Training Referred to as Key to Employee Performance and Retention
A formal training policy will increase worker productivity,
decrease confusion and increase satisfaction for both employer and
employee, personnel experts are quick to point out.
They note, for instance, that successful employment begins with an orientation of the new employee. One person should be in charge of all orientation generally the owner/manager of the company. This ensures a consistent message to all employees.
Orientation should cover a basic core of material needed. This includes the mission of the business, its history and its basic goals. Personnel policies including probationary period, disciplinary actions, work schedule, safety rules and use of equipment need to be covered, as well.
New employees are always interested in benefits. Orientations should cover items such as pay, payday, vacation, sick leave and other benefits. Discuss specific job responsibilities to which the new employee will be assigned, how the job relates to other work performed in the business and safety requirements. The new employee should also be formally introduced to the other employees, one at a time.
Personnel experts also say that it is helpful to put the orientation information on paper in the form of a written employee handbook. That way, policies and benefits can be accessible and clear to both employer and employee. It also provides a reference for any aspect of the job not immediately understood by the employee, who may feel confused and overwhelmed.
It's important, too, to develop open, two-way lines of communication between management and a new employee right from the beginning. Encourage questions and answer them. Clear, well-defined expectations will pay dividends in the future and reduce possible misunderstandings.
Determine the skill level of the new employee and identify specifically what you want him or her to be able to perform after training. Spell out exactly how fast, how accurately or at what standards various tasks should be performed. Make sure the steps or procedures are logical and in correct order. Have all the equipment or material needed right at hand and ready for use.
Teaching consists of the following five steps:
- Prepare the employee. In a relaxed way, explain why the skill to be learned is important. Explain any hazards or problems that may be involved, as well as how to deal with them. Answer any questions that the employee may have about the task.
- Tell the employee. Break the task down into key parts or steps. Most employees will find that learning several smaller tasks, and putting those together, is easier than trying to learn one large skill all at once.
- Show the employee. Demonstrate exactly how the task or skill is to be done for the employee. Involve the employee by asking questions and getting feedback. Have the employee explain the process or skill back to you.
- Let the employee do the task by him or herself. Help develop his or her confidence by carefully monitoring at first. Then allow him or her to work without supervision. You need to make sure that the employee does each step correctly and avoids developing any bad habits.
- Review the progress in terms of encouragement, constructive criticism and additional comments. This is a great opportunity to praise the employee or correct his or her progress.
Give feedback to the employee, complete with a checklist detailing all of the job tasks. On a regular basis, the employer and employee should go over the sheet. Recognize the good points and explain what points need to be improved. This method keeps new employees up-to-date and involved with the review process.
Well-planned, as well as well-conducted orientation and training takes time and effort by both you and your employee. However, the far-reaching benefits are certain to spell positive, productive and motivated workers.