All companies that have a staff have some sort of employee training and development path they follow. For new employees, this is about familiarizing them with the company’s processes and protocols. Sometimes when new technology or new processes are introduced, training and development for current employees may also be needed. In any case, common pitfalls come from many different avenues.
Motivate the Employee
First and foremost, training and development can’t succeed if the employee is unmotivated for the training. Some employees have a natural inclination to learn, but most enjoy doing their job as they’ve always done and can have a difficult time with new training.
A good way to motivate is to offer rewards for milestones and accomplishments. Have a set goal that you would like each employee, or team of employees, to reach by set time. When they reach that goal, have a simple reward for them. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a token of appreciation.
Don’t Overwhelm the Employee During Training
Often when a company offers training and development for its employees, they present too much information at once. Some of the information may not even pertain directly to the instruction needed. This can exhaust the employee’s attention, which causes them to retain less information. It’s best to engage the employee during training and development. This doesn’t mean it must be a three-ring circus full of explosions every other minute, but the information must be relevant to their job. Relevant information keeps their attention and helps them retain what they’ve been taught.
Look through your materials and agenda to see if there is anything extraneous or unneeded for your training and development program. Break it down to essential components. If there is a lot of information to teach, consider separating the material into segments and teaching it at different points and times.
Be pointed with an objective
Training and development have one goal: to improve your company gains through skill improvement. But that’s a very broad scope. What do you want to improve? Is it to increase production? Is it to optimize efficiency? Is it to increase profits by reducing waste or preventing accidents? Be specific about what your company needs to accomplish. Set a final objective and research new methods on how to achieve it. Then create a training plan for your staff. When training and development is pointed at a goal, the chances of having extraneous material goes down because there is nothing to distract from that goal.
Do Follow–Ups on the Training
This is a very common mistake. You train your staff with a perfect agenda. It’s engaging, interactive, and they’re learning the new training well. So, you naturally assume everything is okay. But how do you know for sure?
Follow-up on training and development is one of the most important aspects to achieving your goal. Usually, with a new system or protocol, there will be questions for clarity. You should be able to answer any questions the employees may have. You can also request feedback to learn how well the program has been received. If there are concerns, ask how to improve it. Evaluating the process is one of the keys to its effectiveness and success.
These are four of the most common mistakes that business owners make when planning their training and development programs. No program will be 100% effective for all employees but you can significantly increase its success by following these guidelines.