Employee Training Made Easy: 4 Steps to Better Results

 Training and Development

Employees often need some extra training to perform their jobs well. Even with training programs in place, employees will need occasional reminders of how to perform a task. I see managers who are really good at training employees and some who could use some help. I have a few tips that might make your next training session more beneficial for all involved.

When a manager is asked to train an employee, it is instinctual to say, “Oh, okay. That’s really simple, You just need to …” We feel that we are removing anxiety and making the task easier for the employee by saying it is simple and easy. This is actually going to make the employee feel more pressure to learn it immediately. After a few tries, you’ll probably get the employee to say, “Oh yeah, okay. I get it”, whether they understood the task or not. You’re probably going to be in the best shape to just find out what they know and what the need to know.

You might delegate training to your supervisors or team leaders, but you still need to make sure they know how to train people as well. When you find employees doing things incorrectly, it is best to make ‘on the spot’ corrections. This is going to require you have some knowledge how to train an employee properly. I hope it doesn’t increase your anxiety if I say that I can show you how to train your employees in four simple steps.

                         Four Simple Steps for Training Your Employees

# 1.    Tell them what you’re about to tell them. It sounds sort of silly, but it sets up the training nicely for both the trainer and the trainee. The employee is likely in one of two scenarios; they are failing at a task and have felt the need to ask for more assistance or the manager has recognized a problem in their performance and has stepped in to make a correction. In either of these situations, the employee is probably very focused on learning what you have to teach. It’s important to let them know what information is about to be coming their way.

# 2.    Tell them. Tell them the information they need to know. It is important to make the instructions as specific and clear as possible. It is also a good idea to go over potential problems they may run in to during the task and how to solve those issues.

Training

# 3.    Tell them what you told them. This is a summary of what you just went over with them. Depending on the task, this could be detailed or brief. This is a good time to ask for questions and ensure they understand.

# 4.    Ask them to repeat the information or perform the task. This ensures they fully understood the information and nothing was missed. Watch them go through the task if possible and answer any questions they have along the way.

Training and development programs are not easy to create. Many times businesses are left to teach people on the job. These tips will help you in those instances where some information needs to be reinforced that might have been missed during initial training. Just because the big guys have computer-based learning materials, tutorial videos, and training specialists on staff doesn’t mean your business can’t have a solid training program as you grow. Try these tips out and you’ll find your instructions will be better understood and easier to follow for your employees. If you found these tips useful, please use the share buttons below and good luck training your employees.

 

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2 Comments

  • Hi Cecil,
    Is it your impression that many businesses — or even most — seem to spend way too little time on training? If your answer is yes, do you think it’s because they are unaware of how much lack of efficiency will cost them in the long run? Or is it that they’ve calculated that the cost of training properly is greater than just giving a brief overview and letting employees learn by failing on the job? Also, to what degree do you think it is important to take people’s individual learning styles into account while doing training?

    • Cecil Wampler says:

      Hi Heather,

      You ask some very good questions. It is tough to say why some businesses have chosen the training and development routes they have taken. Depending on the type and size of the business and the job position, businesses generally have excellent selection and placement systems in place to hire and lure the very best people in the market to their organizations or they have invested in outstanding training programs and have chosen to develop their own great employees. Both of these choices have costs and benefits to consider.

      Regardless of the size of the business, I hope no one has elected to allow their employees to learn by failing. I have written in the past about the value of allowing people to fail, but failing while trying and failing because you’re incompetent at your job is two different things.

      The training program should be created with consideration to the learning styles of the audience which will be using the program. Fast food jobs which employ a number of young people may use videos to train, high tech jobs use computer based training and industrial-type jobs may use some form of onsite training or apprentice training.

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