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iManage, Issue #27 -- 3 Steps to Effective Employee Training
October 13, 2011


Need to Raise Productivity at Work? 3 Steps to Effective Employee Training

How productive are your employees? Are you experiencing un-necessary waste, or a high level of customer complaints? Before you conclude that your employees are not making enough of an effort, think about the training they received on the job.

In many cases, new employees are expected to "sink or swim" and figure out what is expected of them. In the process, they pick up poor work practices, with major gaps in their knowledge that hamper their performance.

Here are 3 steps to more effective employee training and greater productivity:

Step 1: Develop an eye for detail

When you do something on a regular basis, it is easy to forget all that is involved. You may even feel you could do the task "with your eyes closed".

I once worked in a product assembly plant where certain hand movements made all the difference in terms of output per hour, and these movements could easily be missed by the untrained eye.

If you are concerned about productivity, take a fresh look at what is involved. Analyse key tasks in four layers. Document the method that should be followed, the knowledge that is needed, the faults that may occur and the hazards involved. Organise this into an effective training programme that clearly shows your employees what is expected of them.

Step 2: Assess the training needed

Some employees love to work on their own initiative and are quick learners. Others may have less confidence and need a lot of support and guidance. Adjust your training to suit the individual where possible. In either situation, you will still need to give your employees adequate attention.

Arrange training sessions in small chunks to give learners a chance to assimilate all the detail. Set achievable targets and stay with them until you are confident that they can complete the task a number of times without errors. In the process, ask them "what if" questions that test their knowledge.

Step 3: Allow time for training

Too often, training is rushed for the sake of targets. Time invested in communicating important information and practising skills will pay off in the long term.

Giving the opportunity to an employee to fully understand what is expected of them and the standards they have to aim for will grow their confidence and ability.

Show employees that you value their contribution and are prepared to invest in it through organised and systematic training.

This investment will result in less errors, greater productivity and will help raise morale - all essential factors if you want greater business success.

Watch out for this month's free webinar, where we will focus on effective employee training.

For detailed advice on employee training and development, download our How to Train Others E Book for a comprehensive, step by step approach with lots of practical tips.

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a personal development and people management skills such as time management, leadership, communication, managing change and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

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