When most people think of business investments, they imagine purchasing new facilities, inventory and equipment. But the most crucial investment a firm can make is in human capital. By educating your employees throughout their careers, you provide the skills and confidence they need to make a difference. Learning how to train new employees ultimately helps you lay a strong foundation for your company.
How To Train New Employees: The Basics
Whether you are welcoming a new worker or helping established employees gain new skills, effective training dramatically improves workplace productivity and happiness. To maximize employee education, you must:
- Select Key Skills: Identify skills with clear value to your business and focus training around them. You don’t want to overload employees with information they don’t need.
- Measure Methodically: Set clear goals and offer employees regular, detailed updates on how well they’re doing. This encourages workers while providing those who struggle with information to improve.
- Refine the Training Rate: Give employees time to learn new skills at the pace best for them. Encourage employees to stop and reflect on lessons and tasks before moving on and make it clear you value depth of knowledge more than breadth. This helps employees really understand what they learn.
- Mix In Mobile: Although book and classroom learning have their place in training programs, don’t ignore the benefits of mobile technology. Mobile apps allow employees to access training materials from any location. This makes education more convenient. Apps also tend to be updated more rapidly than other sources of information, which is a crucial benefit because of the rapidly changing industries.
- Promote the Practical: Apprenticeships and hands-on experiences give your employees the opportunity to practice skills in the environment where they will use them. This provides practical knowledge as well as an early opportunity to identify gaps in the pedagogy.
- Find The Fun: Whenever possible, incorporate games and competitions into the training process. The more your employees enjoy learning, the more effort they will put into it.
Show Value for Your Employees
Training is not just about teaching employees to do their jobs correctly. It is also about demonstrating you value them. By investing in their skills from the moment they join your workforce, you show them that their success is tied to your success. They will thus feel confident about their duties and commit to your company for the long haul.
Training is most effective when it teaches employees to use skills and platforms they already have to your company’s benefit. Most employees have enormous potential to advocate for your firm over social media. Not only does each worker’s friends and family represent a large pool of potential customers, but they have a personal connection to that individual. This will help them feel more motivated to respond. Employee advocates thus provide easy access to a large pool of committed customers.
For all the advantages of employee advocacy, there are also serious risks. This is why proper training is crucial to your business. Effective education can teach your employees to avoid:
- Bad Branding: Contrary to popular belief, not all publicity is good publicity. Employees must avoid posting content about your company that may offend or confuse potential customers. Effective training programs will help them distinguish between positive and negative branding.
- Individual Integrity: In addition to watching what they say about your company, employees must behave respectfully and responsibly in all their activities. Poor social media conduct will reflect badly on your firm, so train your employees to act with integrity in all their public posts.
- Code Compliance: To protect the public interest, governments and industry associations have created rules for the kinds of claims firms may make about themselves. Employees may be unaware of these rules, so it’s important to give them a detailed, understandable overview.
- Data Diligence: Training must specify what information employees may share about your company on social media. The last thing you want is for them to reveal financial, customer or other sensitive data, exposing your firm to a myriad of risks and liabilities.
Beyond preventing employee advocates from engaging in harmful practices, your training should emphasize their autonomy in promoting your company. Employees know how best to reach their friends and family members. While you can suggest effective ways for them to advocate, always make it clear that you trust them to win over customers in the way they know best. The more autonomy you provide, the higher engagement levels you’ll see.
Beyond the Basics
Employees contribute to the health of your company in a variety of ways, many of which do not directly relate to your business goals. Training should take that into account, emphasizing skills such as:
- Mindfulness: Meditation and mindfulness training teach employees to focus on the present. This allows them to think more clearly about current, practical concerns rather than being distracted by the past, the future, or the abstract. Mindful employees are more productive, innovative and attentive to the needs of today.
- Sensitivity: Employees rely on each other for emotional and social support. The ideal employee is not only respectful of his or her co-workers, but listens to their concerns and offers them empathy and advice in difficult situations. Training should emphasize the value of this support, as well as the most effective ways to provide it.
- Brainstorming: Employees can spur each other to think creatively and come up with innovative ideas, even during informal conversations or recreational events. Training should encourage these skills by providing brainstorming sessions, where employees discuss ideas and solutions to problems without a clear objective.
The need for education never ends, and no matter how long you’ve worked with an employee, you can both stand to learn more. By understanding how to train employees, you will have the tools to invest in your workers throughout their careers.
Bambu provides your employees with the skills they need to confidently promote your company. To learn more about employee advocacy and training, see what Bambu has to offer for your business today!
Kevin King is the Marketing Lead for Bambu by Sprout Social and film lover turned SEO geek. When he isn’t poring over massive Excel files, he can be found enjoying live music, superhero movies and select craft beers.
Productive Pedagogy: How To Train New Employees
Written by Kevin King on February 13, 2017