When you're interested in getting all that you need out of your company, you need to make training a fundamental and ongoing part of the process. Too many companies simply set it and forget it with training, treating it like a formality and failing to continuously give employees the information that they need to grow and thrive.
If you'd really like to get the most out of your company, take the time to use the points below.
#1: Constantly Train and Challenge the Brain
Aside from learning industry-specific skills, you need to make sure that your employees are always sharp and aware. This comes by training the mind to respond to challenges, think critically and find solutions under difficult situations. The more that you work to strengthen the minds of your employees, the easier it'll be to get more out of them.
For starters, you need your employees to gain the ability to quiet their mind and stop the neverending chatter that is apart of everyday life. To this end, few things are better for the brain and the human being as a whole, than meditation. Make sure that you're leading the charge by participating with them and constantly ramping up your own meditative practices.
There is a lot of science behind the benefits and beauty of meditation. For one, meditation helps your brain build and strengthen neural pathways. These pathways are basically instructions that teach you how to do something. For instance, in the process of learning to ride a bike, drive a car, speak a language or build something, you are continuously building neural pathways during the trial and error phase.
By adding meditation to your regular practice, you're enhancing your brain's ability to build these pathways, which helps you learn quicker and process information with more clarity.
Aside from these pathways, meditation helps you to clear your thoughts and not get rattled by every thought that flows through your brain. As a result, you will have a greater sense of calm and will be better able to go through your day without stress becoming problematic.
Thankfully, meditation is something that everyone can do everyday for completely free. It's simply a practice of sitting down, calming and focusing on your breathing and noticing your thoughts. When you feel yourself honing in on one particular thought, simply notices it and release it. From here, everything becomes more clear and you won't be as likely to get carried away by your thoughts.
Make meditation a staple in your company and aside private and comfortable meditation spaces if possible. You can also bring in a meditation coach to help lead the charge.
#2: Keep Them Abreast of Usable Skills
It's one thing to pay for arbitrary training in the name of making your employees better professionals, and it's another entirely to feed them thorough training that will make them much better as professionals.
For example, you can empower your employees with skills that will always be in demand, such as marketing, web design, coding, management, languages and more. By offering this training in-house, or sending your employees to a place that offer the training they are looking for, you will always know that you're building increasingly qualified professionals from the ground up.
When you instill a culture that training is available in abundance, your employees will continuously seek knowledge and you will have no problem pushing them to get the most from themselves.
#3: Hold Formal Training Periods That Are Useful and Productive
Aside from building skills from the outside, make sure that you are constantly holding meetings and workshops to train your employees on how to conduct themselves and contribute to the company's culture.
Formalize these meetings so that all of your professionals know why they're having training and what they will receive from it. Encourage them to take notes and also distribute audio and video from the meeting for everyone to watch back. The more that you offer this sort of training, the more on task you can expect all of your employees to be.
It's important that you also leave room for breaks in training and throughout the workday. We only have so much focus in any given period of time, so frequent breaks will actually help your professionals internalize the information as opposed to zoning out. By using the Pomodoro method, where you're on task for about 25 minutes, and then taking a 5-minute break, everyone will be productive and able to get the most from training.
#4: Lead From the Front at All Times
Regardless of where you work or what field you work in, leadership is a quality that resonates with everyone.
When you aren't 100% sure, you look to someone that can lead the way and make the objectives plain. By serving as this leader, you'll always be able to get the best from everyone involved. Rather than simply telling people what to do, however, make sure that you are leading by example and proving yourself to be the best employee possible.
The more work that you put into cultivating your own skills and honing your work ethic, the more it will rub off on your employees. They will see that you're on top of your game and bringing your best effort to work each day and will feel compelled to offer the same. Make sure that you show them that you are working smart, and not just hard, and always looking for ways to contribute and serve.
Anyone can crack the whip, but when your employees see that no task is beneath you, and you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, they will respect you for it and you can always expect their absolute best effort and performance.
Make accountability the name of the game in your workplace and it will become infectious.
When you use these suggestions as your staples, you never have to worry about how or if you will get the most from your employees. Never settle with the status quo -- instead, make training an ongoing and neverending process for as long as your company exists. Too many companies treat training like something that is done at the very beginning of employment, and then every so often or never again.
Instead, you'll get the most out of your workplace when training and continuing education is a fundamental part of the entire operation. Start with these strategies and use them to the best of your ability.
I'm a standup comedian and freelance writer based in Los Angeles, CA.