You can’t make your organization great without great employees, and good training is part of what makes your employees great. They may already have wonderful skills when you hire them, but they will need to learn new skills and procedures to fit into your company, as well as to stay current with the marketplace. Despite the importance of training, not every company knows how to train employees to get the best results. Most training sessions are lackluster or just straight-out boring. Many employees would rather be doing anything else than sitting in one of those sessions. The right training sessions can motivate and inspire employees so they are ready to create real change within your organization. Here’s how you can change your training sessions to get those results:
Accommodate Various Learning Styles to Ensure All Employee Effectively Absorb Information
People process information differently. You may have a gorgeous slide show that you think is highly effective, but someone who learns better by doing physical activities may not absorb any of the information that you’ve presented.How are employees going to feel inspired or develop the skills they need to positively influence your organization if they can’t even learn the information you are presenting to them?You must recognize that people learn differently, and you must present training materials that will accommodate those different learning styles. Learning how to train employees means also learning about these different styles and developing materials to meet them.Some of the most common learning styles are audio, visual, and kinesthetic (tactile). Some employees may also have learning disabilities due to things like ADHD or dyslexia. Present a variety of materials or options so that you are meeting the needs of everyone, and consult with an expert if you are not sure what you need to do.
Include Examples that Resonate with Your Employees and Their Interests
People are inherently selfish creatures, and we are much more engaged when a situation involves people we love or things that we like. That goes double for training, which can often seem dull and focused exclusively on what the company wants and needs.Before you learn how to train employees, you need to learn about your employees. Get to know not only what they want to accomplish in their careers, but also want kind of things they like to do outside of work and what their goals are outside of their careers. Employee interests can be as trivial as hobbies like golf or gardening, or they can be as meaningful and universal as maintaining family connections or helping others in society. The more you know about your employees, the better you can make your training sessions.Incorporate interests by including examples in your training that reflect them. Come up with games or practice exercises that incorporate hobbies or extracurricular activities like sports. Or talk about how the skills learned in training will translate into other areas of their lives, like their volunteer work. Including employee interests in your training will help them to feel more engaged and it will show them that you care about them as individuals and not just cogs in your machine.
Communicate How the Training Will Grow Employees’ Skills and Expand Their Opportunities
Again, we are all selfish creatures. Employees are unlikely to feel truly inspired just thinking about how the company will benefit from the training. They need to think about how they are going to be a part of that growth.You can help employees feel inspired by showing them how the training will grow their personal skills and expand their opportunities both within your company and long after they have left it (if they choose to do so in the course of their professional development). They will be more likely to engage in the learning process and to develop strong new skills. Later, employees will be more excited about how they can use those new skills to show off their worth within the company, helping to grow their professional opportunities. Knowing how to train employees is more than just knowing how to train them for your organization. You have to know how to train them to be better candidates in the work force, not only so you can have the best on your staff but also so they can feel like the best.
Make It Clear that Additional Training Opportunities Will Be Available
New skills will always be necessary, not only so employees can do the best job for your company but also so they can remain competitive in the marketplace. Ongoing training opportunities will ensure that employees get those skills. You must focus on not just how to train employees right now, but how to continue to train them throughout their tenure. You have to show employees that you are committed to their professional development, not just for your company’s sake, but also for theirs.Not only should you provide ongoing training and development opportunities for your employees, but you should also let them know that you will pay for outside training and development opportunities, as well.
Empower Employees with New Roles and Responsibilities
If you really want to see what your employees can do when they are inspired and motivated to make change, you need to empower them. They need to feel like their opinions are valued and that they have the power to make change. You can easily empower employees through your training efforts. You can assign current employees the role of trainer or facilitator. For example, one person can be tasked with learning the new software early and then being responsible for overseeing future trainings or for being the “go to” person for questions and troubleshooting. That role can come with a new title and even a small salary bump or bonus. You can promote employees who come through the training the fastest or having gained the most skills. Or you can give employees additional responsibilities after they have completed certain trainings.Knowing how to train employees means knowing how to empower them, and giving them new roles and responsibilities will do so. You can also get great results through simple recognition of their efforts. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and like they have power over their future.
Include Training in Your Overall Change Management Plan
Training is an integral part of any change process, whether you are expanding your work force or you are retraining your current employees to take on new roles or implement new procedures. You need to do more than learn how to train employees – you need to also think about how that training factors into your overall change management process.