betterteam, we use Slack, Basecamp, YouTube and Google Drive to house our training materials.
2. Use social media as a training resource.
This is two-fold. You want to train new employees about your social media policies from the get-go. But you should also leverage social media to train employees on platforms they are active on.
A YouTube training channel is one example - you can create short training videos and upload them for staff to watch. But you can also create a simple FaceBook group specifically for training and Q&A. Why? Everyone is on Facebook.
Rather than forcing people to change their behavior, work with it. Facebook groups can be set to private and can work great as long as a resource for interacting with new employees. In fact, Facebook uses groups to train their own employees.
You don’t have to be a huge company to use social media as a training resource. It's free. If your new employees are millennials, consider using new social media platforms like Periscope to connect.
3. Gamify your training process.
"Gamification" has become a popular buzzword in recent years because it works. It’s just a fancy word for turning anything into a game. People are motivated by points and a sense of accomplishment.
It can be easy to add a gaming aspect to your training. Try adding a progress bar to training, or giving points, badges, and rewards for performing highly on quizzes.
4. Use Skype or other VoIP services and screen sharing for distance training.
Say you have an employee in San Francisco who is the ideal person to train a new employee based in Chicago. Rather than pay for expensive flights, lodging, etc. you can set let them do the training with an online video conferencing service like Skype or Google Hangouts.
This is especially useful if the training is for processes that are done on a computer because they can share screens, demonstrate exactly what needs to be done in real time, and record the whole thing to review later.
5. Pay for online training with 3rd parties.
A whole industry of online training has sprung up in recent years, from one-on-one classes via video conferencing, to giant video conference lectures, and video series employees can subscribe to. There may be an industry expert that's already providing part of the training you need, at a much lower cost. Definitely worth looking into.
The Best Way to Train New Employees:
Start by doing the task carefully listing each step. Review the list and be sure that each step will eventually guide the trainee to the expected outcome. Be sure the outcome is clear to the trainee. Walk trainees through the task hands-on, then have them do it on their own, and review the outcome.
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. 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.
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 the 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.
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.
How to Give Better Training Presentations:
It’s great to have an excellent training program in place that’s strategic, takes advantage of modern trends and technology, and avoids being terrible. But what good is all that if people are still sleeping through your training sessions? Here are 4 quick tips you can use to make your training sessions more enjoyable.
1. Prepare yourself.
It's obvious you need to prepare something to present, but you also can prepare your body and mind by getting a good night's sleep for mental sharpness, taking a brisk walk to promote relaxation and eating a little dark chocolate to energize you.
2. Break the ice.
Get yourself and the trainees more comfortable with a fun icebreaker. Two truths and a lie is a fun icebreaker game you can try with smaller groups. With larger groups, try "show of hands" questions, like "how many of you love training?"
3. Add visuals to help people absorb and remember your training.
People process images 60,000 times than words, so take advantage of this to create training materials that get your message across faster, with photos and video that are relevant to what you are teaching.
4. Rehearse your presentations for success.
If you're giving a presentation, you're probably already planning to rehearse it a few times. But are you rehearsing it right? Don't just read your notes to yourself over and over - try to make rehearsal as close to the real thing as possible. For example, if you plan on standing in front of a whiteboard to deliver it, practice that way.
New Employee Training Checklist:
- Test training trends such as on-demand and gamification to see if they work for 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.