Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
– Benjamin Franklin
A traditional, simplistic view of training is that it is just a platform to get employees up and working on new software platforms. However, more companies are investing in continuous learning on software platforms to make sure that basic information is being retained and that advanced information is being learned as well. These help boost long-term growth and productivity. Here are five great continuous training practices to boost employee productivity:
1. What Did You Think? Gathering Feedback
Regardless of how effective you believe the initial training program to be, there will always be confusion afterwards. Managers should get feedback after training via questionnaires, surveys and interviews. Not only does this give employees multiple ways to express their opinion on the training, but also gives managers a great way to track progress and make changes. After enough input is received, you can then start improving the training program. Providing feedback also shows employees that they are valued prospects for long-term growth.
2. E-Learning Software and Videos
E-learning software, YouTube videos, and social media integration are also good ways of getting employees involved. These new technological mediums have changed how knowledge transfer should be viewed. Instead of expecting mentors and training managers to constantly function as facilitators, technology should alleviate some of the burden.
3. Training in Teams
Placing employees in a team-oriented environment allows them to transition into their role in a natural and collaborative way. If they begin work in isolation, there will be less opportunity for them to connect with others in the company. These team functions don’t have to be full-blown constant meetings either — they can be small groups of employees with similar roles. Also, by forcing employees to apply skills they learn from training immediately, retaining knowledge becomes much easier.
4. Skill Development Monitoring
Oftentimes, developing employees’ skills can take a long time. If you aren’t properly monitoring their development, their development might stagnate. Monitoring also allows managers to see if there are any spikes in improvement which can be identified as anomalies. For example, many employees have a big spike of productivity immediately after initial training, only to have that productivity quickly taper off. Ideally, productivity should increase over time (the rate depends on the proficiency of the employee), and n remain high over the long-term.
5. Training By Example
The effectiveness of newly learned material can be compromised if the managers themselves don’t adhere to that material. Managers and senior employees should serve as inspirations for newer employees in roles that can include simple tasks like informal mentoring, answering questions and offering small bits of advice. The key is for them not becoming overbearing supervisors, but rather familiar faces they can turn to when they are having difficulties.
Many of these tips can be implemented without additional cost to your current training budget. The central concept is continuous learning is king. Although it may take some adjustments both immediately and over time, by the end, managers will see marked improvements in their employees’ productivity.