New Employee Training Tips Small Business Owners can Actually use

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When it comes to bringing on new employees and integrating them into your business, you have to make sure they’re up to speed on how things are done in your organization. Training is one of the primary methods of imparting knowledge and empowering new hires to become effective employees. But do you know how to do it in an efficient and effective manner?

The Importance of Employee Training

You might think employee training is just for Fortune 500 companies and multinational organizations, but it has an important place in small businesses too. Here are some of the reasons why training matters:

  • Some employees will come into your business with an understanding of how to perform job duties and tasks, but most will need to be educated. Training breeds competence, which ultimately leads to greater productivity and more value.

  • Employees with adequate training are more efficient in their job responsibilities. This also makes them more cost-effective and valuable to the bottom line.

  • Employees who feel inadequate are less likely to be happy in their jobs. By equipping employees through targeted training, you help them feel better prepared and more efficient in their roles. This leads to greater satisfaction and healthier company culture.

  • Lower-risk. Poorly prepared employees are a risk to the company. They can expose you to legal and financial problems, as well as customer relations. By training employees, you absolve much of this risk and establish a cultivate organization.

A failure to properly train your employees isn’t just a simple oversight – it’s an overt decision to ignore the aforementioned benefits. Now’s the time to make some positive changes.

4 Powerful Tactics to Implement

Employee training isn’t always easy, but it can yield profoundly positive benefits. Here are some helpful tactics you can use to enjoy more of these positives in your small business. 

1. Identify Training Needs

Goals and desired outcomes are the bedrock of any good training program. If you don’t start with a plan, you’ll simply waste your resources.

Begin by creating a list of everything your employees need to know to be competent (and, really, competency should be the bare minimum). Next, structure training so that it builds on foundational information and gradually becomes more advanced.

“It’s also important to identify training gaps,” entrepreneur Mike Kappel writes for Forbes. “If employees lack skills in an area, the training may go over their heads. For example, an employee might not understand how to use your point-of-sale software if they lack basic computer operation skills.”

With a concrete plan in place, you can shift your focus to delivery and engagement of the content.

2. Appeal to Multiple Learning Styles

Everyone has a unique learning style. Generally speaking, every employee will fall into one or more of the following seven categories: visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, or solitary. The more you can appeal to diverse learning styles, the better your results will be.

While digital mediums are definitely most cost-effective and engaging, you should explore other training formats. For example, there’s value in printing manuals, which can easily be stored and accessed without having to worry about things like devices, internet connections, and passwords. Likewise, some employees may like audio recordings, which let them listen to training while they commute.

It’s all about understanding how your employees learn and tailoring your training methods to address these strengths.

 3. Create Positive Associations

Be very careful about how and when you deliver training. For better or worse, employees create immediate associations with training. If these associations are positive, they’ll be more likely to engage in the future. If they’re negative, they’ll be inclined to tune out.

Create positive associations with training by making them fun. You’ll also get better results if you do training later on in the week – like on Fridays – when people are more likely to be in a good mood (looking forward to the weekend).

4. Spread It Out

Training isn’t something you do when onboarding a new hire and then forget about it. It needs to become part of your company culture.

For best results, spread out your training and make it a regular rhythm of how you interact with, manage, and lead your team. When training is habitual, learning and self-improvement become normal expectations. 

Revisit Your Approach to Training

You can’t afford to ignore training. You need a purposeful, documented strategy that outlines exactly how you equip your employees to perform their duties. Hopefully, this article has provided you with a framework to do so.

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