Small business employees who work well with others often are tasked with the job of employee training. While they are willing to help out, they may be unsure about the best ways to connect with employees and how to teach and train workers effectively. The good news is that accidental trainers don’t need to be professional teachers. Here are eight tips for success.
Develop a training plan
Accidental trainers need to know the training goals of the business owner or manager. They need guidance to develop training that will help support the growth of the business. Here are several questions to ask:
* What do they hope to accomplish with training?
* What topics do they want to be taught, such as business history, brand, mission, or information about customers and markets?
* Do employees in different positions require specific training?
* Does the business need training conducted to meet compliance regulations?
* What skills and knowledge do employees need to develop?
* Do owners and managers want to provide leadership skills?
Use the answers to develop a plan for employee training. Here are some tips that can help.
Understand how employees learn
Most employees have a mix of learning styles. Accidental trainers need to understand these differences, so they can create training modules that reach and connect with employees. Educational experts have identified seven learning styles:
* Visual – prefer pictures and images
* Aural – connect learning with sound and music
* Verbal – learn best through words, speech, and writing.
* Physical – use their body, hands, and sense of touch to cement learning
* Logical – use math, logic, and reasoning to understand the material
* Social – like to learn with groups of people
* Solitary – prefer to learn alone or through self-study
Determine a format for training
Employee training doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many free or inexpensive training tools available to develop training modules. Review this blog for tips.
Many small businesses have found success by using an online training software system. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a software system that is easy to use. Make sure the software company provides excellent customers service support.
The right online training software will simplify the process of creating interesting learning experiences for employees using PowerPoint, videos, audio stories, and pictures. Best of all, since training is online, employees can watch and rewatch the modules anytime, anywhere on any digital device.
Since there are many online training software options, review the choices to find one that best fits your business. Consider these ideas.
Accidental trainers don’t need to do all the training themselves. Involve co-workers in the company who enjoy interacting with others. Ask them to share their stories and experiences about the business, tips for success in selling products, suggestions for working with customers, and ideas for working effectively with other team members. Keep the discussion natural, with lots of smiles and laughter, so it’s authentic. Weave these stories into the training modules. Trainers will have less work, and employees will connect better with the training modules.
Keep learning short
Studies show that employees enjoy online learning experiences, but they don’t want to spend a lot of time watching training modules. Consider microlearning for modules, which are short, bite-size information on a specific topic. Keep in mind that it’s better to create a series of modules on different aspects of a topic than to create one long learning segment.
Create fun quizzes to check learning
Business owners and managers will want to know that employees learn from the training modules. With the right online training software, it’s simple to create fun and interesting quizzes that evaluate learning. You can even develop training tests to meet compliance regulations. The software will track the results that you can use to create a training report for owners and managers.
Employees appreciate recognition for their achievements and contributions to the business’ success.
Monitor employees’ training activities and acknowledge those who complete modules and who successfully apply their new knowledge and skills to make a difference. Create certificates or host a party to acknowledge employees’ achievements.
A bonus is that these special celebrations and recognition events will go a long ways toward keeping employees satisfied and engaged with their work!
Watch, refresh and relearn
As new training modules are created, or current materials updated, let employees know. Periodically throughout the year, remind employees to rewatch specific training topic to refresh their knowledge and skills. Ask employees for feedback on the modules and suggestions for other training topics.