Hiring the most qualified people for a job is merely the beginning. No matter how knowledgable an employee is, there will be practices and subjects that they need training for.
Like it or not, staff training sessions have a reputation for being boring and unhelpful. How do you turn it around and more productive, engaging sessions? Start with these tips for your employee training plan.
1. Establish Your Goals and Your Audience
Before you start designing the program, you need to know two things: your goals and your audience.
What is the purpose of this training program? Is it a general onboarding program for new employees? Are you training existing employees on a new system or a particular subject?
Set a clear goal for what you want employees to be able to know or do after the training. You might need them to pass a quiz or demonstrate a particular skill.
Next, consider your audience. What background knowledge do they have? Going through basic information they already know is one of the fastest ways to lose your team to boredom.
2. Mix Up the Format
Not many people can sit and listen to a lecture-style program for hours on end without losing interest. Instead, jump between several formats during your training.
Spend some time with lecture-style training but mix it with activities, videos, worksheets, small group discussions, and more.
3. Incorporate Games
Who isn’t going to perk up when you bring in interactive training games?
You can use games to test employees’ knowledge or as a creative way to teach new information. You can use them to go through scenarios and train employees about how to handle them.
No matter what you choose, a game here and there will refocus your employees’ energy and keep them interested in the training.
4. Overestimate Your Time
As we noted early, a long stream of lecture-style speaking isn’t going to resonate well with your trainees. When you’re rushed for time, though, that’s the fastest way to get through all the information you need to cover.
The solution: give yourself plenty of time. Plan more time for the training than you expect to need so you have time to answer questions, add more activities, and address anything that arises. You can always end it early if necessary.
5. Make It a Work in Progress
No matter who you are, you won’t pull off the perfect training the first time around. There are always ways to improve, but only if you’re open to them.
After every time you hold a training session, survey your trainees. Give them an anonymous opportunity to say what they liked, what they didn’t like, and how it could’ve been better.
Look for patterns in that feedback and use it to adjust your future training sessions.
Making the Most of Your Employee Training Program
Whether you’re training team members on basic office procedures or on a particular subject, there are plenty of ways to make it interesting, engaging, and effective. The employee training program tips above are a start.
For more tips for running your business, check out more articles on our blog.