How to Train an Employee to Ensure the Best ROI

Today, I am going to take a step back and talk about how to train an employee. I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the specifics behind training, like gamification, learning patterns and training models. But let’s be frank – all of that is just technical jargon if you don’t understand the reasons behind it.

There is a lot of psychology, humanity and sociology involved. For example, how can teachers relate to students in a way that builds trust? How can people absorb the information presented to them, in a personal, practical and useful way?

I wasn’t joking, all those times when I said the rigid Prussian classroom model used in formal education is not the way to train an employee, (or really, anyone). It doesn’t work; the structured classroom is a miserable, tedious experience that often leads to bad results; Cultivating a hatred and contempt for learning is naturally a bad idea.

So, let’s talk about the basic, practical ways to train employees (or anyone for that matter).

Conference Room Lectures

First and foremost, let’s talk about getting rid of that absurd lecture environment. Every now and then, sit-down lectures in a conference room are necessary, but they should only be relied on when they are absolutely necessary. Placing employees in a room together, to listen to a single voice drone on with… little input from workers isn’t going to accomplish much. Change the room from time to time, get creative and encourage employee input, engagement and interaction.

Train During Work Hours

Remember that employees, especially ones that aren’t new hires, have personal lives. They are not going to be keen, or even open to the idea of their time being occupied by obligatory training. The best managers will be able to train employees, on the job, while they work, or between tasks.

Social Atmosphere

I’m not going into the science behind organizational learning. But, just so you know, the main focus involves groups of people working together in a loose, and stress-free, social atmosphere. And, this is the way to go.

Divide your employees into teams. Let them work together in a more casual setting. Allow for open conversation. Encourage them to help one another. This builds trust, friendship and teamwork. When employees get to know each other, it helps avoid miscommunication.

Novel Training Methods

Finally, find novel ways to incorporate training. A lot of employees will find learning by doing to be fun. Integrate training activities into their regular workday. This practice used to be risky, and hard to accomplish, because a real-time mistake could mean real-time costs. But with onboard tutorial and guidance systems, such as WalkMe, and central learning repositories, such as Moodle, this is no longer that difficult to pull off. Hands on experience, on the job, increases productivity and makes employees more receptive.

This 4 tips guide you on how to train an employee. They are broad and general, but they do touch on the most important aspects of training in the work environment, Try them out and let me know what you think!

Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
Jason Silberman on sabtwitterJason Silberman on sabgoogleJason Silberman on sabfacebook