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Published on December 18th, 2013 | by Anica O

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Lay Your Foundation: 5 Standards For Training Employees

Training your employees is the groundwork for any organization. To optimize this learning period, you should have specific, position-based, and repeatable training. You want the material to directly apply to their day-to-day activities so they have concrete examples and instructions for what is expected of them. (Providing a broader picture of the process is also important, but don’t skimp on their actual duties.) Here are five standards for providing that individualized training.

Engaging Training Will Stimulate Learning

Training personnel at any organization are always looking for ways to make the curriculum they offer more palatable for their trainees and make the training more meaningful. To do so, it is important that you find ways to “hook” trainees from the beginning. Most employees have been through several different trainings and have a natural negative reaction. They often see this as “a waste of their time” or another boring training. Instructors naturally want find ways to combat those natural feelings and to surprise and excite their audience.

Some instructors are able to do this through their personality and energy alone, but you may want to instate some fun exercises into the program. Consider group training with mini competitions to break up the day. Keep an eye on how long lectures take, and integrate exercises throughout the day where they can actually practice the duties. These types of activities encourage active instead of passive learning.

Just Like Fishing, You Need the Right Bait

Personalizing the training material is a sure way to get them interested in the class and in what they are about to learn. For example, if the training booklet has their job specific tasks broken down and the focus of the training is based on the same equipment or subject that they are using, then they are going to pay attention to what the material has to say, and what the instructor has to say will resonate more directly to each trainee. “Canned” training is hit and miss and can make the employee feel like it’s a generic subject that anyone can cover. Personalizing the training makes the trainees feel special and that the trainer took the time to research the material and train them specifically.

Camaraderie as You Train

The most loyal, committed workers are generally the most productive, and surely the most enjoyable to be around. Therefore, it is important to build a sense of community and synthesis as you bring new workers into the fold. Introductions are a must, as are group-building activities, whether it’s a training competition, a work lunch, or a Friday night barbeque. Trainers should also be warm, inviting, and helpful. If a person’s first experience with a company is cold, hostile, or uninviting, chances are they won’t be as invested or may even move on.

Use Professional, Personalized Training Material

It’s important to find companies that produce training material that looks professional, while including all your important curriculum, and will work with you to make sure what you get is what you want. Personalized training material can be tough to organize and process. You can try to do this yourself if your group is small, you can go to a local copy center, or you can employ a company like Star Direct Marketing that prints professionally and will help you customize your training material.

Though more known for direct mail ads, Star Direct Marketing can also create brochures and training manuals. Companies like them can help you with design whereas other printers usually just use what you give them. In the end, it’s the training material that will accompany the trainee into the work place: it is what they will reference when they need to refresh their memories about what was covered in the class. Whether you use a company or do it yourself, having professional, personalized, job-specific training material is important for a smooth transition into a job.

What’s the Reason We Train?

Ask yourself, what is the goal of training people? The answer should be to make them better, safer, and more efficient workers. Some companies train employees because it is mandated. These companies will most likely use the “canned” training and it will show in the way their workers perform and in the incidents employees have. These companies don’t necessarily care about their employees: they are just going through the motions of training and not really meeting any expectation of what training should look like.

Companies should train their employees because they want the best, most experienced work force in the market. Developing directed, job-specific, engaging, and inviting training programs will lay the foundation for a stable and expandable business.

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About the Author

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


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