In an age of challenging economic times, companies are often faced with high employee turnover and mobility, which leads to a constant need to train incoming employees to new roles. While that is not something “negative” in the traditional sense, because businesses are looking to spend less time on training their employees, and more on how to get them up to competency levels as quickly as possible, there is a tendency to cram as much knowledge into initial training sessions within a short time frame. This of course leads to information overload, overwhelming employees and generally bringing unsatisfactory long-term results.
So I wanted to write about ways to indeed shorten the time needed for training employees, how to accelerate employee time to competence, without overburdening them with too much in the early stages.
The first and very crucial key to provide efficient training within a shorter time period is to figure out “what exactly needs to be done?” and “what changes are required in the skill set of the employees?,” so that all the energy and resources can be directed towards that direction. Narrowing down the purpose or goal of the company will eliminate the unnecessary things and learning which is not in the context of job profile or company, hence saving the vital aspect of time. Moreover this goal should be realistic and achievable so that time is not wasted on restructuring the plan while some training has already been given.
Once the goal is figured out, we must now focus on structuring the plan. As its always said prevention is better than cure, we must put our significant effort in mapping out the exact thing so that once the training has started things go well smoothly without bringing less or no troubles whatsoever. This plan should include all the minutest details of all the aspects. Since we are talking about training employees faster that too online, it’s very important to figure out all the possible problem and shortcoming that can arise in the course of training. Preparing the back up plans is a crucial element in the planning aspect of training employees faster. SWOT analysis can also be done as a part of formulating the efficient plan.
Before we start training, we must choose the best option available. It should be something which can be worked upon constructively within the given limited timeframe. Indeed there could be many options available which are more extensive in nature, which provide a thorough knowledge of the organization, the process flow and working of the company, but that is not a wise thing to do from the economic viewpoint of the company and competitive nature of the marketplace.
Another important aspect of training employees faster is giving them job and task-specific training rather than teaching them everything. This aspect is all about strengthening the skill set of an employee rather than making him a multi-talented person who can handle many things. Relevance and specificity are both very important.
Segmentation of training is sometimes done to ease the burden of training. It is basically setting the levels or formulating the phases in the training duration with a clause that all the parts of the training have to be completed step by step. This method will also help in bringing out the weaker areas of any employees which can be further worked upon so as to strengthen the base of the learning. Performance support tools, with WalkMe being a good example, can provide a long-term and effective way to make training stick, and provide ongoing assistance. They also help to directly tie training to performance.
Training employees faster via online mode is all about creating a self-learning environment. To create this kind of environment the strategy should be very much employee friendly. They should come to learn not because they have to ultimately do a job in the company but indeed because they like getting trained, because they can clearly see a better future prospect in getting trained. They must realize that this training will not only give them a job but an opportunity to growth and development. This can be done only if the training is provided with keeping the psychology and comfort of employees in consideration.
Evaluating the results and milestones is another significant motivator which will stop the employees from slowing down in their learning with the course of time. The milestones in the learning process should be smaller in nature so that the interest of the employee doesn’t die and they are hungrier to learn every day. This phenomenon will not only increase their learning capability but the speed of learning. Since in the online mode of training employees faster they have the liberty to cross the phases of training as soon as they finish the previous phase, employees can finish the training as early as possible.
Finally incorporating the incentive policy will add to the efficiency of the training. Incentives whether in terms of direct or direct benefits are one of the most powerful motivators for a person. Incentives should be directly related to the duration of training. The earlier somebody can complete a level of learning the more he will get as incentive. Direct promotion for an exceptional learner will not only encourage that person but also inspire others to follow his footsteps.