Training, and especially being trained, is not every employee’s cup of tea. To some, attending training courses can seem like a waste of their time, a distraction from the tasks or jobs that they really need to be doing. For an employer, it might, therefore, be tempting to ignore the need for corporate training, to pretend that it does not exist. To do so would, however, be a serious error of judgement, and one that you cannot afford to be a victim of.
Firstly, it’s a fact that businesses that systematically conduct training courses for their workforce generally enjoy higher levels of stated goal achievement and higher revenue levels than companies that have a more relaxed attitude to training.
The key word (and concept) here is ‘systematically’ – training courses have to be an ongoing, continuous process, one wherein every single training session supports and reinforces, builds on and further develops what has been trained previously. Constant attention throughout the life of the stipulated training programme inevitably increases the chances that what is trained and practised actually ‘sticks’.
Of course, the effectiveness of any training programme you instigate on behalf of your business also depends on how good your staff are at learning, accepting and adopting new ideas. So, is it possible to help your employees to become more effective and efficient trainees?
With your help and guidance, there are several ways that you can help your staff become better learners and trainees.
- Point them in the direction of appropriate online learning resources, and set goals based on the objectives of the online resource you use. To do so, your first target must be to establish your reasons for introducing this additional resource to the training scheme, that is, your goals. The best way to do this is to review the online resources that are currently available and decide how they might help you. For example, given that the modern workplace is driven by technology, it would be helpful if all your employees had enough basic IT skill to solve minor computer problems, as this frees your IT specialists to deal with the more serious problems that genuinely merit their attention.
- Given that we’ve already stressed the importance of a ‘systematic’ approach to training, it follows that there must be preset training goals established and the ability of each employee to meet these targets must be measured. Take some time to discuss this with your staff, and set these targets in conjunction with them, as it’s vital that they ‘buy into’ the vision that should be behind these goals.
- In every workplace, there are senior, more competent and knowledgeable employees working alongside those who are less skilled, experienced or knowledgable. Get these senior employees involved in driving your staff training efforts, because they bring something to the table that no outside trainer – or even member of management – can, that is, inside knowledge of what is happening ‘on the shop floor’.
- Similarly, every modern workplace has staff at opposite ends of the time scale, youngsters working alongside more mature staffers. Take advantage of this.The fact that your younger staff are playing with their smartphone and snapping selfies whilst older staff members are reading the newspaper is a clear sign of different perspectives and worldviews that can be exploited. For instance, I’m willing to bet that some of the basic IT problems that I highlighted earlier would take 2 or 3 seconds for some of your youngest employees to fix, so how about them training this skill?
- Industry seminars are another great resource that you can exploit and even though attendance may involve some costs, the benefits can significantly outweigh what you spend. For example, set a programme to take every employee (if you are a small organisation) of every senior staffer to a seminar-based training event at leats once a year. Tell them in advance that they will be presenting what they learn to their colleagues, thereby ensuring that they give every presentation their most rapt attention!
So, there you have five simple tips about how you can make the training courses that you present to your staff more effective, efficient and hopefully, considerably more enjoyable into the bargain!