How To Train Employees More Effectively (With Tips)
Updated September 6, 2023
As someone in charge of training employees, it's important to have strategies to help each team member get acclimated to their role. Whether you're training a new hire or are helping a more seasoned employee develop their skills, there are many techniques you can use to make this process more effective. With the right training and employee development, you can build a more productive and successful team. In this article, we discuss the importance of knowing how to train employees more effectively and share steps to help you get started along with additional tips.
Why is knowing how to train employees more effectively important?
Knowing how to train employees more effectively is important for the following reasons:
Better aligned expectations: When your employees receive the same training, they gain a better understanding of the company's goals and expectations. Having an employee handbook to base your training on is a good start.
Higher retention rates: Helping employees fully understand their roles may help them feel more confident about their work. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, causing employees to stay with your company longer.
More skilled team: Providing thorough training to your team members ensures they can properly do their jobs. It can also help them further develop essential skills, leading to high-quality work and success for your team.
Higher productivity: Training your employees right away ensures they can get started on their work sooner. This can lead to increase efficiency in the workplace.
Increased inclusivity: Group and peer training can help new employees feel more connected to their team. By ensuring they feel comfortable in their new position, you can create a more welcoming work environment for everyone.
How to train employees more effectively
Follow these steps on how to train employees more effectively to build a better team:
1. Establish your goals
Create a list of the outcomes you want to see from your employees and the skills that would support their achievement. For example, you might want to increase productivity in a specific department or help management develop stronger leadership skills. As you're brainstorming, try to frame your goals as SMART goals, meaning they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
2. Involve your employees
Employees might be more motivated to participate in training if they understand what the benefits are. You could host a meeting with employees in a group with open discussion, or you could invite them to send you suggestions. Starting a dialogue where your employees feel they are part of the decision-making process can help them both see the value of training and motivate them to participate more. It may also give you a better idea of their strengths, motivations, skills, and opportunities for improvement.
3. Choose your training methods
Once you know what your goals are and have employee feedback, you can choose a training program. Do your research, taking into consideration how your employees might learn best, your budget, and any time constraints. The types of training programs you could offer include:
Independent learning: Individualized training uses self-led and self-paced training modules to train your employees on the topics and skills they are interested in and according to their schedules.
Group classroom or workshop environment: Gathering in a group setting can be efficient, as many employees can learn at once and support one another. A class could function through a traditional lecture and presentation structure or follow a more hands-on workshop approach using simulations, role-playing, or other team-building activities that also enhance the group's collaborative skills.
On-the-job training: With on-the-job training, employees learn how to complete tasks by following or working alongside a more experienced colleague, as opposed to supplying external resources for employees to learn from in their own time.
Microlearning: The use of short, specialized learning modules can ensure your employees retain what they learn. Having employees engage with microlearning content frequently can reinforce key ideas or lessons.
Mobile learning: Mobile training options allow employees to access and engage with training content anywhere at any time. The ability to participate from their phone, computer, or tablet makes it more accessible because they can use more than one specific tool to access the content rather than only a desktop computer.
Game-based training: This training provides an interactive experience for employees that helps them practise real-world scenarios. Many game-based training modules offer real-time feedback, so learners know right away how they can improve their skills.
Career development opportunities: Some employers offer employees reimbursement for additional courses or training related to their job. You might encourage this kind of training for more seasoned employees who hope to advance within the company.
4. Continue the ongoing learning process
Make sure to follow up with employees regularly after they have received training to hold them accountable for the goals you set forth. You can use performance reviews or assessments to track their work and assess whether they reach goals or meet with individuals to ask how they have used their training. If you notice that employees have not used their new knowledge or skills effectively, that demonstrates that you may need to restructure your training. Remember, employee training is an ongoing process that you can change over time.
Additional tips for more effective training
Training employees requires strategic planning and thoughtfulness. Here are a few additional tips to remember when training your team members:
Send documents after the accepted job offer
Once a candidate accepts your job offer, you can begin your training. In your welcome email, send them any information or documents that can help them prepare for their first day of work. Let them know about your company's dress code, starting time, parking accommodations, and lunch break policies. This information about smaller details can help them come to work feeling a bit more prepared.
Consider peer training
If you know that a new hire is going to be closely working with one of your team members, consider having your team member do some of the training. They may be more knowledgeable about certain processes or tasks, especially if these employees have similar responsibilities. Peer training is also a great way to build professional relationships among team members. It allows your new employee to feel like they have a friend or at least someone they can go to at work.
Give employees a chance to ask questions
After each training module, ask your new employees if they have any questions or concerns. Encouraging questions can help you establish open communication and ensures employees know how to do their jobs correctly. If you're too busy to address immediate concerns, let your new employees know who else they can direct their inquiries to during training.
Focus on company topics
Along with teaching new employees about their specific job duties, help them get acclimated to the environment of your work. Use your training sessions to help them understand topics like company policies, workplace behaviour, and employee conduct. When hiring a group of new employees, consider holding an informational seminar to share all this important information at once.
Test your employees' knowledge
Rather than simply asking if a new employee understands everything, give them a task to test their new skills. For instance, when hiring a new editor, you might give them an initial editing assignment after they complete their training. Then, you can look through the assignment to see if they are meeting the style guide or have areas for improvement. With interactive training modules, you might also have your new employees complete mini quizzes and repeat a module if they don't have a passing score.
Provide employee development
While training is essential for new employees, your more experienced team members can also benefit from additional training. Having career development opportunities for your team members ensures they continue to develop their skills and advance in their roles. Hosting learning seminars, offering reimbursement for conference attendance, or creating new how-to guides are all helpful ways to help your employees grow.
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