Well trained employees are essential to any business. When employees have all the training, skills, and knowledge they need, your business will run more smoothly. Employees can perform their jobs with greater competency. They can better serve your customers. And, there will hopefully be fewer mistakes and accidents at your business.
To successfully train your employees, you need an efficient training program. Use the tips below to create a training program and ensure employees get the knowledge they need.
1. Create A Plan
Before you can make an employee training program, you must first determine what you want employees to learn. Otherwise, you might waste everyone’s time with useless information and unstructured training.
Start by writing out everything your employees should know. What knowledge and skills should they have to successfully do their jobs?
Structure the training program so it begins with the simplest, foundational information. Then, lead up to more advanced training. The skills and knowledge should build upon the previous training.
It’s also important to identify training gaps. If employees lack skills in an area, the training may go over their heads. For example, an employee might not understand how to use your point-of-sale software if they lack basic computer operation skills.
2. Host Regular Training Sessions
You should regularly hold training sessions for your employees. Frequent training can help maintain skills and knowledge. Regular sessions are also a great way to teach more advanced skills and notify employees of any changes.
You can have regular all-staff meetings. You might all meet in a large room at your business and have a brown-bag lunch, or meet in a private dining room at a restaurant.
Although beneficial, an all-staff meeting can be disruptive to business operations or even infeasible because of multiple employee shifts. Instead of getting everyone together at one time, you might meet by shift, department, or even send training out over email. Or, you might post a notice and training checklist that employees must complete during their next shift.
3. Use Employees As Trainers
Even though you’re the business owner, you might not know the nitty-gritty details of every employee’s job. That’s why highly-skilled employees might be your best trainers.
You can probably tell which employees are the most competent at their jobs. They’re the ones who complete their tasks on time and with precision. They might be managers. Or, in flat organizations, they might just be highly trusted employees.
Ask these employees to pass on their skills and knowledge to other employees. They can train new employees or teach continuous training courses. You might give them standard information to teach, or let them create training materials themselves.
You might give incentives for employees to train their co-workers. For example, you might financially reward them with a raise or bonus payment.
4. Cross Train Workers
You might teach your employees to do other jobs within your business. For example, you might train a cashier how to stock retail items.
Cross training might help employees better do their primary jobs. They might gain skills that they can apply to their tasks. And, they better know what to expect from co-workers in other positions.
Cross training can also benefit your business if you have a staffing shortage. For example, an employee calls in sick, but their tasks must still be completed that day. An employee who is cross trained in that position can fill in for the sick employee.
5. Set Training Goals
You must determine if your training program is working. To do this, set goals and track whether or not they’re being met.
First, determine what you want your employees to learn. You might set a simple or complex goal. For example, your goal might be for all employees to read the training instructions for a piece of equipment. Or, you might set a goal for employees to use the equipment without supervision within two weeks of reading the instructions.
As you set goals, think about who you want to reach the goals. You can set goals for the whole company, a department, or individuals.
Conducting performance reviews can help you set goals and track achievement. Ask employees how they’re doing, what they’re struggling with, and what they’d like to learn. You can find gaps in their skills and knowledge. You might also ask follow-up questions about their training. See if they understood what was taught and if they thought it was useful. You can use the information you get to determine if employees are meeting training goals and to set new goals. You can also adjust your training program based on how useful it has been to employees.