Module Eight: Training Employees

Module Eight: Training Employees

There is no point in hiring quality people if you do not provide them with quality training. Training is the best way to make sure your staff understands the company and their jobs. Having a team that knows the direction of the company and its working parts in that company is always an asset. Let’s explore together what training your new employees should entail.

Teach Company Culture

What does the term "company culture" mean? Company culture is the behavior of the people in the company. The culture could be linked to the company’s values, beliefs, goals, and more. Immersing your new employee in the culture of your business is one of the most important steps in training. Most companies briefly go over their culture during new employee orientations. An employee should understand their company’s culture, and be able to apply it while performing their job functions. Providing the recruit with a mentor who exemplifies the company culture is a great start. Provide your new hire with information, written or electronic, on your company culture.

Implement Actual Training for the Position

Training the new employee on the culture of the company is important, but you still have to train them on the job. The job description should help aid you in the training. Letting an employee know exactly what is expected of them is great, but showing them is even better. Most jobs are not A-B-C, they usually have multiple duties and functions. Making sure your new hire understands every facet of their job is a major factor in employee satisfaction and productivity. Training for the position should include written information and visually showing them how to complete their job tasks. Make sure to ask them questions to see if they understand. We are all different types of learners, so ask them if there is anything that you can provide to help with training. Training an employee can do more for them than just teaching them how to perform their job, it can help keep them engaged. Taking the time to show an employee the functions of their job shows them that you care, and want them to have the tools they need to succeed. According to a survey done by ASTD in 2008, 65% of employees say the quality of training and learning opportunities positively influences their engagement.

Provide Feedback

Well, you have hired great employees and trained them on the culture, and their job duties. Now you can just sit back and do nothing, right? Wrong! This is the time to talk to your employees and provide them with feedback. Employees react to communication. Most people want to do a good job, and providing them with the feedback they need is imperative. You can have the opportunity to praise them for doing a great job, and correct any flaws in their performance. I know that the inclination is to praise, but knowing what you are doing wrong is just as important as knowing what you’re doing right. When giving feedback, try to have a little positive and a little negative. Everyone has room for improvement. Negative feedback is sometimes the hardest kind to give. As an employer, you want to keep your employees happy and content in their jobs. Here are some steps to make sure you are giving effective and constructive negative feedback:

  • Be Specific- Make sure you are being very specific about what the employee needs to work on.
  • Explain the effects of the employee’s actions- Tell them why what they are doing is incorrect, and how it affects the company, customer, or other employees.
  • Allow the employee to reply- give them a chance to reply to the information you have just given them. Ask questions to make sure they understand the error.
  • Provide resolution- Tell them how to resolve the issue. Ask questions to make sure they understand.
  • Recap- Review the information you provided them, what the error was, why, and what to do about it.
  • Remind that you are in their corner- negative feedback is hard to hear sometimes, but knowing that your supervisor is rooting for you makes it easier. Make sure they know you are trying to make them better, not tear them down.

Also, take this time to figure out if any adjustments need to be made in your training system. Providing your employees with the tools they need to succeed is the building block of a productive company filled with engaged employees

Offer Additional Training, If Necessary

Sometimes errors or performance issues take more to fix than just talking. Additional training may be needed for some employees, to optimize their job performance. When you train initially for a position, not every scenario presents itself in that 3-week window. As employees are cast off into the big company world, they can tend to feel like they shouldn’t ask questions. Offering additional training will allow your employees to gain new information, skills, and insight into their positions. This is also a great time to include items that you felt needed to be revisited when you provided your feedback. Having to re-train or give additional training to an employee does not make them a poor employee. Having an engaged and productive employee means giving them the tools to succeed, that is your job as an employer. It is truly important to make sure that your employee knows that you are providing this training to boost them up, not bring them down. Employees are your company’s best asset, so make sure they have what they need to make you proud. You wouldn’t ask an electrician to do his job without a voltage meter, would you?

Lesson Summary

Training employees is a key part in keeping them engaged and satisfied with their job. It's important to ensure they not only understand their job duties but the company culture as well. Here are some key steps for training: - Teach company culture by providing information about the company's values, beliefs, and goals. - Implement actual training for the position by showing the employee how to do the job and asking questions to make sure they understand what's expected of them. - Provide feedback to employees to help them understand what they're doing correctly and what needs improvement. Work with them to provide an action plan to rectify the problem. - Offer additional training if needed to optimize their job performance and give them the tools they need to succeed.

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