Many businesses find it easier to provide coffee for employees than to develop training programs, a talent magazine reported several years ago. Historically, when new employees joined a small business, they worked alongside senior team members to learn job responsibilities. But today nearly half of younger employees won’t accept a new job unless the business provides continuous training programs and professional growth opportunities.
Employee training doesn’t have to break the (coffee) budget or take a lot of time to set up. The following tips can help trainers and business owners design effective training programs.
Connect business goals with employee training
Training experts report that thoroughly trained employees can help businesses meet their goals and enjoy higher profits. The best way to provide great training that supports the business is by creating a training strategy. Here are a few ideas to consider:
• Make a list of the abilities and talents employees currently possess.
• Identify new skills and knowledge employees need to acquire.
• List specific topics that employees need to learn or review to refresh their knowledge, such as for seasonal sales or customer connection points.
• Develop a step-by-step plan for teaching and coaching employees. It may be helpful to review the list with senior employees or business partners to ensure all points are included and the information is clear.
• Gather the materials, tools, and resources needed to help employees acquire new skills and knowledge.
• Consider the strengths of senior employees. Do any workers naturally connect with other employees? Ask these team members to help create training modules. It’s a great way to recognize their work, and they’ll feel honored that their expertise is appreciated.
Review training options
Some small businesses create an employee handbook using typed text, PowerPoint decks, and photos. But other businesses have found it easier to use an online training software system, such as Traineaze. With this system, it’s simple to create training modules to coach and teach employees. Review tips on finding the right online training software.
Studies show that workers prefer online training because they can watch segments on any digital device from any location or at any time. For example, if they have a few minutes between sales calls or while waiting for a meeting to start, they can click on a training module and develop expertise on a topic. And they can watch the training session many times to refresh their knowledge.
Business owners, managers or employee trainers can upload PowerPoint presentations into the software and quickly add in videos, audio, photos, and graphs to capture attention and help employees remember the information. Once the modules are set up, employees can use the training immediately. (And it’s easy to update modules to keep information current.)
Employee engagement with the training modules improves if the material is set up as microlearning segments. With microlearning, businesses can target training for specific tasks or responsibilities. Each module covers one training topic, providing all the key points within 10 minutes or less.
Business owners want to know whether employees are watching training modules and understanding the material, so they can put it to use. The right online employee training system maintains a list of the modules employees complete. And simple quizzes can be set up to check their progress. These records can be used to meet compliance regulations or for employee records for performance reviews.
Employees want to know that they are making a difference at work. Periodically throughout the year, take time to recognize employees for participating in employee training programs by hosting a coffee break celebration. Recognize training accomplishments. Share stories on how employee training made a difference for the business, such as a smooth introduction of a new product, stories from customers, and increases in sales. These celebrations also help reinforce with employees the value of their training programs.