Training employees looks different for different employers based on their specific business goals. Still, it can be stressful for everyone involved—no matter the industry—if not done correctly.
Even the most qualified candidates can take months to learn the ins and outs of the role, and that’s okay. It takes time for new employees to be fully comfortable in their position. It’s for this reason that it’s so important to reduce staff turnover and make the most of your employee training and development program.
It’s also important to maintain an effective training program for existing employees—especially in our quickly changing society. Did you make any changes to your operations or products due to the coronavirus pandemic? You’ll need to get your entire team up to speed and comfortable with the new information as quickly and effectively as possible.
Looking for ways to improve and adapt your workplace learning strategy? Here are a few helpful tips on how to implement an effective employee training method that will motivate your team to set themselves up for success.
1. Use online employee training programs
If we’ve learned anything in the recent months, it’s that if something can be done online, there should be a strategy in place to do so. An online learning training plan can not only be extremely beneficial to a new staff member’s learning and development, but also to train existing employees on new policies.
There are plenty of customizable job training programs (also known as learning management systems) online of which you should take advantage. Here are a few options:
- Talent LMS: With this tool you can customize training content, organize files, conduct tests, and even take surveys.
- EdCast: EdCast is considered a “learning experience” platform that blends learning and communication by allowing managers and employees to share information throughout your organization.
- SAP Litmos: You can use SAP Litmos to automate your training operations, use effective gamification tactics, and create customizable learning paths.
2. Implement a mentor training program
What better way to inspire team building than to let an existing employee teach the ropes to your newbies? New employees may find it easier to grasp the information if they’re learning it directly from someone who does the work on a daily basis.
Assign each new team member a mentor or “buddy” and have them spend a few shifts together. This not only supports employee growth but also gives the new employee a chance to ask all the questions he or she may have felt uncomfortable asking a manager or business owner.
3. Break down employee training information into smaller pieces
As we mentioned earlier, even the best employees need a little time to fully understand the ins and outs of your business. Don’t overwhelm new hires by throwing everything at them at once—break down the big stuff into smaller, easy-to-consume pieces.
Assign employees a portion of the training content each week, and give them a weekly quiz based on what they learned. You can use one of the LMS platforms above or an easy quiz maker like this. Once you have the scores, you can assess how much each team member has retained so far and go from there.
4. Connect frequently
Make sure you’ve got an accurate pulse on where everyone is in terms of their learning process. Hold a group huddle before each shift to get a read on your team as a whole, but also schedule weekly one-on-one meetings during the training process to give each team member a chance to ask questions they might not otherwise have a chance to ask.
5. Conduct role-playing sessions
Role playing is more beneficial than any sort of instructor-led training, no matter your industry. It’s a great chance to pose unexpected customer questions your employees may face and helps them grow problem-solving skills needed for the job.
It also gives employees who prefer to learn from a hands-on perspective. Hold group or one-on-one role-play sessions with relevant scenarios like:
- A customer wants to return a product
- There is a long wait time for restaurant patrons
- Someone calls with a question about your COVID-19 policies
6. Appeal to different learning styles
Everyone learns in different ways. Make sure you’re creating a variety of materials and encouraging employees to choose the best path. If you have a fair amount of visual learners on your team, consider making a video using easy platforms like Adobe Spark or Typito.
The best way to figure out which learning style your employee prefers is to simply ask. Use the interview to ask so you can prepare ahead of time.
7. Recognize employee training milestones
It’s always a good idea to recognize a job well done. Set a few milestones as part of your program. These can include “three perfect scores in a row” or “new skill certification,” whatever you think is best. Call out employees who hit those milestones to the rest of your team to encourage others to do the same.
Recognition can be completed in the form of shoutouts in the Homebase app. You can give employees virtual badges based on what they did remarkably during a shift. In the case of milestone recognition, the “Above and Beyond” badge is perfect.
After you’ve implemented a few of these employee training strategies, ask your team for feedback. Did they like the process? What would they like to see improved upon for the next round of training? Use their insight to improve your tactics when training employees in the future.