This is the first article in a series on creating a training program in your business.
The biggest problem in today’s businesses is that new employees, business partners, and contractors are not trained. The reason the majority of small businesses give is that they don’t have enough time needed to create the training program. The amount of money wasted on inefficient employees and mistakes made because they weren’t trained outweighs the cost of the time to create a training program. Below are seven steps to create the perfect training program.
Step 1: Assessing Your Training Needs
Before creating your training program, take a moment and write down from most important to least important the things that they need to know how to do. Do they need to be taught how to dial a phone or how to operate the cash register? For example a secretary needs to know how to answer the phone whereas a cashier needs to know how to operate the register. The most important things that your employees should be trained on are the things that make you money.
Step 2: Training Goals That Are Measurable
Everything we do in business should be measurable and training is no different. Make sure you have a way to measure your training program. For example they should be able to operate the register after 6 hours of training and have basic knowledge of produce codes. These goals can be measured by having a test at the end of the training and observing the cashiers while preforming their duties. Just like we measure sales of a certain product or service we remove them if it is not working or try a different method this is especially used in step six where we evaluate the program.
Step 3: Designing The Materials
Before you start creating the content of the training program, figure out how you want to present the materials and who you are teaching. Can the information be conveyed through videos, a powerpoint or just by the demonstration technique. Simple tasks such as stocking shelves can be taught through demonstration, whereas a scheduler for an airline is taught using powerpoint, videos, lectures and is given printed materials they can refer back too after training.
Step 4: Developing The Program
This can be an outline that an instructor uses, powerpoint, videos, and hands on materials that the employees can refer to during the training and after. Try to keep all of your materials along the same line if you give an outline for the majority of the training you should do it for the entire program, and one vital material you should provide is a review guide with top points they learned that day or session. All of these materials should be made available to the employees so they can review it as they need to.
Step 5: Implementation
When bringing a training program into a business for the first time, implementation can be the most difficult step. This step includes tracking, selecting mentors or observers and finally training current employees. Many employees won’t want to be re-trained however, this is your chance to get honest feedback about things you may have missed and to ensure current employees are doing exactly what you want. Tracking employees can be accomplished using excel or in their personnel files, by tracking if they did well in a certain session you could use them in the future to step peer mentoring or as the observer for new employees.
Step 6: Evaluation
How exactly are you going to ensure that your employees or team members actually learned what you are teaching and if your training program is effective? By creating a test, you can see exactly where you need to focus whereas creating an evaluating through observation allows to immediately correct a mistake. Both of these types of evaluations should be used in the improvement phase.
Step 7: Improvement
Just like any program or process in business, the training program should always be continuously improved. If your observers notice that the majority of people don’t understand how to do a certain task, then you should focus more on that task. If the employees aren’t doing well on the test, maybe you need to see if the way you are presenting the materials should be reviewed and improved. This step is never ending and you should always be modifying your program to better serve your business.
Training is often thought of as a pain and a waste of money,but training can save you money and help you make more money. Each of these steps is vital to having a great training program at your business and in the coming weeks I will expand on each step on my website www.corymclark.com
This article does not represent the views of my employer nor past employers. To read more by Cory Clark, visit www.corymclark.com