The process of training employees effectively is something every employer should hold with the utmost importance and for obvious reasons.
Training is aimed at improving employees’ skills, performance, and productivity in your organization.
The goal is to have a workforce comprising high-performing individuals who are always at their best performance.
This would help them get better results for your business and better serve your customers.
It would also reduce the possibility of mistakes and errors by employees.
However, some employers or business owners do not see the importance of providing formal training for employees.
Many think that employees can and should learn the requirements of their work on the job.
Because of that, they hire employees and set them to work straight without adequate training.
On the other hand, some onboard employees well with formal training but do not enforce or implement the training practices.
The initial training given when they got the job is the only time they are given the opportunity.
However, it is essential to train employees before they start a job, but effective ongoing training is also essential.
Therefore, we would consider why it is important to train employees effectively and, of course, how to do this.
But first, what does it mean to train employees?
What Does it Mean to Train Employees?
Training in itself is the process of learning or developing in yourself or others relevant skills, knowledge, attitude, or behavior.
When used in the employees’ context, training aims to equip employees with the relevant skills or knowledge for a definite purpose.
This is an essential aspect of human resource development and employee management.
It can improve employees’ job knowledge, capabilities, abilities, capacity, performance, and productivity.
This training can be done during employees’ onboarding process to bring them up to speed with their job requirements.
It might also be directed towards helping the employees fully understand the organization’s policies and culture.
In addition to that, training for employees should also be a continuous process.
It could be used to improve the employees’ skills or help them to acquire new skills.
Sometimes, effective training for employees is also essential for maintaining their skills.
You might be familiar with the notion that when a skill is not exercised often, it is possible to lose it.
Above all, even if you have great skills, competency, and knowledge, regular training is still essential.
Reasons Warranting Effective Training of Employees
As a business owner or human resource personnel, you might be unsure whether your employees need training.
It could be that you have highly skilled and efficient employees.
You might also have employees with good qualifications and also years of experience in the industry.
As such, you might feel that those employees do not need training.
However, regardless of your employees’ skillset, skill level, or qualifications, training is needed.
Certain circumstances necessitate providing training for your employees.
Some of these are:
Newly Hired Employees
You might need to train employees if you just newly hired them in your organization.
This is part of the onboarding process for employees.
Whether or not the employees are familiar with the industry, you still need to give them proper orientation.
This is because your organization’s processes, systems, and policies are unfamiliar.
It could be that you have a different way or method of carrying out job duties, and they need to learn that.
They are therefore going to be more productive in just a short period and make fewer mistakes.
Aligning Employees’ Specifications/Qualifications with the Job Requirements
At times, the employees you hire are qualified and have the needed skills.
However, they are not just suitable for the job.
Take, for example; you hired an employee who is a skilled graphics designer but specified in the use of particular software.
The job might require the use of different software for the company’s graphic needs for certain reasons.
You’ll have to train such employees to match their specifications with the job requirements in this situation.
The requirements necessitating employees’ training might also be that of the organization and not just the job.
An employee might have previous work experience or skills but just not suited for the organization’s system and structure.
Instead of firing such employees and looking for a replacement, the best option would be to offer training.
Change in Job Role/Position
Another reason warranting training for employees is when there is a change in their job role, assignment, or position.
Sometimes, you might have to transfer employees from one department to another.
This transfer might result from employee turnover, creating a void to be filled in a particular department.
Hence, there is a need to train such an employee for the new role.
In a similar vein, your employees might also receive a promotion to a higher level in the organization.
Since this is a step up from what they are used to and will have added responsibilities, they need to be trained.
When this is done, you are putting them in a position to fit in seamlessly and meet up with set expectations.
A Change in Organizational Structure
A change in structure in your business or organization might also warrant training for employees.
Like it’s often said, the only constant thing is change.
While running a business, you might see the need to introduce new technologies, new resources, tools, or even change the process of work.
This might be necessitated to improve job performance, productivity, and job efficiency for employees.
A change in structure or system like this calls for adequate and effective training for the employees.
Introduction of New Products, Services, or Features
Oftentimes, you might see the need in your organization to introduce some new products or services.
It could also be that you decided to develop some new features for pre-existing products or services.
Your customers will need help and support on using these new features, and employees are tasked with providing this support.
Hence, they need to be the first to understand the whole details about the newly introduced features.
Once this is done, they would be better positioned also to provide orientation to employees on these.
A Need for Performance Improvement
As a standard and organized company, you should have a system that measures employees’ performance.
Sometimes, the metrics and appraisals show a clear need for improvement in an employee’s particular area or skill.
This might be impeding work productivity and the growth of both employees and the organization at large.
In such situations, there is a need to train the affected employees to improve their performance levels.
Once the problem area has been identified, formal training sessions can be organized to discuss and provide solutions.
Improvement of Employees’ Skills and Knowledge
Sometimes, training employees might be to help them improve a certain skill or provide knowledge in an area or field.
There could be areas you want your employees to acquire knowledge of, such as safety, work culture, customers service e.t.c.
They can be trained in these areas to gain the needed knowledge.
It might also be that there have been changes in your business industry, and you need your employees to be up to speed.
Regardless of your employees’ skillset and skill level, there really can’t be ‘too much’ training to help them improve this.
There is always room to get better, and you can fill that room by effective training of employees.
Importance of Training Employees Effectively
Providing effective training for employees is very important, and it offers a whole lot of benefits.
Sometimes, employers neglect this responsibility because of the cost of investment and the time it takes.
However, the benefits of training for the employees and your organization, both in the short-term and long-term, make any investment worth it.
Here are some of the benefits that come with offering regular formal training for employees:
It Improves Employees’ Productivity and Performance
When you train employees, it helps them improve their level of performance.
By this, employees understand their job clearly, know what the targets are, and are fully equipped to meet those targets.
This is because training gives them the required skills, tools, and knowledge to carry out their responsibilities efficiently.
It Reduces the Rate of Employee Turnover
Another benefit that comes from providing employees with effective training is that it reduces the rate of turnover.
It does this in making employees more efficient in their work duties, hence limiting the chances of turnover that results from letting employees go.
Many business owners fire employees due to low level of performance, and this is what training help to address.
Such growth would contribute to employees feeling valued and, as such, also help reduce voluntary turnover.
It Increases Employee Empowerment; Reduced Supervision
Do you sometimes get frustrated with the need always to provide supervision for your employees before they get things done?
It might be that this micromanagement is taking a lot of your time and energy and affecting your productivity as an employer or manager.
Well, you can reduce the pressure on yourself by empowering employees and giving them more responsibilities.
Effective training would equip your employees to take on additional roles, get better at their work, and reduce the need for supervision.
It Increases Employees’ Morale and Job Satisfaction
One other advantage of providing training for employees is that it shows them how valuable they are to the organization.
Some of these training are cost-intensive, and when you offer employees this opportunity, it shows them that you are interested in their growth.
All these can increase the morale of employees and make them attain job satisfaction faster.
Employees Make Fewer Mistakes
Employees that are not effectively trained are prone to making mistakes and errors in the workplace.
Some of these mistakes can be very costly in terms of the time it takes to fix them or even the cost of fixing such mistakes.
However, with proper training, your employees can be better positioned to carry out daily activities with minimal errors.
Decrease in Recruitment Costs
Many organizations refuse to train employees to look outside when they need to replace a senior-level position in the firm.
This is because they do not have employees who are adequately qualified to leap into the role.
The cost of such recruitments and eventual onboarding is usually on the very high side.
However, when you train employees regularly, you increase your chances of hiring from within.
This is because those employees in lower positions are already equipped with the needed knowledge and skills to take the vacant position.
Also, they are already familiar with the system and policies in the organization, so onboarding is easier and less costly.
Increase in Customer Retention and Satisfaction
With effective training, employees are empowered with the needed expertise to handle customers and solve their queries.
When this is done, the customers are happy with the company, and they are more likely to continue patronage.
This would hence reduce your loss of customers and increase your customer retention rate instead.
It Helps in Risk Management
When it comes to risk management, especially bothering health and work hazards, training employees is essential to achieve this.
Sometimes, the training given to your employees might be on health and safety within the office environment.
This would help the employees understand what measures to take to stay safe while at work.
Thus helping you in risk management.
It Helps to Increase Innovation and Creativity
Training employees is aimed at improving their skills, knowledge, and expertise.
This, in turn, can help widen the scope of your employees and put them in a better position to be innovative and creative.
Employees that undergo frequent effective training are always likely to see areas for improvements and opportunities in the business.
It might even be during those training sessions that they see creative areas for innovative endeavors for your company.
It Increases your Brand Reputation
If your organization has a good structure for regular and effective training of employees, you’ll become one of the most sought-after organizations for potential employees.
Thereby making your organization attract some of the best talents in your industry.
Types of Effective Training Methods You Can Give to Employees
Depending on the objective(s), there are different types of training that an organization can give to employees.
Some of the most popular ones are:
This is the training usually given to newly recruited employees.
The training covers many areas, including the company’s policies, work functions, job processes, the company’s structure e.t.c.
By training recruits this way, you can help these employees get familiar with the organization’s internal structure.
And it would also help them receive the right orientation to begin their job in earnest.
This type of training method involves using the best employees or senior employees to train new ones or less experienced ones.
These experienced ones serve as coaches or mentors for the ones they are assigned to.
Likewise, the trainees might be recruits or old-time employees that need improvements in some areas of their jobs.
With a mentorship program, your employees can grow/develop and forge a good relationship with their mentors.
It’s a way to offer training while taking the full responsibility off the business owner’s shoulders.
In-House Instructor-Led Training
This is the training held in the office environment in a classroom and anchored by an instructor.
This provides a hands-on experience whereby the employees can interact with the instructor and ask necessary questions.
You can find this training very effective when teaching complex information and knowledge to your employees.
This is the training that your employees get while carrying out the responsibilities that come with their jobs.
That means that once you recruit or hire employees, they are working right away and learning the practical skills needed with the job.
To make this very effective, you might also have the employees shadow an experienced staff.
They can work and still learn from watching how the experienced employee carries out the job duties.
Organizations who have time constraints might decide to deploy this type of training method, while of course, putting the skill level and expertise of the employees into consideration.
Online Training or eLearning
This type of training involves providing online resources for employees to gain information, knowledge, or skills.
It often involves the use of online videos and courses.
This type of training is easy to implement, as employees can access the information at any time and anywhere.
If you are also running a large organization with many employees, you might find this type of training very beneficial.
Your employees would also appreciate this training method as it gives them a reference point later, should they need to refresh their memories.
Cross-training is the process of giving employees training on other jobs outside their primary role or assignment.
This might involve sending employees to work in other departments and gain experience there.
It can help your employees get better at their own jobs while also giving them additional skills in other areas.
This would benefit if there is a need to fill a position in a separate department quickly and someone from another department has to do it.
It also helps your employees better understand their colleagues’ jobs and maintain the right expectations of them.
Brainstorming Sessions or Group Discussions
Group discussions are yet another form of effective training that you can give to your employees.
This might come in handy when there is a performance problem or a challenging situation with customers in the organization.
It offers a platform for collaboration, and putting ideas together can be a way to train everyone in getting the solutions.
Simulations involve creating an actual work scenario, possibly with an object or tool, and training employees.
It gives employees real-time experience with the kind of problems they will likely face at work and how to handle them.
This is most suited for complex industries with sensitive job functions such as medical lines or aviation.
Because of how cost intensive it is, it might not be a good option for simple job functions, but very effective for high stakes.
Training By Roleplaying
This involves creating a possible work scenario and allowing employees to play roles within this controlled environment.
It can be very effective when training employees on customer service, for example.
You can have some of your employees act out the role of an irate customer and let another provide solutions to the issues arising.
This type of training allows you to discuss any possible solutions and approaches to solving a problem.
It prepares your employees for when they face the real situation for which they’ve practiced.
How to Train Employees Effectively – Important Points/Steps to Note
To train employees effectively, here are some steps you can follow:
- Define the Job of employees
- Create a System for measuring performance and productivity
- Decide when/if training is necessary
- Define the goals and objectives of the training
- Decide what type of training is needed and the method to use
- Prepare to train
- Create a plan
- Identify the constraints
- Implement the chosen training method
- Ask for feedback
- Evaluate the success of the training program
- Follow up on Employees
- Document the process
Conclusion on How to Train Employees Effectively
The benefits and advantages of training employees are well pronounced, both for them as individuals, a group, and for the business.
We’ve seen different training methods you can deploy to train your employees effectively.
Many organizations find success in combining multiple training methods to get lasting results.
You can also do blended training methods while considering the reason for training and the makeup of your team.
Whatever training method you decide to use, one thing is sure, though; effective training of employees will always yield rich results for you and your business.