Most mid-level managers know their company’s training isn’t working—they just don’t know how to fix it. They know training is important and necessary, so they figure sub-par training is better than no training at all. Yet, this line of thinking can create more problems than solutions for your company. Employees can sense when their time is being wasted, which builds resentment and hinders learning. Bad training causes your company to lose valuable work time without the benefits of successful training on the back end. It begs the question: Is bad training actually better than no training at all?
Actually, you know what? Don’t answer that. We’re not here to debate the merits of bad training. We’re here to make your training better so you don’t have to ask such questions. Improvement is the name of the game, so here are seven tips for improving your training.
- Change your attitude first. If you think training is a waste of time, your employees will be able to sense it. Putting forth a new perspective on training—one that you actually believe—is the first step in improving your employees’ experience with training. Let them know it is an investment you believe in.
- Don’t over do it. There might be multiple areas in which your employees need training, but you don’t want to overwhelm them right from the start. Instead, zero in on some specific places where training will be particularly helpful and start small. You might even consider rolling out a training program in stages that feel manageable to your employees.
- Be vocal about your purpose. You don’t want employees to be asking themselves, “Why are we even doing this?” Instead, be upfront and vocal about your purpose and goals for training from the start. When your employees know the reason behind a training program, they’ll be more likely to work toward that objective.
- Don’t let cost dictate quality. While the initial cost investment for high quality training might seem unnecessary, keep in mind that you’re not just investing in a training program—you’re investing in the future of your company. You want to keep it affordable, but you also want to make sure you’re remembering the old adage, “you get what you pay for.”
- Make it engaging. Training shouldn’t have to inherently be boring. Thanks to technology advances, even online training can be an interactive and enjoyable experience. Find ways to keep your employees interested and engaged with the material, and they’ll be more likely to retain the information at hand.
- Seek feedback. If you have a sense that something isn’t working with your training, but you aren’t quite sure what it is, ask. Even if you think your training is going swimmingly, still ask. Your employees are your best source for knowing if your training is worth it and working, so use their feedback to make improvements. They’ll feel encouraged that their opinions were taken seriously, and you’ll demonstrate a sincere commitment to providing the best training possible.
- Track the results. While the results of your training won’t always be concrete, you can determine certain metrics to watch that will give you insight into how well your training is working. Maybe you’re interested in seeing an increase in productivity or profit. Regardless, find a way to track the return on your investment.