The Big Investment in Employees: All About Training Programs

You're taking on more employees. What you need is a way to train them effectively without spending a lot of money - at least not until you see what kind of return on investment they give you. Most companies take one of two extreme roads. They either go overboard on employee training only to lose a lot of them after 90 days. Other companies are stingy with training and, again, end up losing a lot of employees after 90 days probation. Break away from the pack: invest in your employees intelligently.

Design Better Orientation Systems

Orientation is usually where employees learn about benefit packages, pay, vacation, companies policies, rules, and any regulations that apply to the industry. But most orientation training is done a little haphazardly. Sure, there's some semblance of organization, but when you only hire 3 new people and have to send them to orientation, you waste a lot of valuable time.

Most orientation classes could be moved online and taken in the employee's spare time. Or, done on an individual basis during work hours at the start of the shift. Unless you have recently changed company policies and procedures, these can be handed out to new hires and covered in a tutorial-style presentation via the Internet.

Sometimes, employees have questions. This is fine. Actually, it's better to refer them to HR than to try to answer them during a meeting. For starters, not all questions apply to all employees, and some answers need to be customized to the employee.

Use In-House Training Programs First

In-house training cuts out a lot of the costs associated with training. Most companies jump straight to outsourced training classes. This is a big mistake. Odds are, your new hires, even your existing employees, don't need to leave your company building to get the training they need for the most part.

Have executives and senior staff hold classes either back to back or staggered throughout the day. This will help you do two things. First, it will cut down on training costs. Second, it will increase attendance at meetings. Believe it or not, one of the hardest things for employers to do is to get employees to show up for training.

It seems like a no-brainer, right? They show up or they're fired. Well, it's not exactly that simple. Sometimes, employees can't show up due to previous obligations. This is common when you're asking employees to come in after work. They can't. They have kids to attend to, places to go, people to meet. Holding classes during work hours is better, but it's not always the best move either.

If you don't stagger the classes, you're pulling a lot of your staff out of the office or off the floor. Production slows down.

Use Mentoring

Mentoring is an excellent way to conduct training. Rather than have a cookie-cutter training class, have senior staff adopt new hires to mentor them. This tends to work out really well when you have a lot of older staff and fewer new staff. The new hires will learn the company's culture first-hand as well as ideas from "the old guard." 

Use External Training Intelligently

At some point, you may need to outsource some of your training. If your staff needs in-depth training on new processes - processes even you're not familiar with, then outsourcing might make sense. Companies like K Alliance specialize in this type of training.

It does get expensive if you need a lot of custom training and you're constantly sending employees to external training companies. On the other hand, by the time you reach this point, money shouldn't be much of a problem.



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