Updated: Dec 8, 2022
Congratulations! Your company received its largest order to date-- 750,000 widgets! To accommodate the order, you hired three new machine operators to speed up production. You put them right to work, but now the machinery is jamming up, the employees are confused, and the widgets are coming out purple when they should be orange. To make matters worse, employees are frustrated with the mass of confusion, and are talking about walking off the job. Talk about a hotbed of frustration! Oh boy. Nothing turns up the heat like an employee or employees who aren’t prepared for the task at hand, especially when it’s crunch time.
Training isn’t a time-consuming nuisance, and it can’t be overlooked even if you’ve hired experienced employees. Every worksite, every piece of equipment, every employee, every organization is different. It’s well worth the time and effort, and it’s another important tool for keeping your cool.
What does good training do? Good training shows your employees that you value them and that you are serious about your organization’s work. It gives them the tools and resources to do their job well, to grow and excel, and, most of all, it empowers your team members to be their very best!
So what does good training look like?
Thorough. Of course, good training will include step-by-step instructions for various tasks involved in the job and for correct use of equipment. But make sure it also includes some “insider info,” like who are the players in the organization? What’s the corporate culture like? Preferred method(s) of communication? Emergency procedures? Where’s the bathroom? The breakroom? Do people typically pack their lunch and eat on site, or do they order pizza together on Fridays? Even the best employees aren’t mind readers.
Inclusive. Training should be provided at all levels of the organization. Managers need to understand what is expected of their team, as well as their own role. Even C-levels have things to learn, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a basic understanding of what their employees are doing either. And EVERYONE should have sexual harassment training, for example.
Multi-faceted. Hands on--definitely! In a group? Yep. Written--of course! Oral? Video? On-line? Study groups? Make it a game! Do a simulation! We’ve all heard about different types of learners. Yes, hands-on training is absolutely essential, but make sure to provide some other methods of learning along with it. And anything you can do to make it fun, interesting, or novel will also make it more meaningful and memorable.
Planned & Consistent. What I’m getting at here is basically this-– don’t just wing it! A training plan will help ensure that training is thorough and consistent, regardless of who runs the training. Developing a training program and supporting documents will definitely help you keep your cool!
Current. Review and update your training materials periodically. Enough said.
Reinforced. Don’t expect your team members to soak it all in and become instant experts just because they’ve gone through training. They’re human; we’re all human. Provide take-away materials (written, electronic, or both). Make sure they know at least two people who are available and knowledgeable enough to answer their questions.
A trained workforce is an empowered team. Good training reinforces the idea of your shared mission and provides the tools for each member to do his or her part. And that is just one more way to keep your cool!
The LMC Group provides HR Services ranging from hiring and training to compensation and compliance.