Your company will only be as successful as the people who do the work with you. How well they are trained sets the tone for their productivity and job satisfaction. In a recent survey, lack of proper training rated high on the list of things that frustrate people at work. Training your staff well is worth the time and investment. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts, but there are ways you can make the training more effective.
Have patience and realize that some people catch on to tasks quicker than others. This has to do with how quickly they process and retain things that are shown to them. Some people learn better by watching first for several minutes. Others do best if they are shown once and given the opportunity to jump right in. Everyone will thrive if they are given the opportunity to learn in the way that suits their abilities best.
Don't just show how to do something, show why. Explain the reasoning for getting from Point A to Point B the way that it is done. Talk about what can go wrong by going through the what-ifs. Most people will understand something better with this logic.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a detailed training manual with steps for performing every job in the company? Think of how much easier it would make training a new employee. It would promote consistency and ensure that nothing is left out in the training process. This doesn't mean that the training manual would take the place of a human being. Handing someone a manual and telling her to figure out the job isn't very effective. The manual is to be used as a tool to assist both the trainer and trainee.
Prepare a training manual on the computer and print copies as you need them. Use staples, a report folder, or a three-ring binder to keep the pages intact. The cover page should state the position and have a space for the trainee's name. Next, pick the first thing a new employee should learn on the job and type out detailed instructions, then continue with the next thing. Each page should have two columns next to each task with the headers “Trainee” and “Trainer.” Once the trainee has mastered each task, both the trainee and trainer sign off on the column. For added fun, include a True or False quiz at the end of each task.
You can always count on procedures changing on occasion as you and your staff discover better ways to do things. When this happens, update the training manual so that the next person hired learns how to do the job correctly from the start.
Utilizing a formal training program with consistency from one employee to the next will back you up in the event you have to release a new hire from employment because they are unable to learn how to do the job efficiently. You will have proof that you developed a program that gives everyone the same chance at success. This will help you if you are ever accused of issuing an unfair employment termination.
It is sometimes possible to have the training seminar or workshop come to you. This depends on how many people will be attending and if computers are needed for the class. The dollars that you spend on training are an investment in the people who work for you.