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New hires? New job? Here’s what to ask

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Good training doesn't just happen. It's the result of careful preparation and part of a well-developed system of supervision. If you take the time to think out your approach and anticipate the trainee's questions, you will have more success. Here are a few guidelines that can help:

Set your training priorities. Make a list of the tasks that employ­ees need to learn to do the job up to your standards. Note the frequency with which these tasks must be per­formed, their relative importance and their relative difficulty. Use this information to decide the order in which you should teach the tasks. As a general rule, teach the important, frequently performed and easy tasks first. Your employees' confidence will soar, and you'll see an immediate increase in productivity.

Analyze each task. Break them down into separate teachable steps, and for each one identify the criteria you will use to determine whether it's being done right. Whenever pos­sible, you should begin with the easiest steps and work up to the more difficult ones. Sometimes, a process or procedure must be taught in real-life sequence, because each step depends or builds upon the previous one. In these cases, you and your employees can perform the task together, with them handling the easy parts and you stepping in to handle tougher ones.

Plan and practice. Trainees will learn faster and perform more accu­rately if they understand the reasons behind each step. Be sure you pro­vide clear, simple explanations; draft these beforehand, rehearse them and commit them to memory.

Plan your questions. You should ask questions to check understanding and move the learn­ing process along. Whenever things begin to go wrong, use your pre­pared questions to interrupt the process. Help employees understand the problem and redirect themselves; this is the least threatening way to offer correction. But also ask ques­tions when things are going smooth­ly. When trainees can tell you why something is working properly, it's a confidence builder.

Bottom-Line IdeaMuch of what we've learned is behavior that we've copied from someone else. That's why being a role model is such an important part of being a manager. Be energetic and enthusiastic, manage your time well, demonstrate solid work habits and take care of yourself. Employees will follow your lead.

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