Training employees as a group may be a convenient method for small business owners and trainers. But is it the best learning experience for employees? Usually, not, experts say.
Employees today want to be coached and trained, but they want personalized learning experiences that fit their needs. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Create personalized training paths – As a small business owner or trainer, you have knowledge and skills you need employees to have. But employees also have ideas of things they’d like to know about or skills they’d like to develop. That’s why it makes sense to create learning paths for employees.
First, you need to survey employees to know in what areas they want to grow and develop. Then you need to develop training modules to help them expand their learning.
2. Use online training software – By using online training software, it is simple to design personalized training modules for employees. You can create individual training topic options for employees.
Business owners and trainers can track workers’ progress in completing modules and create fun quizzes to verify what they’ve learned. You can track their progress and develop recognition programs to celebrate their accomplishments. And you can add these accomplishments to workers’ personnel files so you can recognize their efforts. It will also help you monitor when employees are ready for new responsibilities.
3. Develop training for different learning adventures – Employees learn differently, so it’s important to create training modules that fit their needs. Here is a list of seven learning styles and the techniques for each:
- Visual (spatial) – pictures, images
- Aural (auditory/musical) – sound, music
- Verbal (linguistic) – speaking/hearing words
- Physical (kinesthetic) – need a combination of body, hands, and touch
- Logical (mathematics) – logic, reasoning
- Social (interpersonal) – group learning experiences
- Solitary (intrapersonal) – individual or self-study
Most employees learn through a combination of these styles. When designing content, weave techniques from these styles into the modules. You’ll help employees better understand and remember the material.
4. Make learning interesting – As a small business owner, your time is stretched. It seems that you’re always behind on something. So, when it comes to developing employee training, you may be tempted to put words in bullet points in a PowerPoint presentation, add a little color, include in a few photos, and check “create employee training” off your to-do list. But, will the training engage employees? Probably not.
Instead, develop creative training modules that capture employees’ interest, using audio, videos, brand colors, graphs, charts, and interesting photos. Also, include stories to tap into employees’ emotions and passions. Employees will be more excited and willing to spend time with the training modules.
5. Give employees control – Employees like to be in control of their learning experiences. By using online training, you can show employees learning pathways they can choose to grow and develop. And because learning is done online, workers can choose to learn anytime, anywhere, with any digital device, and in the privacy of their own space. (Many employees dislike group learning because they’re afraid co-workers will know that they don’t know something.)
Another way to give employees control of their learning is to encourage them to share what they learn. As workers master topics, they can reinforce what they learn by teaching it to others. Most employees like opportunities to show off a little and share their learning experiences with others.