Business success requires quality staff. Implementing training programs that help employees improve their knowledge and skills can increase productivity and accuracy. Offering staff the chance to improve their abilities and further their careers helps develop employee loyalty and job satisfaction that can keep those skills working for the organization long-term. On average, it costs over $9,400 to replace a trained, capable employee.
The payoffs over time are likely to far outweigh the costs training sessions. It may take time to see improvements in production and employee retention, but once training becomes part of company policy it makes a big difference. A workforce that’s highly skilled and engaged with their work can provide ongoing benefits to any company. Hiring low-level employees at cheap wages may seem to improve profit margins, but staff with only the basic functions have limited and short term value.
Without further ado, here are four essential training programs you should incorporate if you wish to have a more productive and successful workforce:
When onboarding new hires, it’s important to get them acclimated and comfortable as soon as possible to maximize their contribution. Orientation training is important to introduce new employees to the company, their colleagues, managers, and supervisors, and to establish clear guidelines on conduct and expectations to avoid any misunderstandings. An employee is able to adapt more quickly and communicate more effectively when they can understand their responsibilities and procedures. Informational videos on processes and equipment, facility tours, employee handbook reviews, and discussion on job descriptions may take as little as a few hours, but provide knowledge of their new job roles that might otherwise take weeks to acquire.
Computers are involved in many job roles now, whether it’s using sophisticated design applications or merely entering and retrieving data. While most companies specifically look for candidates with related skills, it can often be the case that newcomers are not familiar with a particular brand or version of your software, or may not be familiar with your particular policies for it’s use, such as central change-tracking software like Microsoft’s Visual SourceSafe. For employee roles where technology plays a pivotal role, getting their skills up to speed can be as simple as a tutorial session or e-learning program with the menus, layouts, and features they’ll be using. Veteran employees can improve their skills by cross-training in other technologies or more in-depth training to become an IT resource within their own department.
In modern work environments, employees may be asked to execute a variety of tasks in compliance with deadlines or schedules. Changing priorities, plans, meetings, and disruptions to supply chains can create confusion and a lack of focus. Staff can get overwhelmed to the point where the quality and quantity of their work suffers. Training employees in the skills to manage their own time more effectively not only means more efficiency, but takes some of the stress off of managers, and off the employees themselves. Time management training should introduce good habits like scheduling, prioritizing, using channels of communication and support, and specific problem-solving skills so that they can alter direction and adapt as needed.
Safety should be a chief concern at any company. Manufacturing alone accounted for over 60 percent of workplace injuries in 2015. Injured employees mean loss of productivity, growing costs in workers comp insurance, medical costs, and in some cases lawsuits against the company which could lead to hefty legal settlements, even though they could easily be prevented. Companies should establish clear safety policies on equipment use, vehicle operation, picking up trash and spills that could lead to tripping, storage of chemicals, and use of safety equipment like gloves and eyewear. All employees should attend safety courses on a regular basis to keep these ideas fresh in their minds. Safety training is important not only for employee well-being, but the reputation and profitability of the company.
Lectures or demonstrations from live instructors are the traditional means of training, but companies may find creating instructional videos or virtual reality programs as part of the training more effective. Hands-on learning is easier to retain, and organizations may incorporate team-building exercises, drills, or skill-related competitions. But it’s important that each session be designed toward building knowledge and skills related to a specific task where employee improvement will benefit the company.