A lot of entrepreneurs have a problem with the concept of employee training, due to the fact that they see it as the state of minimal productivity and maximal investment (of time, effort and resources) in a new hire. The problem with this mindset lies in the fact that it is completely beside the point.
First of all, even if the employee has some experience within the industry, they need to adjust to your organization (your own way of doing things). Second, with the right training program, you can turn a promising recruit into a professional in a matter of weeks or months, instead of having to pay a fortune in order to bring industry veterans. As you can see, this is not an expense but an investment and here are six tips on how to get the most out of it.
1. Motivation is key
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that, as a small business, you won’t have the luxury of having a training team. This means that all you can do is provide your employees with some instructions, give them a reliable manual (or some other form of learning materials) and tell them who they should address if they have a problem. Other than this, you also need to put one person in charge of answering all of their questions. For all of this to work, you need to find people who have strong enough will and aren’t afraid to show some initiative. Intrinsic motivation is the key to professional success.
2. Show some trust
Another thing you need to understand is the fact that an untrained employee is always a liability. Putting them in charge of production or customer relations is quite dangerous, however, it’s something that you’ll have to deal with at one point, either way. What this means is that, at some point, you’ll have to show them some trust. Regardless of when this moment occurs, you’ll have to take a leap of fate. Just bear in mind that the sooner you let them do this, the better the end result will be.
3. Invest in a great HR
The most important thing that you have to understand is the fact that your success, when it comes to staff management, depends on efficient HR training and development. You see, your HR is in charge of hiring talent, which means that they can pick the most suitable candidates for your organization, thus already giving a boost to your organization. Second, your HR is directly in charge of training, as well as subsequent employee evaluation. This last part is important because it helps you figure out just how good your training practices actually are.
4. Put an emphasis on wellbeing
If you’re running a productivity-oriented organization and manage to implement the productivity-at-all-costs culture in your new hires, you’ll face a serious problem further down the line. First of all, they’ll create an image where you see them merely as production units (instead of human beings), which is quite demoralizing. Second, they’ll be under more stress and are more likely to make a mistake. By putting an emphasis on wellbeing, you’ll minimize the chance of error, injury or the likelihood that your staff members will burn out.
5. Encourage peer assistance
The problem with a traditional mentorship system lies in the fact that you, more or less, incapacitate an already trained employee by putting them in charge of someone else’s training. Now, seeing as how about 97 percent of Australian enterprises have less than 20 employees (often as little as 4 or 5), this can be quite a problem. Instead, try to encourage peer-assistance. This way, while your employees won’t be directly in charge of the professional development of their new colleagues, what they’ll do instead is provide assistance when it’s necessary and when it’s not too much of an inconvenience.
6. It’s a never-ending process
The very last thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that employee training is a never-ending process. First of all, there is always more to learn, even for your star employee. Second, there are new trends, platforms and devices getting published every single day and mastering these tools are quite demanding, on its own. This is why, seeing employee training as the initial stage is completely wrong, to begin with. Instead, try to encourage the mindset of continuous self-improvement.
In the end, your main goal is to make the training and transition process as quick, smooth and simple as possible. This would allow your training process to consistently deliver great results instead of occasionally scoring a success. Due to the fact that this is one of the most important functions in your enterprise, getting it in order is more than necessary and it might just be vital to your long-term success.
Lucas is a business consultant with a passion for writing. Doing his research, exploring and writing are his favorite things to do. Besides that, he loves playing his guitar, hiking and traveling.