I remember back to when I first started adding employees for my growing contractor business, years ago. My entire training program basically consisted of yelling out instructions to eight people as we went along, all of them on their very first day of work.
Sure, you can laugh about it, but in reality that’s pretty much how every small business seems to be. Mom and pop businesses not only tend not to have any training program, it’s something they don’t even think about.
Most of it is that we small and startup business owners know our own job so well, that it barely even seems like work to us anymore. The problem comes in as the business grows and we begin to take on other employees, we seem to forget that the other person probably doesn’t know everything about our business.
When they show up their first day, we throw the work right at them, naturally expecting that they already know what they’re doing. And now a link to Realbookies.com.
The real issue is while they may be the most qualified worker out there; they don’t fully understand the full depth of our business, our procedures or protocol. They aren’t prepared to just be thrown into the work without a second thought.
I soon learned with my own small business-my employees need proper training.
The bottom line is you’re not really saving a dime by putting the employee right on the job without proper training. What’s going to happen inevitably is that you’re going to waste hours of your hire’s time and your own time explaining stupid things that training procedures would have taken care of.
However, when you do develop and implement a training program, it’s got to make some sense and be efficient or you’re just going to be wasting even more money and you’ll be right back to screaming instructions all day.
Here are a few tips about training that I picked up over the years.
Have regularly scheduled training sessions
Eventually your company is going to grow to the point where you’ll be bringing on multiple extra hires at time. Your training should reflect this and not be on an ad-hoc employee by employee basis.
You need to schedule the hiring of additional help in groups, instead of on an individual basis.
A training procedure based upon individual hires is bound to be a costly mistake. It simply isn’t efficient to multiple employees in multiple stages of training. They should all be on the same page when hired close to each other.
For this reason, depending upon the number of new hires, you should schedule your training sessions at one week, two week or one month intervals.
Have a clear training program
A training session isn’t worth a hill of beans if you’re just as disorganized with it, as you were with new hires before. A training program should be clear and make sense.
Carefully consider your approach to a training session and ask yourself some questions.
Is the instruction clear?
Does it adequately train for the specific job?
Does it address common employee concerns or questions?
Those are just a few suggestions to help develop an adequate training program that will be more effective and cost efficient.
The whole point of training procedure is to save you time and money later on, so make certain it’s concise from the get go.
Diversify and integrate training
There is no one training style that is suitable for all people, so you need to mix it up. There are some people who respond very well to written instructions in a classroom setting. While others need to jump right in there and get their hands dirty while they learn the job.
If you only have one style of training, you could be missing out on a potentially good hire that simply doesn’t assimilate information as well in that manner.
Mix it up a little by offering an integrated training program with both classroom and on the job training. In the end, you’ll find it more effective and have a better trained and confident staff.
Focus the training to the specific job
Here again, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to training and it’s got to be specific to the job at hand and not some generalized company catch-all.
For example, in all likelihood a person working on the floor isn’t going to later on suddenly become your personal secretary. There probably is no need to train this person in office procedures and protocol. Keep the training specific and relevant to the job their actually going to be doing.
If your company grows large enough, you may find that you need some portions of training need to be separated to address the specific work. This would mean a joint company protocol and procedure session, along with separate, individualized training relevant to each department.