Knowing how to engage your employees in training is one of the most important skill sets you can possess in running a successful business. Quality training results in higher productivity and product quality, by setting clear expectations, standardizing processes, generating efficiency and supporting teamwork.
The tangible results of training your staff well, show up as bottom line profit from factors such a less wasted time and resources, higher employee retention from a better work environment with less conflict and amplifying the kind of client satisfaction that creates long term loyalty. With 7.8 trillion dollars being left on the table around the world for businesses annually due to lack of engagement and struggles with employee retention, recognizing structured training as an engagement tool is critical for all businesses.
While the payoffs of training are numerous, it can be difficult to find the time and resources to do it right. However, training is an essential investment in your business that you can’t afford to skip. This article will look at 5 of the best practices of how to engage your staff in training.
1.0 Ensure that Employees Know Your Organization’s Core Values
If you learn how to engage your employees in training, you will also engage them in your company. Employee engagement is a key component of any company's success, and it has proven that companies with high employee engagement have better financial performance and higher customer satisfaction.
One effective way to increase employee engagement is for companies to make their core values a subject of training so that they are known to all employees. The mission, core values and vision of your company should be visible and spoken about during recruiting and hiring, made a priority topic during on boarding and talked about regularly on the floor.
Ensure that every single person in your company knows what your company stands for - its values and beliefs. If employees buy into what your business is about, are on board with what they have been hired to do and confidently understand the steps involved with doing their job correctly, workdays will flow much more seamlessly.
Employees who understand the bigger version of the business they work for, are more open to training and continued learning in their specific positions because they understand they why of what they are being asked to do. Transparency and information sharing builds overall engagement with staff at companies and supports retention.
With the cost of replacing an employee who leaves a company being estimated by Gallup as anywhere from 50 to 200% of their annually salary, employee retention is an important payoff from training that motivates by communicating core values.
2.0 Train From The Big Picture
Employees are empowered when they know how their roles fit into the company and how their actions affect other colleagues and processes. Without being shown the scope of the bigger picture they will not understand how precision in their performance affects overall outcomes.
The problem is that many employees are only instructed on the day-to-day tasks of their job. For this reason, they don't have a full understanding of how their role fits into the company as a whole. They believe their work is separate from the rest of the company and not realize what they impacts adjacent teams.
When there is lack of understanding of overall processes, altering or missing critical steps can be seen by employees as not a big deal. However, changes to procedures in a specific department can have huge organizational impacts on timelines and quality control for business overall. The results will be loss of productivity and profitability. There is also a significant risk to the company's public reputation and client confidence.
One of the best examples of how to engage your employees in training and bring them on board with their roles is to start from the top down and provide a big picture perspective of your organization. Take the time to explain how various departments and teams connect and impact each other.
3.0 Structure Training For Consistency and Required Skill-sets
An organizational training program should be engaging and interactive as it provides valuable skills and knowledge to the trainees. The program needs to be planned and intentionally structured. Use dedicated trainers so that complete information is given and required skill-sets are taught in alignment with the company’s culture and core values.
Unplanned out training with inconsistency in how training happens and who does it, will result in poor outcomes.Trainees may come away from training confused, frustrated and unsure of what to do. Selecting random staff to train others is never the best idea. Employees may be great at what they do, but not great at teaching other people. Other staff may be great with people, but not fully competent at all the steps in their position.
Training for consistency starts by educating the training personnel on standardized and repeatable procedures that have been determined by leadership, as essential skill-sets for employees to succeed in their positions.
Not all of the training may happen in house and on the floor. Some may be digital or sourced out, but the overall scope of a successful structured training program ensures that your employees are clear on what they need to do and how they need to do it when the training is complete.
4.0 Train and Assess Comprehension in At Least Three Ways
Employee training is a necessary part of any company. It is the process of teaching employees how to do their job and how to work effectively. Training should be based on the individual learning styles of employees. However, there are some general guidelines that can be followed for all types of employees.
There are three ways in which companies can train their employees: visual, hands-on, and written. Companies should make sure that they provide training in all three ways because not everyone learns in the same way. Employees should also be given an opportunity to assess their own performance and demonstrate their comprehension of what they have been trained on in these three ways.
Never convey information just once. Never accept a verbal yes as the answer when asking if a trainee understands. Never teaching skill sets in just one way. Learning takes time and people are multifaceted. They process information in complex ways, and in the beginning, when things are new, overwhelm is natural and important information is forgotten.
Have them tell you, have them write it, and if it is demonstrable, have them show you. By assessing their competency in these ways it will be clear where they need further improvement and areas they are likely to excel in.
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5.0 Make Learning Continuous in Your Organization
Continuous learning and ongoing training is a necessity for the modern workforce. Businesses need to train their employees to foster engagement as well as build skill sets. Continuous learning is a valuable tool to be recognized for its role in employee growth, retention and keeping the services in your organization current. Opportunities for new learning demonstrate to your staff that you care about skills and growth.
Better ways of doing things come into play and new information and practices need to be brought in to update your business. Review established processes and allow your employees to have a voice, participate in the change and learn new skills.
Even if changes to specific processes are not being implemented, making continuous learning and ongoing training part of your company culture is smart business. Employee education is never complete or ever a one and done. With time, even standardized procedures on the floor migrate if they are not reviewed and refreshed.
The bottom line benefits to your company of establishing a culture of continuous improvement and learning are always increased profits and higher productivity.
Training is one of the most important aspects of any business because it sets expectations and empowers employees to do their job correctly and consistently. It avoids confusion and frustration about not knowing what to do on the job, creates a better workday experience and promotes teamwork.
Quality training teaches about company structure, strategy and culture. Employees have clarity about the organization’s core values, vision and goals-as well as how their roles fit into the bigger picture.
The key to how to engage your employees in training is to create a program that is dynamic, multifaceted and engaging. Make it interesting and relevant to required skill sets so they want to be there and it speaks to their style of learning. Additionally, make training part of your daily workplace.
Structured, intentional training programs and a culture of continuous learning take time to build and are serious investments for businesses to make. However, the investment is returned through increased employee engagement among your staff, higher staff retention rates and the heightened efficiency and productivity that always translates to profit.