Employee Training: Setting Up a Successful Program
Every employee, no matter how talented, will need some training upon joining your business. It’s in your best interest to set up a training program that will ensure everyone receives the instruction they need to start off well.
You should have a good employee training system in place to keep everything running smoothly with new hires and transfers. One of the biggest issues faced in companies with new employees coming in on a regular basis is a lack of set training steps to follow. It’s easy to miss a vital step when things aren’t written out, so plan ahead and make sure you have a training program before you start to add to your staff.
Put Someone in Charge
There should always be one person in charge of overseeing training. The supervisor should be someone who works well with people and has preferably been working for you for a while. She should fully understand the business and be confident in her ability to teach someone else how everything works. Even if you have a different trainer for each section of the business, one person should be in charge of overseeing the others.
Have one person in charge to ensure that your newest employees don’t miss out on anything. They will all be taught the same way and with the same program, resulting in faster training overall.
Design Your Training Program
You will need a specific training program to follow for each section of your business. Have it written down so you know that each employee is receiving the same training, eliminating the need to go back and fill in gaps on a regular basis.
A good employee training program will be as simple as possible without cutting the amount of time required to really understand everything. Keep in mind that some employees will grasp certain concepts faster than others and keep your timelines somewhat flexible because of this. You should also consider this when hiring someone. Check their history and abilities to see just how much training will be required. They may already possess the skills necessary for many of the processes.
First, you will need to decide what each employee needs to know. If you have several different areas of your business, each one will require a separate training program, but you will likely have an orientation day where everyone learns the same things. This might include:
- Goals and purposes of the business
- Location of everything within the workplace
- Introductions to key managers and co-workers
Make a list of skills the employee will need in order to be successful in his area of the business. Brainstorm with your best managers, since it can be easy to miss something, though remember that it’s possible to add in more details at a later date, once the training program is underway. Someone who is handling customer phone calls and product returns will require different skills from someone who is actually creating the product, for example. If you will have the employee moving between sections, allow for time to really grasp one area before moving on to the next.
Anyone involved in the training program needs to have access to the full list of skills required for their section. This should be printed out and kept in a visible location. These skills can be marked down as they are completed in the employee’s training chart.
Create an Employee Training Chart
Track each new employee’s progress with a training chart that can be included in his personnel file. This should include the date he was hired and each area he was trained in. Have the person who did the training sign off as each section is completed. You can then look back and see at a glance who taught what and let them know if anything was left out.
To build your own employee training chart, follow these steps:
- Create a spreadsheet in Excel or another spreadsheet creation program.
- Include a row for each training program.
- Include a column for the date each section was completed and a signature from the person training the employee.
- Include an extra column for any notes, such as when an employee has difficulty with a specific task.
Keep the chart on file and print it out whenever a new employee is hired. It’s a quick and easy way to ensure that the new hire has been trained correctly and to track exactly where each person is in his training process.
Once you have your employee training program set up, it will be a very simple process to train each person hired in the future. They will follow a set process, depending on where they will be working in the end, with each trainer signing off on their section once the trainee has been properly briefed and taught the necessary skills. It not only saves a lot of time, you will also be able to count on a well trained employee, confident in his abilities, at the end of the training period.