We’ve all seen it happen, maybe more times than we’d like to admit. New employee comes aboard, new employee completes training, new employee quits. Even if there are plenty of qualified applicants in the sea, the real loss is the company time spent facilitating training. What could be more frustrating?
It’s tempting to feel like the victim when this happens—after all, we dedicated dozens of hours to making someone feel welcome and comfortable in a new environment. But maybe we should’ve seen this coming.
Think for a second about your training program. Now, think about how your employees perform after the training program. Do your employees suffer from the very real challenge of low knowledge retention? Perhaps your employees feel that they have no choice but to leave because after, however many hours of training, they still don’t understand how to do their own jobs.
Here are 4 ways that you can help your employees jump from basic knowledge to full proficiency.
1. Some Things Are Better Kept Secret
Too often, employee training focuses on squeezing in as much information as possible. But on a day-to-day basis, do new employees need to know everything covered? Keeping in mind that new employees will only retain about half of what is covered, trainers should focus only on the most relevant topics — the “how” of completing the employee’s daily tasks. Nothing more, nothing less. After completing training, an employee should know what is expected in order to gain proficiency at those tasks, and an employee should have the tools to become an efficient member of the team. Ask yourself, what information must this employee know to get there?
2. Learning by Doing
Passively listening to a lecture or watching someone else complete a task will not engage a new employee—if the employee is able to focus at all, you should consider yourself lucky. Employees need active engagement in order to retain information. More people learn by doing than learn by listening. Games and even incentives such as prizes and perks motivate employees to actively participate in the training program.
3. Keeping an Eye on Success
After the initial training is complete, ensure long-term results with post-training follow ups. Keep an eye on new employees following training sessions and track how and when they implement new learned techniques. Once you understand how employees are using the information taught, you’re in a position to evaluate whether the objectives of the training program were achieved. How to you know if training was successful? Seek out trainee feedback, and then listen to it. What were the problem areas in training? What was effective? By closely monitoring employee performance, you can identify knowledge gaps before they lead to serious mistakes.
4. Technologies that Can Hold Your Hand
Forgetting new information is natural—it’s just how the brain works. To combat this, seek to support new employees’ efforts to remember new information before berating them for forgetting. Performance support tools that guide employees through tasks while encouraging feelings of independence and accomplishment. This tool allows employees to focus on over-arching goals instead of on certain specific tasks. With WalkMe’s performance support, these small tasks can be looked up easily and completed within minutes, making room for the greater goals at hand.
Companies with intricate software face a real challenge. The application process may provide you with an employee who has the potential to do great things as part of a team, but getting from training to full proficiency requires just as much dedication on the part of the training manager as it does the new recruit. Including only highly relevant training materials, motivating trainees with incentives, evaluating the training session, and providing support tools post-training will not only guarantee a shorter gap between initial employee training and full proficiency, but will also assure that employees remember the knowledge they learned, and incorporate it into their work.
To read a related article on 5 valuable lessons on training practices, click here.