There’s no question about it, training is an essential part of your business. When you invest in furthering the development of your employees through training and continuing education, you’re really investing in your company’s future and long-term success.
However, not all training is created equal, and when done poorly, employee training programs can cost you big time. Companies make too many training mistakes to list today, but here are four examples of common employee training blunders.
Times change, and so do your policies and procedures. At the very least, your employee orientation and training programs should be updated any time an internal policy or process is changed. The last thing you want to do is set new employees up for failure by giving them out-of-date information, guidelines, and expectations. It’s only natural that certain roles within your company will change and evolve over time - and your training materials need to reflect those changes.
Just as you should be conscious of keeping your training content up to date, you should also update the ways in which you present the material. Technology has come a long way, and you should take full advantage of the modern tools at your disposal.
When you fail to create a well-thought-out and organized training program, you jeopardize the success of every employee who participates in training. Taking the time to outline content and create a training strategy will make a huge impact – on how your training comes across and how employees react to your training program.
One common complaint about employee training is that it’s too long. Long training sessions lead to boredom, confusion, and frustration - all of which lead employees to tune out and think about other things. When you take the time to organize your training program, you’ll be better able to identify any content that’s not essential and can be eliminated. This will shorten the length of the training and make it easier for employees to stay focused. Clearly outlining your training goals at the start of each course will let your employees know what to expect and what’s expected of them.
If you’re like most managers and business owners, you want to establish a consistent standard of performance for your staff. By doing so, you can improve the value of your brand, set and measure goals, and improve the way your customers view your company.
Keep in mind, however, that you can’t expect consistent performance from your employees if you don't provide consistent training. It’s ok to offer training in multiple formats, for example in person and online, but the content has to be the same every time. If you have two different presenters teaching the same material, make sure they’re working from the same outline and don’t veer too far off script. You can’t teach one group to do things one way, then teach another group to do things another way and expect a consistent outcome.
There are so many ways to make your training programs convenient to employees that it’s no longer reasonable to require anyone to travel long distances to sit in a room and listen to someone talk for hours on end. Digital training programs are easy to access and can fit into even the busiest schedules. The easier it is for employees to access training, the more likely they are to warm up to the idea.
If you’re looking to improve productivity and morale and reduce turnover, start by taking a look at your employee training program.