Training for your business can mean many things. It could be safety training, customer service, or tech training. You may be training new employees who have just arrived or upgrading staff on new processes and technologies. Whatever it may be, there are many ways of approaching it, from the more traditional format that resembles a school class to more intuitive and practical ways.
Finding the right tactic for your business training is very important to ensure it happens efficiently and properly and that your employees are not just there out of obligation. You can even merge different techniques to keep them from getting bored.
Take a look at the most common training tactics and identify which is best for your company’s needs.
Provide a Manual of Business
You’ve probably repeated some company rules and practices so much that you could write a book about them, right? Well, manuals are just that: a set of standards containing all the fine print and details for people to refer to when they have a question. A new employee guide could be a tactic on its own or complement another style of training. But rather than printing hard copies, consider making it available online for easy access and more sustainability.
Manuals are a good way to share required information with employees, such as workers’ compensation insurance info, something that rarely changes. With this tactic, old-timers and newcomers know exactly how to proceed if they get injured at work. With the company covered by workers’ comp, a manual can easily explain how insurance will pay for the costs of medical treatment and lost wages.
As the classical technique for training a large group, for certain types of training (such as safety training), this may be a required method. In the case of training new employees, the ones who assume the role of teachers are company managers, human resources, and/or invited experts.
This is a good method to generate interaction, as it allows new and old employees to get to know each other better and clear up any doubts. And, in essence, it’s the same as teaching in an ordinary classroom, something all employees have experienced. That’s why it’s really important to think of ways to make these classes more participatory or break the sessions to avoid them droning on like a school lecture.
While classroom-style training is still the most popular format, the demands of modern life have made it harder to find free time for long learning activities. Microlearning has emerged as an alternative; it involves breaking a long training down into short, focused, 3-5 minute segments scattered over a period of time. In addition to everyone’s busy schedule, the format is becoming more popular as people’s attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter.
It can be done in person or online. But remember that microlearning involves teaching meaningful content in a condensed, more accessible, and informal format. So this is more appropriate for simple rather than complex training.
Shadowing is done by observing and watching someone else doing the work firsthand. After all, you can read or be told about a job all day, but until you experience it, you don’t understand it fully.
By having a new employee accompany and observe an experienced worker, this practice offers the opportunity for people to witness problem-solving in action and learn how to handle hiccups the moment they appear. In addition to training, shadowing tends to create a great mentor/mentee relationship between the newcomers and the experienced employees—something they will keep for the rest of their careers.
Lunch and Learn
This is a nice format because some people tend to learn better in a more relaxed environment. Using the employees’ lunchtime to offer a training session as they eat allows an expert or experienced company member to deliver a shorter, informal, and interactive presentation on a topic, with some time for Q&A at the end.
Eating makes people more relaxed and sociable as they don’t dread having to sit and listen with nothing to do, so the employees will participate more and even have fun. Consider a lighter menu and serving refreshments and desserts throughout the activity to keep things going.
It is sometimes challenging to find time for an official lecture or class. Thus, video presentations can be adopted as a convenient tactic for employees to complete training on their own time. The videos can even resort to features such as animation or interactivity.
This material can be reused countless times as new employees enter the company. If you have a consistent amount, there are even platforms that you can post them onto and have reminders automatically sent to employees when the training deadline approaches. Consider taking a short quiz at the end to ensure the employees watched the whole video and retained the information of business.
The Investment in Knowledge Always Pays Off
Training new employees (or updating the staff) is a fundamental practice to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what to do to follow company standards. Therefore, keep in mind that the method of teaching is just as important as the material to be taught.
The traditional classroom format is still the most used by employers in general, but it’s no longer the only tool available. Advances in technology have provided new training methods, some even more practical. The COVID-19 crisis also showed that, if necessary, everything can be done online through applications like Zoom for business meetings.
Whichever format you adopt, remember that knowledge, through constant training, is a fundamental element for improving your team and the consequent growth of your business. Investing in knowledge is never money wasted.