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iManage, Issue #29--How to Train Individuals - 3 Steps to Enabling Your Employees
January 12, 2012


How to Train Individuals - 3 Steps to Enabling Your Employees

Are your employees expected to learn new tasks without support, or to learn from someone who passes on their potentially bad habits?

This can have a negative impact on performance standards and it is very difficult to "unlearn" skills!

If you have knowledge and skills to pass on to someone, you want to get them up to speed in the fastest possible time and enable them to feel confident about what they are doing.

So where do you start? Here are 3 steps to follow:

Step 1: Note the Detail

Once we know a task well, we can often go on "auto-pilot" and do it with little thought. It is easy to forget that learners are not on the same level.

For example, we might tell them to "replace a cartridge in the machine". Do they know how to take the old one out? Do they know where to get a new one? Do they know they can use different types of cartridges? and so on.

To get a handle on the detail involved, do an analysis in terms of knowledge needed (equipment, purpose, location etc), steps to be taken, and potential faults/hazards and what to do about them.

Experienced employees often leave organisations carrying with them vital skills and knowledge that is sorely missed. So documenting training material is very important.

Step 2: Help them get it Right First Time

Show the learner the task from beginning to end so they know what is involved. Focus on the key points to remember, and get them to repeat those back to you to check understanding. Then repeat the task, this time following their instructions (and only if correct).

When you feel that they have a good understanding, only then let them complete the task themselves. Getting the task right first time is a key step in building their confidence and reducing errors going forward.

Step 3: Provide Support and Feedback

Your learner may appear to be competent at the task, but it is worth staying with them for a period of time, to help them deal with the unexpected. Patience and feedback are crucial in the early stages.

Praise them for what they are doing well, and question them to check understanding. Set standards and targets for them to aim for, that stretch them but at the same time are manageable.

When people complete a task well, their confidence grows and this has a snowball effect on the business. Good training takes time, but the benefits are worth it.

Watch out for our next free webinar, where we will explore effective one on one training in more depth.

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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