Training is something that a lot of businesses – big or small – struggle with. There are certain things you can do to maximize your efforts – and your team’s success. This week, I’m sharing 5 training tips to help you do just that!
1. Set Up Systems + Processes
Setting up clear systems and processes in your business is crucial. You should make sure to have these in place before hiring, when possible, and keep them up-to-date regularly.
Systems and processes help us run our business more efficiently and take the guesswork out of how to handle various daily tasks.
They also help us train our new team members more effectively. They are the road maps that our whole team can follow to arrive at the same destination most efficiently.
Systems and processes should be written down and easily accessible to all appropriate team members – which we’ll talk about next!
2. Create an Operations Manual
Where in the world should you keep all of these systems and processes? In an operations manual (or team playbook), of course!
This ops manual (for short) can easily be stored on and accessed in a shared folder or drive, like Google Drive.
Your ops manual is one of the best tools you can have for not only training your team, but empowering them to find answers to their questions on their own first. Which means they’ll be coming to you less often.
People generally like to be self-sufficient (yes, I know there are some who don’t – but that’s a different topic for another day). Most people would much rather be able to get the answers to their questions on their own – without bothering their boss.
With an ops manual, it’s a win-win for both you and your team!
Now, this does not have to be a difficult process. Here’s my simple suggestion: Every time you perform a task, record the steps in a document. You can have someone make it look nice later on! The important part is that you get those steps written down and recorded in one easy-to-access location.
3. Have a Plan
There’s a lot to say about being prepared. When you have a plan for how you’re going to train your newest team members, you’ll feel more confident and they’ll feel like an important addition to the team.
Your plan doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. But, when you’re training your team, you need to have a plan. Things can quickly go off the rails, people can get sidetracked, and focus can be lost without a plan. All of which costs you time and money.
A basic outline or agenda of things you want to cover or share with your team is a good place to start. It allows you to cover everything you need to cover and can also be used to mark off completed items with your team members.
Having a solid plan in place ensures that all important topics have been covered and makes for a more efficient and streamlined process. This means your team gets up to speed more quickly and wastes less time.
Need to train your team members and still have questions or need more help? Let’s grab a quick call to figure out your next steps!
4. Time for Learning
Learning a new skill or process will take some time and there is almost always a learning curve. Be sure to build in time to all of your training plans for your team members to learn and build their skill proficiency.
The more complicated the task, the more time you should allow in your plan for your team to learn and consistently execute the new process or skill.
The less complicated the task, the less time you will need to add.
Many times, when people are under pressure and tight deadlines, they’re so busy focusing on getting in trouble for not performing or meeting the deadline that they’re not able to concentrate on learning the new skill. This leads to sloppy execution and lower retention of information. Neither of which are good for your business!
Letting your team know that there will be time allowed for them to learn and develop their new skills will give them a sense of ease and will increase their chances of performing the new task successfully – and more quickly!
5. Ask for Feedback
This is a big one that so many leaders miss. Asking for your team members’ feedback on their training (and about business in general) is absolutely essential.
We can learn so much from our teams on what we can do better or what they need from us as leaders. Maybe there wasn’t enough information provided during the training, or they didn’t feel like they could ask questions, or perhaps they didn’t have enough time to learn the skill.
On the flip side, we can learn what we did well and what they appreciated. You might hear a new team member say that they felt welcomed by all their new coworkers or they really loved the training process because they now fully understand and feel confident in their new role.
In either case, we should always be asking for feedback from our team members – whether they’re just getting started with us or have been with us for a while.
Your team members will feel important, heard, and included in the process when you ask for their input. This is a great way to build rapport, trust, and mutual respect with your team. Which ultimately leads to happier, more productive, long-term team members.
I hope these 5 quick tips help you develop a strong training experience with and for your team.
Training is all about sharing information, communicating clearly with your team, allowing them time to learn and practice their new skills, and listening to their feedback.
When done properly, you can develop long-lasting, positive relationships with your team members built on mutual respect and appreciation.