In 2019, small businesses faced an average cost of $1,500 to train a new employee.
There are several additional costs associated with new employees, such as recruiting, benefits, and retention. Effectively training an employee delivers a return on your company’s initial investment.
The following are five methods for effective employee training.
1. Focus on On-The-Job Training
A great way to gauge if you made the right hiring choices is to watch the new hires practice their position.
Some companies need their new employees to hit the ground running on day one. Others hire those who are a good fit, knowing that each candidate will undergo a two-week on-the-job training (OJT) program or some version of it.
Resumes don’t tell an applicant’s whole story. It’s even possible to miss important nuances during the interview. Candidates who successfully pass the screening process still need to prove they can handle the rigors of their position.
OJT provides new hires a level-playing field. Regardless of their previous job experience, education, or certifications, each one receives training. This employee training method became structured in the United States around World War I. However, OJT is a version of the apprenticeship, which dates further back.
Moreover, OJT is another version of mentoring. In the days before America became the United States, the young found their calling by training under the guidance of professionals.
To maximize OJT:
- Have a plan first
- Identify every position’s most important tasks and veteran employees who can assist with training
- Decide how long the official training will take place
In some industries, it needs to be ongoing because the field evolves so quickly.
2. Try Instructor-Led Training
Call centers, government agencies, and retail stores hire employees in large quantities, especially during increases in service demand — such as the holidays.
Companies that hire several new employees for seasonal work and other business demands benefit from instructor-led training programs. It’s the most efficient employee training method for delivering the same information to a large group.
Training takes place in a classroom setting with one instructor. It helps to hand out training materials, such as manuals, that couple with the instruction. It allows every new hire the opportunity to ask questions or for clarification.
Since it’s 2021, instructor-led training can take place online too. If you opt for eLearning, pre-record the training, but ensure that it receives updates when things change. It’s also possible to hold live instructor-led training over video conferencing software.
Those who take the eLearning route can email links containing the downloadable corresponding training materials to the new hires.
3. Provide Mentoring
Some industries require ongoing training because the field is ever changing.
Think about it:
Accounting is math and numbers-focused, but the laws governing the field evolve. In addition, tax accountants must remain up to date with annual changes to the Tax Code by the United States Internal Revenue Service.
Therefore, some companies should implement mentoring for practical employee training.
Mentoring is the best employee training method for succession planning, job transfers, and future promotions. When a company identifies its future stars, the candidate must clearly understand their new position’s ins and outs.
For example, top-level executives make decisions that impact all employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders. A questionable decision sends a negative ripple effect up and down the business.
Like OJT, mentoring allows current company leadership to determine if a candidate can succeed in their new position.
4. Integrate Role-Playing
It’s possible to combine more than one employee training method to help new hires succeed. For example, consider integrating role-playing to OJT and instructor-led training.
Role-playing breaks up the monotony of a lecture. New employees benefit from the instruction, but they need an opportunity to use the skills they learned.
Customer service positions are exposed to an array of individuals. Some contact customer service because they need help finishing an online purchase. Others are calling to find out why their bank account is overdrawn.
Representatives in the customer service field must be able to handle irate customers as well as those who simply need some guidance. They need to diffuse a situation and service the call while keeping their cool.
Role-playing allows new hires to experience possible situations they’ll incur in the course of their workday. This way, they don’t walk into the position blind. It helps them avoid surprises.
The training period is one more screening stage. If a new hire realizes that the demands of the position aren’t for them after all, they can decide before diving in deeper.
5. Use Case Studies
Using case studies is another effective employee training method. This one helps new hires wrap up everything they learned during OJT, instructor-led training, and mentoring.
Company stars and new hires must possess analytical skills, solid judgment abilities, and quick thinking proficiency. In addition, they must demonstrate each when they graduate from the training phase.
A business of any size takes a risk every time they hire a new employee. In a litigious society, companies become the targets of lawsuits. While many suits end up tossed out, the company still accrues a stack of legal bills and a potential hit to its reputation. Effectively training employees helps stave off avoidable mistakes.
Training goes beyond new hires. It doesn’t hurt a company to take the time to update employees on new procedures, legislation, and other information that impacts their position and industry.
Effective training, such as using case studies, also helps retain employees. Companies who invest in their hires keep them at greater rates. The belief is that it keeps them engaged. Plus, the knowledge they gain increases their self-worth and self-assurance. It also increases productivity from all employees, staff members, and top-level executives.
Instead of focusing on fixing mistakes, the company can focus on its mission and vision.
By employing several employee training methods, your company offers something for all types of learners. Plus, you’re reinforcing important concepts your employees need for success.
After training several employees with a combination of methods, you can gauge its effectiveness by their performance.