The life of a manager is complex, without question. There are a lot of things that business leaders have to keep track of, and that can make it difficult to see certain aspects that tend to fall through the cracks. Businesses strive to increase their sales, maintain customer satisfaction, and keep up with technology as it continues to change. However, many fail to realize that the most powerful tool is right there in the building with them. Nothing makes a business stronger that the employees that work for it, because it is the foundation that everything is built upon. Without knowledge-equipped and engaging employees, potential and existing customers are much more likely to take their business elsewhere.
Taking this even a step further, there is no way to have successful and high-performing employees without proper training. Employee training has remained very static in the past, but that is something that needs to change in order to help push a company forward. There are times when careful inspection is required in order to learn what is not working and how to change it. If employees are not learning what they are supposed to, there are too many hours that are wasted and risks of angering customers. Instead, managers have to address these 5 questions and see where they fall.
5 questions to answer before plan Employee Training
1. What specific objectives are you trying to achieve?
This may sound like a basic question, but it carries a lot of weight. What is the purpose of the training and why does everyone go through it? In addition, assuming that each employee has different incoming skill levels, is your training strategy uniform, or is there some degree of flexibility built in? When it comes to training objectives, we’re not talking about something abstract or general. Training objectives should be specific and measurable, in order to be able to judge their success later on.
2. How can what you are teaching (as well how we are teaching it) improve employee performance?
Next, how is the information affecting the employees. Are they taking what they learn and applying it in a meaningful manner, or is it simply going in one ear and out the other? It’s necessary to critically think about what a company wants to teach and gauging progress to ensure that what is being taught has a direct link on how a person performs. Be certain in designing your training strategy that the information being passed on to employee is directly relevant to their daily tasks. Furthermore, as best as possible, make an effort to link training to performance of necessary daily tasks. Speaking of which…
3. Is the training both relevant and specific to the employee’s daily tasks
Next, managers need to look at how relevant the training is to each employee and their daily task. Do employees have to receive training for processes that they aren’t responsible for? If so, why is that time being spent training when it can be left out completely? Are the training sessions too much about background information, or something abstract? Be sure that all training is directly linked to an employee’s tasks so that they don’t feel overwhelmed with information. The importance of relevance and specificity should be applied both during the training sessions themselves, and in continuous performance support after the initial sessions have ended. Therefore…
4. Are you empowering employees with continued performance support within the flow of work?
People learn in different ways. As mentioned earlier, people enter training with different levels of advanced knowledge, and beyond that, some people don’t pick up on learning as quickly as other. Therefore, performance support aids are especially important in making sure training leaves a long-term impact. Performance support can include both human assistance as, well as information available online via webinars, instructional videos, and other tools. Yet I think the most effective tool in this regard is the availability of performance support software, like WalkMe, which assists each employee to perform any task – no matter how complex – in the moment of need. These software options are interactive, so they can judge when the employee needs assistance and provide it in real time. In particular during the initial period following the end of training, but before employee have achieved full competency levels, WalkMe serves both as a mentor and refresher which reduces training costs and gets employees up to speed as quickly as possible.
5. Have you made learning both engaging and collaborative?
Lastly, does the training method engage the employees? Do they feel like they can work together to answer questions and feel involved in the process? Just like learning in school, there is no one right way to teach someone new information. A fully engaged workforce, during training and beyond, is critical to organizational growth and success in the 21st century.
By focusing on these 5 questions, companies will see a very different workforce and customers will take notice as well. With the right people backing a company, they can truly step forward and move in the right direction.