It would be great if employees can undergo all the types of training but most of the time, company resources are limited: no time, no expertise, no budget. As a result, companies choose the type of training based on what is urgent and important and sometimes, what is only available.
But training and more importantly learning come in different shapes and forms. There are many sources of information around that can help your people learn. A smart manager uses most of these, if not all, because he or she understands that different types of learners and situations call for appropriate types of training.
Here are a few of the most popular training methods available:
On the Job Training & Coaching
The best way to speed up an employee’s learning is by doing this on the job. On-the-job training and coaching takes time, effort and patience that not a lot of managers have, but it is a necessary responsibility. When a new employee is assigned a good supervisor or a decent work buddy, the new staff will be able to adjust better. The initial time and effort that one invests in an employee, will prove worthwhile and increase your chances of keeping your employee, compared to just letting a newbie find his own way.
Internal Guides & Cheat Sheets
To fast-track a new employee’s learning, internal guides, cheat sheets and frequently asked questions are very helpful. Giving product information, quick references and scripts, will prepare new employees for their work at hand and even face clients. A smart manager has a product training kit that he gives his staff. He takes the time to explain and checks his staff’s product knowledge by periodically testing them. A smart manager also provides quick guides or references on select standard operating procedures that are important and related to the job.
Online Information and Books
The internet consists of a wealth of information on just about anything. A smart manager encourages his staff to access the web for job-related research. He sends out links to interesting reading that will help his staff at work. If internet access is limited or not available for your team for some reason, books and news clippings can be given as well.
Another great avenue for learning is by enrolling your staff in public seminars. This is best if you do not have the time or the expertise to train your staff. Public seminars are open to individuals and groups. It is conducted by Resource Speakers and attended by people from different industries. In the Public Seminars that my company Businessmaker Academy holds, participants are given a chance to consult with the instructor and interact with each other. This provides a good learning experience because advice comes not only from the instructor but from your experienced co-participants. Interacting with co-participants allows you to benchmark and learn from other industries. It broadens your knowledge.
Many companies also provide in-house training for their people. This entails training people as a group in your company. You can conduct the training yourself or if your company has a training officer, he or she can conduct the training. If you don’t have a trainer in your office, you can hire a training service provider or a consultant to do it for you. The great thing about hiring outside trainers is the new perspective and fresh face they bring to the table. If the employees work very closely with their manager and the same manager trains them, the lessons seem repetitive and the participants tend to see it as biased. That is why a lot of companies outsource their training projects to companies like mine. Training companies and consultants adds credence to the learning sessions.
Sometimes, it is physically impossible to get everyone together to attend a seminar. An interactive webinar (seminar on the web) is a great solution for this scenario because it can be taken anytime and anywhere as long as there is a computer and internet connection. It can be used for different subjects. My company has produced several learning aids for the different needs of our clients. We have made webinars on orientation training, product training and even medical training. Because it consists of lecture slides, voice over narration, quizzes and interactive modules that the learner can take on his own pace, learning is enhanced.
Training employees is a very important part of a manager’s responsibility. There are many ways to make this effective and even fun. The important thing is to encourage your staff to continuously learn. Take the time and effort to train your staff. Invest in yourself by investing in your people.
Note: This article was originally published at Manila Bulletin Newspaper.
Jhoanna O. Gan-So is president of Businessmaker Academy and HR Club Philippines. Her organization offers public seminars and in-house training on Human Resource Management and Business Skills Development. You may email your comments and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org