It is important for companies to develop a good training program to keep their staff motivated. Training may cover a wide range of reasons from new-hire training about your operation, to introducing a new concept to a workgroup to bringing in a new computer system.
Whatever the reason for conducting a training session, it is a must that a comprehensive, ongoing and consistent training program be developed in order to keep your staff motivated about learning new concepts and keeping your department profitable.
A formal new-hire training program, with an overview of the job expectations and performance skills needed to perform the job functions, is an essential part of a complete training program.
A new-hire training program provides essential knowledge and understanding of the position and how the position fits within the organizational structure. The new associate will better understand their impact on the organization if he or she has good background knowledge of how one workgroup interrelates with ancillary departments.
A good and reliable new-hire training program starts with the creation of a sound and comprehensive training manual. A manager or supervisor must keep the associate in mind while writing the training manual.
It is also important that it is interesting so the associate will actually read it. It is highly advisable to use graphics and to deviate from normal “corporate” language. In computer training, it is essential to incorporate a visual image of a computer screen to illustrate a function.
A good training manual must act as a building block of practical and technical skills needed to prepare the new individual for his or her position.
A manager or supervisor must ensure the department manuals are kept current in order for the department to understand current policies and procedures. It must also include any system enhancements and/or change in policy or procedure.
On the Job Training or OJT is another form of a new-hire training program wherein a potential associate trains directly next to an existing associate. OJTs allow the new associate to see first hand the different facets of the position.
Through an OJT, the new-hire will have the opportunity to develop a working relationship with an existing associate. Concepts learned in the initial training are reinforced through OJTs.
Continuing education is another aspect of a comprehensive training program. In fact, a good training program should make it an ongoing responsibility of the associate in a department. Continuing education will keep all staff members current about policies, procedures and the technology used in the department.
Studies have shown that associates will only retain approximately 40 percent of the information learned in the initial training session.
That’s why a continuing education program for a department is just as important as the new-hire training. A continuous effort, either formal or informal, must be placed on reminding the staff about various procedures and concepts.
Common practice on informing associates about the need for continuing education often includes a member of management sending a memo to each associate.
Another, more informal way is to send a one-page information sheet to staff. The information sheet, called a training alert, should be informative and presented in a non-threatening manner. If the policy or procedure changes, therefore, the informal approach would better prepare the department to receive this presentation.
With a new-hire and continuous education as part of your company’s training program, you could be sure that your associates will grow well in your company.
James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of TrainingWebs.com and writes expert articles about training.