Good training doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of careful preparation and a well-developed supervisory system.
Here are some guidelines to help you put those new hires on the right track:
Before you train
Set your training priorities. Make a list of the tasks that the employee needs to learn at the outset. An accurate job description shared with the employee can really help you both.
Analyze each task and break it down into separate, teachable steps. Make a list of the steps, and beside each one write down the criteria you will use to determine when it is being performed satisfactorily. Start with the easiest steps and work your way up.
Plan and practice the explanations you’ll give for each step. Your trainee will learn faster and perform more accurately and consistently if he understands the reasons for each step. Allow questions and be patient.
When you train
Create the right climate for learning. Everything you need to teach the task should be close at hand. Set aside enough time to work at a comfortable pace and keep instructions to a minimum. Be sure to use plenty of positive reinforcement.
Let the trainee perform the process and explain it as he works. This tactic is great for skill retention. Use the questions you planned to be sure he understands and to help him correct any errors.
Stress accuracy, not speed. Allow him to perform the process as many times as necessary until he understands all the parts and can explain them. Remind him there will be plenty of time to master working faster.
After you train
Give the employee some time alone to practice, but be available to answer questions, and to help if he encounters problems. Check occasionally to see that he is performing up to standard and be generous with positive reinforcement.
Remember that the single most important part of any training effort is follow-up. Demonstrations of your continued interest and support are the best way to let a good, skilled employee know that you expect him to learn the job, follow the right procedures and consistently produce excellent work.