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When Should You Train?

April 25, 2018

 

 

We talk a lot about employee training: how to manage it better, make it more effective, and incorporate new ideas and methods. But sometimes we forget about when to train. How do we know when it’s the right time?

 

Knowing at which points when it should happen can be one of the keys to accomplishing your overall training and employee-growth goals. Here are some of the most important times you’ll want to provide training for your employees' development:

 

1. At the beginning

Can you imagine walking into a new job with nowhere to sit, or not having a computer or job-related supplies ready for you? Or being told that your HR paperwork isn't ready, and you’ll have to “wait a while” to get it? Or if no one could introduce you to your team and tell you who you should ask for help?

 

As with these essentials, providing orientation and onboarding training as soon as possible sends a message that new hires are valued as employees, and that your organization is prepared to work with them. In addition, training employees on what you expect from them can discourage a culture where policies and procedures are ignored and everyone does things their own way.

 

2. At employee mile-markers

Understanding what milestones, performance goals or competencies are indicators of employee readiness for new or different responsibility is an important part of management in general. But these mile-markers are also a key indicator of when an employee may be ready for more training.

 

Simply assuming that your quality employees can train themselves along the way might make your life easier in the short term, but not training (that is, investing in) your employees as they develop can create long-term losses in productivity and quality. Offering some type of employee-development training keeps your people feeling good about working for the organization, and it helps your team develop as a unified workforce.

 

3. When regulation requires it
You don’t have much control over when to train your employees so that you’re compliant with regulation. Many professions require ongoing training to be completed every year or before someone is legally allowed to perform a certain function of their job.

 

But even if you don’t have input into when regulation-based training occurs, it’s up to you to know the federal, state, or industry governing body’s regulations so you can keep your employees compliant. You also must provide the means to access the training from a financial, time and travel perspective.

 

4. When things change

Change is a constant in life, and it’s no different in your organization: Company policies change. Job descriptions change. Government regulations change. With all this change, front-line employees are often left in the “gray area” of change for the longest period of time. This has significant impact on their productivity, effectiveness and even compliance with policy. You may not be a decision maker bringing about the change, but if you’re in charge of training, you’ll want to guarantee your people are trained quickly and clearly about adapting to the change.

 

Doing this well often requires teaming up with decision makers. This helps you understand the timing and key points of the change, so you can articulate them clearly and in a meaningful way as you take on the training side of the overall change.

 

Finally, with so many opportunities that require quality training in the life of an employee, coming up with the best way to provide new or ongoing training can be difficult. Visit our blog regularly to stay up-to-date on how to improve your training during the key times for your employees.

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