At first glance, you may think that employee training is all about teaching your employees to perform their job according to your standards and procedures.
When you look deeper, however, you’ll discover that employee training is a way to help your team perform their job with greater competency, make fewer mistakes, and serve your clients and customers better.
Provide the right kind of training for your team and your business will run smoother than ever before.
In this article, the management experts at Sling introduce you to some of the most effective training methods and give you tips for implementing them in your business.
Effective Employee Training Methods
1) Online Employee Training
Whether your team is working side-by-side in an office environment or remotely from their own homes, you can still provide the training necessary to keep their skills honed.
Online training is quickly becoming one of the most popular methods available thanks to its ease of access and almost limitless customizability.
Advantages of online employee training include:
That doesn’t mean that online employee training is perfect.
For one thing, employees must be computer literate (and have access to a computer) for online learning to work. For another thing, online learning provides little to no interaction with a trainer — if your employee has a question, there’s no one to ask.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term “gamification,” it’s simply a buzzword for transforming any task into a game or competition.
Turning your employee training into a game is easy. Give points, badges, or other awards for scoring high on quizzes.
Set up a progress bar to show team members where they’re at in the training program and increase engagement. Celebrate milestones with a party or meal for the whole team.
If you want to add even more challenge to your employee training, personalize the game to whoever is playing so that they’re forced to step outside their comfort zone and stretch their abilities.
3) Classroom Training
Classroom employee training has been an effective part of many businesses for a long time because it works.
In this type of training, an instructor guides your team through their learning with tried-and-true tools such as:
- Whiteboard drawings
- PowerPoint presentations
Classroom training is familiar and comfortable — and, so, is a good fit — for most team members because it mimics the elementary, high-school, and secondary education they spent twelve or more years completing.
This type of training is also an effective and efficient method for presenting a large body of material and allows participants to ask questions and get clarification if they don’t understand.
4) Interactive Employee Training
Interactive employee training is a way to combat the boredom that comes with overly-long and involved lectures and is a way to get team members involved in, and thinking about, the learning process.
This technique of relaying information is successful as part of both classroom and online training, but can also stand by itself as a method of teaching.
Interactive employee training often takes the form of:
- Case studies
- Small-group discussions
- Question-and-answer sessions
The one major disadvantage of interactive employee training is that sessions often take longer because the elements of the training — quizzes, discussions, Q & A time — take longer to get through than other methods on this list.
5) Hands-On Training
Hands-on employee training is slightly different from online, classroom, and interactive employee training because it gets team members out of their seats and allows them to practice the information and skills for themselves.
Experiential training like this is often most effective as:
- 1-on-1 coaching
- Small-group coaching
If the instruction your team needs is largely manual/physical (e.g. operating an elaborate cappuccino machine), hands-on training may be the best option.
How To Implement Employee Training
1) Specify Your Team’s Training Needs
The first step in implementing employee training in your business is to specify your team’s needs.
This may seem obvious, but when you’re faced with creating on-the-job training, it’s very easy to get lost in all the details before you even get started.
Take the time to narrow down the information you want your team to learn to one or two specific topics.
For example, if you’re training your baristas and you want them to be more efficient at providing product to customers, you might narrow that broad topic down to improving their skills with the POS system and the cappuccino machine.
You can then implement employee training — be it online, classroom, or hands-on — that addresses those specific needs.
2) Identify How They Learn
The next step in implementing an employee training method in your business is to identify how your team learns.
Not everyone learns in the same way, but most will fall into one or more of the following categories:
Choose a training method that falls within those categories to get as many of your team members involved as possible.
3) Set A Goal For Your Employee Training
Once you’ve specified your team’s training needs and you’ve identified how they learn, set a goal for your employee training.
With a specific goal in mind, you’ll be better able to measure the success of your training.
Going back to the cappuccino machine example from earlier in the article, if you want to reduce the time it takes your team members to operate said machine, you might give them numbers to strive for.
Test them before the training starts and record their times. Then proceed with the training with the goal in mind to reduce their average time by five seconds.
Then, encourage them to continue practicing and give them milestones to hit to help them improve.
4) Budget Funds And Time
Employee training can be expensive if you bring in outside trainers or purchase online programs. Employee training also takes up time when your team could be serving customers and clients.
For those two reasons, it’s vital that you set aside enough funds and time to make the training possible.
If you’re starting from scratch, create a category in your business budget and save money to pay for the training you choose.
And if you’re struggling to find the time for training that doesn’t interfere with your team’s regular work, consider bringing everyone in after hours or on the weekend when there are fewer distractions.
A scheduling app like Sling is an easy and effective tool you can use to find and carve out time in your team’s workweek for training or other activities. Give it a try for free and see just how easy budgeting time can be.
5) Pick One Or Several Training Methods
When you’ve got your goals in mind and the money and time on hand, pick one — or two or three — training methods that work best for your team.
Employee training is almost infinitely customizable so don’t be afraid to get creative and blend several approaches together.
For example, you might combine classroom training with gamification to stimulate your team’s engagement and productivity
Or, you might blend hands-on training, interactivity, and gamification into a unique experience that gets everyone excited to learn.
There’s no end to the ways you can customize your training, so get creative and design a process that improves the way your team operates.
Scheduling: The Foundation Of Employee Training
The foundation of effective employee training is clear and concise scheduling. Without a comprehensive scheduling process, your employee training will be hit-or-miss and less productive than it could be.
That’s where Sling comes in.
You can also manage and control payroll, overtime, and other labor costs with Sling’s intuitive user interface. Sling even offers a built-in time clock for a powerful all-in-one workforce-management system.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.