The common training problem is that owner operators and managers do not set the training stage. Managers are a product of their environment and often are being asked to train under the constraints of small budgets and limited amount of time. Managers cannot try to squeeze in training between operations and expect the new-hire to have 100% retention.
It is the owner operator’s job to invest time, effort, and energy in promoting the importance of training. This can initially be a very difficult task but almost certain to make the manager’s job easier in the long run. The most important way of doing this is by monetizing the value of training. Try calculating the savings a trained employee can afford the company or qualifying the costs of a mistake of an undertrained employee. These figures are then easily comparable to the cost of the training and you will often find the hard figures do the talking for you.
START WITH A PLAN
When you start to build your training plan, consider what job duties you value the most. Make a list of the most fundamental skills. Collaborate with a great training company and ask for suggestions from your seasoned employees.
Decide what you want to accomplish with the training program, and how much time you will need to allocate for that to happen. Is becoming proficient in incremental sales a priority? Or should that be a skill addressed later on in a coaching environment? Do you want the initial training to take place in a classroom setting? Or would you prefer an online training course? Do you want to hire an outside training company or appoint a staff member with little or no training experience?
These are all questions you will have to answer when you map out your training program. For midsize companies, outsourcing training can be their best bet. In general, they cost 1/5 of what would cost you to have a training department.
Great outsourcing companies will give you expert advice not to bite off too much at once. Your initial training cannot teach everything employees need to know in just one sitting. That is why it is crucial to decide what skills they need to know to perform the job effectively, and what skills you would like them to master later.
Initially, stay focused on the most basic skills. Do not overwhelm the new hire. You can address additional skills and training later in follow-up training and coaching. Refresher courses are also helpful.
When selecting an outsource training company, select the one who has proven leaders as facilitators. The facilitators should be effective coaches. Look for skilled facilitators who can use real-life examples and practice experiential training to illustrate concepts being taught. Someone with an approachable personality will help foster an interactive learning experience and boost retention.
Make sure the training company of your choice includes a form of cross-training. New employees need to have a general understanding of the functions of other departments within your operation. Cross-training allows the employee to see the big picture. It promotes teamwork and communication among different departments. Cross-training also helps prevent conflicts between departments.
Coaching is a key factor when selecting a training company. It ensures that employees continue to learn new skills and apply those skills on the job. Coaching responsibilities might fall on the manager, but great training companies offer that value-added item.
The bottom line is that you need to build a training culture within your organization. Owners and managers need to walk the talk when it comes to training. Selecting a great training company will reduce turnover and enhance performance, both of which provide cost savings.
Train to win.