The importance of training employees thoroughly cannot be emphasised enough. Even industry experts need to learn company procedures, protocols, and systems to be effective. For instance, you can’t just hire a marketing expert and expect them to lead your entire company to victory. Just like everyone else, experts need training.
If you’re a business owner, your training program needs to support the long-term success of your employees and your company. Here are 6 elements that allow top corporations to achieve successful training.
1. Training is considered an investment
Top corporations don’t give new hires a crash course, pat them on the back, and wish them good luck. Their training programs are systematic approaches to help new hires learn everything required to be effective. This could take weeks or even months. Top companies see training as an investment, not a chore.
2. Training partnerships are valued
You can’t train everyone all by yourself. Sometimes you need experts to deliver the training. Successful companies understand this and choose to partner with other companies for certain aspects of training. For example, Facebook partners with The Extraordinary Club to help employees develop confidence and skills for obtaining future employment in the digital economy.
Don’t be afraid to outsource some of your training to the appropriate experts.
3. Targeted training doesn’t waste time
Wasted time is common in the corporate world. New hires are often forced to sit through hours of training sessions that have nothing to do with their jobs. Failing to target individual training needs is partially responsible for the lack of results that has become commonplace.
In 2017, the BBC reported on a couple of studies that show a disconnect between training and results. One study found that just 25% of respondents felt training programs measurably improved their performance. Another study found that only 12% of employees apply newly learned skills to their jobs. With hundreds of billions of dollars spent on training annually, that’s not a good result.
The problem, experts say, is that most training programs are too generic and boring. They’re not specifically tailored for each individual. Successful, highly profitable companies know the generic approach doesn’t work and they tailor all training programs to each employee’s position.
4. Intentionally designed training manuals
Your training manuals need to be more than just photocopies of Word documents. If you want your training manuals to be kept and referenced frequently, they need to be intentionally designed in terms of content and presentation. For instance, it would be wise to hire a desktop publishing expert to create an effective layout. You may even want to get your marketing team’s input since a training manual needs to be appealing for employees to crack it open.
Your training manual should be a work in progress that you edit and improve as time goes on. This means not printing thousands of copies at once. Printing a small quantity of training manuals is simple online, but make sure you have a professional designer prepare your file for print.
Highly effective training manuals will also provide troubleshooting advice for common problems. The idea is to make employees self-sufficient so they don’t have to call you for small problems, and they can help each other. For instance, you probably have a wireless printer in the office. It’s imperative to include setup instructions in your training manual, including how to connect to the printer via IP address. Not all devices will connect automatically.
5. Repetition, repetition, repetition
Repetition is crucial in training programs. People learn new skills through repetition. You may need to repeat company policy throughout the training and provide examples that demonstrate context. You also might need to have trainees repeat hands-on learning exercises over a period of time, so they commit those skills to memory.
6. Employees are trained beyond the company role
Employees want professional development that will move them further along in their knowledge and experience. Effectively training employees requires training them for their future, not just their company role.
For example, say you have a new copywriter and all you need them for is writing email marketing messages. Give them the kind of training that will empower them to write other forms of marketing materials. Send them to copywriting and direct marketing conferences. Get them memberships to strategies taught by the A-listers like Dan Kennedy.
Provide employees with training that extends beyond their company role and develops their career. They won’t get bored and they’ll become a bigger asset to the company.
Keep refining your training strategies and materials
Above all, successful companies are committed to refining their training courses and materials. They listen to employee feedback, look at results objectively, and change what isn’t working. When you do the same your training programs will continually become more effective.