A well-trained employee does not just happen. Detailed, written training programs are one of the processes that run your company. The training process guarantees that every employee in a given position is trained the same way every time, creating consistency in both quality and productivity. If you have managers who do the training, they must be trained in how to use the training procedures you develop, as well as how to carry out their work with encouraging language.
The goal of every successful training program is to build success in small steps. Every time a new hire receives recognition and encouragement for his or her new accomplishments, confidence and self-esteem will grow. Increasing a new employee’s confidence and self-esteem creates an environment where he or she can do great things.
The following 6 steps will give you the basics from which to develop effective training procedures and create successful outcomes with every new employee.
Step #1 –Educate me. Before training a new employee in the functions of his or her position, it is important to accomplish two objectives. The first is to communicate information about the expectations and outcomes for the position. Second, educate the new employee how these outcomes affect the company’s financial health. How can an employee possibly understand his or her financial relevance and importance to the company without this basic knowledge?
Step#2 – Tell me. Any demonstration of the steps of the job will be much more effective if it is preceded by a thorough, step by step explanation. So, this second step of the training includes explaining the aspects of the job, including the tools involved, how the tools are used, how the job should be completed, and how the customer benefits from the job being done properly.
Step #3 – Show me. A quality demonstration paints an accurate picture in the employee’s mind of what their new job entails. To demonstrate the job effectively, the person doing the training needs to break the job down into pieces and demonstrate each one carefully. To increase the employee’s retention, the step by step demonstration needs to be accompanied by an explanation of WHY each step of the job is being done a certain way.
#4 Watch me. Now it is time for the trainee to actually do the job. Doing is the best learning method. Likewise, it’s the best measurement of retention, and the trainer needs to observe the employee putting their new education into practice. It is important to encourage the employee with positive reinforcement, and provide constructive feedback for actions that need to be improved.
#5 Encourage me. Your overriding goal is to develop confidence and self-esteem. During this step it is important to let the employee practice on his or her own without management supervision. The employee should be instructed to use this time to focus on delivering outcomes. During this step the trainer should periodically verify the employee’s outcomes, and at those times, give encouraging corrective recommendations until the outcomes are acceptable.
#6 – Empower me. Once the new hire has mastered the training, it becomes important for management to focus on outcomes – not the specific steps. The goal is to empower the employee by letting them use personal creativity to discover their own best way to deliver outcomes. Since the employee does their job every day, they are in the best position to find new, productive ways to do their job.
When a company has developed successful training processes, employees are more likely to flourish at delivering the outcomes necessary for the company to thrive financially. I encourage you to read the Great Game of Business, by Jack Stack. The book argues that in order to expect bottom line productivity, you must educate employees on how the products and services are sold, and what customers expect. You must teach what actions and outcomes need to take place to grow the company’s bottom line, all while empowering the employee to find his own best way.
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