Good Training = Success
When it comes to training in the workplace, many of us are all to familiar with the ‘learn as you go’ method, relying on exposure to situations and learning at the time or after. Countless organisations will put staff into the workforce in operation and expect them to learn through absorption. Assuming that seeing a competent staff member in action translates to good training. Unfortunately this almost never works. The shortcomings of the absorption method are vast, if your operation is very involved especially it does not give a learner to grasp concepts and measure the amount of learning that is happening.
The result of poor training is usually a lack of well rounded and capable staff. Eventually a team comes in for damage control and it is too late. Those who were under performing became very comfortable with their lack of training and doing things their way because (and haven’t we heard it a million times before) ‘nobody told me’.
At this point it would have been more cost effective to have provided good training to begin with when you are not getting results. Providing proper training not only is proven to be better for long term retention and performance, training is a MUST for GROWTH. Every business should have key team players preparing to maintain continuity if you wish to expand locations and adapt to the dynamics of the modern workforce.
Here are some tips for setting up an effective training program in your workplace:
Break it Down : Make it easy
One workplace that comes to mind where I was supervising had a checklist for training that had 3 components only. If I liken this checklist to a competent driver it read something like ‘knows how to drive and was given training on driving’. Tick, sign date, congratulations you’re competent. The problem is no gaps can be identified, documented and therefore properly training cant be offered.
There is a happy center in training where the checklist should include all necessary components without replicating an entire procedure manual. It needs to identify and effectively measure components that need training. Too much detail in a checklist might read as follows: ‘knows to come to a complete stop at stop sign by pushing on the break after checking rear view mirror, look left right and left, moves forward when safe to do so’. We don’t need to include all the knowledge components in a checklist. This would be an administration nightmare. A better implementation or would be ‘demonstrates the correct process in accordance to a stop sign’. We have considered the skill set and the learner demonstrates their understanding to the stimulus.
Competent staff does not mean competent trainer!
Often individuals are selected to train other team members because they perform well in their role. Training itself is a skill set, are they able to break down the skill set and empathize with a new team member, do they have the patience, organisational skills and understand the gravity of the training process? Do they have the time to take on the responsibility of training and their daily tasks? Are they actually representing the standard you set? Training is available on coaching job skills, national units of competency in coaching and training are a good foundation for a training role within any organisation.
Procedure Manuals are not enough : make it fun.
The paper trail associated with training is extremely important, however having it on paper is not the only consideration. Training checklists, procedures, risk assessments and training logs can all look good, but what is behind them? Your team needs to demonstrate this example, the training process needs to be thorough, allow for mistakes, consultation and different learner modes and most of all engage! There is a school of thought that if you are not having fun you are not learning. How we feel affects the learning process. This also sets the tone for the workplace, training and induction ultimately gets your staff invested in your business and its goals.