In a perfect world, every employee you hire would come fully equipped to do the job. They would all have the skills they need to complete their assigned duties from day one. But in the real world, that rarely happens.
No matter how careful your hiring process or how many great candidates walk through your door, there is bound to be some on the job training required. So how do you make that on the job training effective and fast? How do you get hose new hires up to speed quickly, so they can start making you money right away? Here are some simple ways to make your on the job training programs more effective.
Gather as Much Background Information As You Can
Your new hire may not have the exact set of skills needed to do the job from day one, but they do have experience that is relevant to the task at hand. If they did not have those prerequisites, you would not have hired them in the first place.
If you want to make your on the job training more effective, start by gathering as much background information as you can. Knowing which skills your new hire already has will make on the job training a lot easier. Many of those existing skills are easily transferrable, while others will significantly shorten the learning curve.
Tailor the Learning to the Learner
Some people are visual learners, while others benefit from a more hands-on approach. Tailoring the type of training to the individual can make your program much more effective.
If you are just developing your on the job training program, you may need to experiment with the various tasks and the new hires that come your way. But as your program advances, you will get better and better at tailoring the learning process to each new learner.
Use a Combination Approach to the Acquisition of New Skills
No single approach will be sufficient, and combining your efforts can boost the effectiveness of your on the job training program. Combining brainstorming, small group learning, hands-on experience and other training methods is always a smart move.
It is important to realize that there is no one size fits all approach to on the job training. If you try to shoehorn each new hire into a rigid type of training, you will probably succeed only in driving up your turnover rate. But if you are flexible and willing to learn, you can build a great on the job training program, one that drives results and helps you build a better company.
Tailor the Training to the Task
Some tasks require a hands-on learning approach, while others are best acquired by reading manuals and watching video presentations. Still other tasks require a combination approach, with hands-on practice backing up video training and written manuals.
If you want your on the job training to be effective and your new hires to be fully trained, you need to tailor the training to the task at hand. Think about what it takes to complete each task, then develop a training program that accurately conveys that information.
Ask For, and Listen to, Feedback
You may think your on the job training program is effective, but the results will show in your turnover rate and the satisfaction of your employees. Even if you think you are doing everything right, it is important to ask for, and listen to, feedback along the way.
Keep in mind that new hires may be reluctant to criticize your training methods, even if they feel those methods have not been effective. It is important to convey that feedback is not only appreciated but an integral part of on the job training success.
The strategies listed above can help you build a better and more successful business. By getting your new hires up and running quickly, you can reduce recruitment costs, lower costly turnover and keep your business running at peak efficiency.
In addition to the strategies listed above, you can try partnering with local community colleges to build a skilled workforce from the ground up. Combining this education outreach with your current on the job training program can give your company a real competitive edge, so you can succeed in any economic environment.