One of the biggest mistakes businesses can make when developing a training program is waiting for perfection. And yes, I know how this may sound: counter-intuitive. Isn’t being perfect a good thing?
No, not really.
You see, perfection has no business in, well, business, and in many instances, it can actually get in the way of business productivity. Think about it, when you check, double-check, and triple-check anything, it could be obsolete before it ever gets off the ground.
What you’re looking for in a training program is something that’s good enough to educate employees at that time. But this approach does have a caveat: you must be open to feedback on the process. Otherwise, there’s no way of driving quality in the program. Resist the urge to wait until everything is aligned and perfect. Get the materials in front of trainees, gather feedback, and then adapt the program based on what you’ve learned. Rinse and repeat.
As you go about developing or modifying your training program, here are a few things you should keep top of mind:
1. Set some training objectives
Oftentimes, training is more about checking off a box for onboarding than anything else, which just leads to mediocre results. In fact, only 12 percent of new hires end up applying the skills learned in training to their jobs. This is why the first step to creating an effective training program is to establish goals.
Determine what exactly you’re hoping to achieve in the business and single out any opportunities for improvement. Then, use these goals and gaps to create the right training initiatives to ensure the lessons are applicable to the job and advancing the business in some way.
2. Personalize initiatives
Never assume that a new hire will respond to training in the exact same way as your last recruit. If you take the time to sit down with trainees and make learning more personal, you develop a workforce that’s often better at their jobs — and you’ll probably improve engagement levels in the process.
3. Involve existing employees
You know the business, but you might not know the meat and potatoes of every role. Enlist other employees with direct experience to assist in your training efforts. Chances are, you already know which of your trusted, highly-skilled staffers to use.
4. Make it interactive
Sometimes, there’s just one way to share information, and that’s standing in front of a room with a PowerPoint presentation overhead. Other times, it’s more beneficial to weave instruction with hands-on experience to reinforce what’s just been learned. Give hires a chance to practice a new skill during training sessions to ensure it sinks in.
5. Follow up with trainees
For training to be successful, the real litmus test should be your employees. Ask trainees how they’re doing with the program and whether they found any areas particularly challenging. You may also want to ask them what they’d change about the sessions and what they’d like to learn in the future.
Even though you’ve formalized the program, you still want employees to feel as if they’re in control of their learning and progress. Following up reinforces that they’re part of the training process.
6. Establish benchmarks
Like any business initiative, training should be quantifiable. In other words, did the training result in the desired outcome? If the objective, for example, was to improve customer service, did the training do anything to customer satisfaction? Did you see an uptick in your online ratings and reviews?
7. Let it evolve
Business needs change. As such, so should training. The key is to track how often changes occur in a business, industry, marketplace, etc., and then respond accordingly. Besides, the goal of training is to improve performance. If certain team members aren’t developing, it may be time to review the program.
If you’d like to learn more about creating a new training and development program, or need help in your recruitment efforts, please let us know today. We’d be more than happy to sit down and discuss your options.