How to Provide Great Training To Keep Your Biz Running Strong

training_iconYou’re beginning to hit your stride and the growth of your business is putting pressure on you to increase your staff.

Up to now you could have been a solopreneur or worked with a few others who grew into their jobs as you figured out how to run your business.

But it’s going to be different with new hires from now on. You need to provide some level of training. You have two choices: you can make it up as you go along or you can be proactive and organize your training program. Okay, there’s a third choice: toss your new employees out onto the floor and let them figure it out as they go along.

The problem with the first choice is that every time you bring on someone new, you’ll find yourself reinventing the wheel. In the long run, it will require more of your time and you will end up with a staff that has not received consistent training. The third option, while it is the choice of many, leads to frustration all around and can greatly increase turnover.

Two important principles

Evaluate your approach to training with these two goals in mind:

  • Quality control. Make sure your training covers the knowledge and skills required to do a good job.
  • Repeatability. Make sure new hire number four is trained just as well as new hire number three.

In order to properly develop a training program, you must have good job descriptions in place. These will help you be certain that the content of your training program matches the requirements delineated in your jobs descriptions.

However, there is one thing to consider even before you get down to the “nuts and bolts” of making sure new hires have the tools they need to get the job done. You need to introduce new employees to your company’s culture. Go over the history of your business. Explain its origins. Initially it may be you providing the introduction; later it may be someone else.

It’s even a good idea to provide a written history of your business with personal remarks as part of your “hiring packet.” Hopefully you will have shared some of this during the interview process. Facility tours and introductions are also important for┬ápreserving your company’s DNA.

List the requirements

As you prepare for training, create checklists to be sure no important points are missed. Health and safety issues are critical. As you get further along developing training materials, incorporate dated sign offs so you can document when employees were trained. Should problems arise later, you may need this documentation. Further, government agencies, such as OSHA, require certain kinds of documentation depending on your industry. Be sure your knowledge is up to date as well as your records.

Consider standardizing some of your training through video and use of the Internet. Also, there are many third-party training groups that have created excellent content, classes and tutorials. Investing in outside training can easily save you money when you consider the gained productivity.

If your employees need specific technical training, there are lots of Internet resources available. However, don’t leave it to employees to browse the web and find something they like. If new employees need to learn Excel basics, for example, find what you think is the best tutorial to meet the needs of your company.

In the end you want a program that provides quality training and can be used with each new hire to achieve the proficiency needed to get off to a strong start in your business.

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