Employee training serves multiple purposes in any business. It allows you to set a standard for how your business operates. It also keeps employees safe, helps improve customer satisfaction, increases efficiency, and enables productive work. If you don’t have a formal employee training program, however, you can’t measure results or maintain consistency.
Imagine a school without a curriculum. Teachers wouldn’t know what subjects to cover or in which order. It’d be chaos. The same goes for training your workforce. I encourage entrepreneurs to create employee training programs and to stick with them. Here’s how to develop one for your business.
Developing an Effective Employee Training Program
Establish Training Areas
Many business owners never bother with an employee training program because it seems complex. After all, every team member serves a different function, so how do you create an effective training schedule for every single person? The simple answer: You don’t.
Instead, you divide employees into categories or training areas. Some employees will need to learn customer service, for instance, while others need to learn how to use your accounting software.
It’s always a good idea to cross-train employees, too, which is why it makes more sense to create programs that focus on specific areas. In a restaurant, servers might need to know hosting or kitchen duties in case you need a pinch hitter on a busy night. Similarly, in a retail store, clerks might need to know how to stock merchandise.
Set a Schedule
The best time to train employees is the moment they’re hired. Launching new workers with a training program ensures they don’t learn any bad habits. However, you also need to provide ongoing training. Maybe you switch to a new software program, or perhaps you launch a new product. Alternatively, you might discover that certain employees perform a task incorrectly, so they need a refresher course.
Set a schedule for training, for at least once or twice a year, then stick to it. Customer service training might take just one work day, for example. Decide how many hours to spend on each facet of learning so that the training stays on target.
Set Goals and Benchmarks
It’s impossible to know if your employee training program proves effective unless you have some way to measure it. Setting goals allows you to evaluate a program’s efficacy over time and to compare different workers as they learn the ropes. You might decide, for instance, that your administrative employees should know how to operate basic functions in QuickBooks by the end of their first day. A new hire who doesn’t meet this standard might need a different training method or more assistance. Alternatively, if most new hires don’t meet this goal, you know you need to devote more time to the training process.Don’t keep goals to yourself. Share them with your trainees so they know what they’re shooting for. That way, they feel a sense of accomplishment as they hit various milestones.
Too often, managers view training as a task to cross off a list. It’s much more important than that. A well-trained employee can improve your business processes and grow your revenues. Conversely, a poorly trained employee becomes a safety hazard and a potential drain on resources.Let your trainees know that they can ask questions and voice concerns. I recommend making employee training an interactive process that involves both give and take.
Sure, it takes time and energy to formally train employees. However, it also creates a more effective business environment. If you’re interested in boosting employee morale, increasing worker satisfaction, and making the most of your workday, sign up for my weekly newsletter. I’m always sharing interesting and useful business advice for entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses successfully.