Is your company planning to hire in 2022? If so, you already know that it’s going to be tough. You understand that the Great Resignation is still happening and the job market is tight.
Let’s pretend, however, that – lucky for you! – after you post the job, you end up with several strong candidates. You identify your top choice with the education, experience, and skills that most closely match your position. You make the offer and they accept. Now what happens?
Many small companies feel like they are “off the hook” on training when they hire a new employee with the listed skills for the position. They may not develop a specific training plan for the employee because they think the employee should already know what he or she is doing. Or, maybe the company is too busy getting the work done to take time for training: “We don’t have time to train – we need to get these orders filled!” Sound familiar?
Unfortunately, failing to train employees properly can lead to many unintended consequences: decreased quality of products or services, customer dissatisfaction, low productivity, and increased employee turnover.
The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” – Henry Ford
Henry Ford can be regarded as an authority on the subject of training. Ford famously implemented a process that no one had ever done before in the auto industry – the moving assembly line. Instead of the employees having to go to the work, the work came to them. This significantly decreased the time it took to manufacture a motor (from nine hours and fifty-four minutes to five hours and fifty-six minutes), as well as the cost of a Model T ($825 to $260). The employees at each station along the assembly line needed to be trained to accurately and efficiently perform their job. Otherwise, backups and mistakes would occur. If a part wasn’t assembled completely and correctly at point A, then it wouldn’t be ready at point B when the next employee needed to continue the process.
Although your company might not operate an assembly line, how one employee performs in relation to the others still matters. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So how can you create a successful training process?
5 Secrets to Level Up Your Training Process
1. Document Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Start by documenting the correct way to perform all routine processes and procedures within your company, often known as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). You might be surprised to find that by simply taking the time to think about them and write them down, you can improve the efficiency of certain processes. As Charles Cox notes, “Training requires consistency. We should not be training new employees based on our own idiosyncrasies.”
2. Create Checklists
In addition to SOPs, it is helpful to create checklists for your processes. A checklist ensures that nothing in a procedure is missed. A checklist can also include who is assigned to complete the task, or who may be assigned to train on the task, along with a date that it is completed.
According to research, preventable medical mistakes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. If checklists can prevent adverse patient outcomes and reduce medical mistakes in the healthcare industry, where decisions are a matter of “life and death,” wouldn’t they also be effective in your company as well?
3. Consider Different Learning Styles
Remember that not all employees learn the same way. Some will be auditory learners, some will be visual learners, some will be kinesthetic/tactile learners, and some will be reading/writing learners. Think about creating training videos to incorporate into your training plan. Videos can accommodate both visual and auditory learners. At MBS, using Loom to create training videos has worked pretty slick!
If other training will be “on-the-job,” make sure the employee being asked to train is properly trained in HOW to train. Consider incentivizing employees that are being asked to train. Could they be given a bonus for training, if the employee stays for x amount of time? Could you create a special recognition and appreciation program for them?
4. Utilize a Learning Management System
After your SOPs are documented, checklists are created, and videos are produced, consider putting all of your content into a Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS can verify that an employee has read or watched the content. You may also choose to setup knowledge checks on the content in the form of tests or quizzes. In addition, an LMS allows employees to go back and view any parts again to refresh on the material, if needed. We have found Trainual to be an excellent solution for our company.
5. Create a Training Plan
Each employee needs an individual training plan, which should include S.M.A.R.T objectives (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based). Regardless of the level of experience that an employee starts with, be sure to establish a base level of training that all new hires receive. Remember, you are not “off the hook” for training because an employee comes in with experience. Develop an average time in which training should be completed. Don’t forget, however, that different employees will learn at different speeds, so each training plan should be modified accordingly.
Creating a training program from scratch or improving your current training program will take time and commitment. Divide up the workload and assign employees to help with completing each of the 5 steps. We promise – improving your training program will be worth it in the long run.
If you need help, give us a call. We can help assess your current training program, write SOPs, create checklists, develop training videos, and more!