Training is an Ongoing Process

3 Essential Strategies for Successful Training

You’ve just conducted a wonderful interview with a promising candidate. She’s accepted your job offer. Phew! Thank Heavens that’s over.


Now comes the most important part of successfully building your team. Training. Frankly, I’ve been amazed at how many times businesses don’t have an effective training system. They seem to think their new team member will just do it. Even more frightening…do it right. And usually without the proper training they are disappointed and the new “promising” team member ends-up frustrated. If you don’t have one…develop a training system… here are 3 approaches to get you started:

1. Always Give the Trainee Context.

In an effort to keep your new trainee from feeling overwhelmed and to make them feel like they are joining the team, be sure you’re explaining not only what he needs to know, but why he is learning it. For example, if you are explaining the policy for customer returns, don’t just instruct the trainee on how to process a customer return in the mechanical sense, explain why the process is done in such a way. Maybe in the past there was a problem with customers taking advantage of your business or maybe you explain returns are done this specific way because it will help inventory. By letting the trainee in on the why, you are giving purpose to the position they are in training for. You’ll find that after the training is complete, the team member will have retained more information due to knowing how each procedure fits into the bigger picture of your business.

2. Use Different Teaching Styles.

Don’t rely solely on lecturing while training a new hire. If you’re talking about your business’ policies and procedures for too long, you’ll likely bore the trainee. And you know what? It isn’t her fault for being bored. The best way to be sure the trainee is retaining the knowledge you’re teaching, is to blend audio (you talking), visual (reading materials, projections, etc.), and hands-on (trainee talking and discussing) equally. You need to talk and show them the reading materials—that’s true. You also need to hear from her while she’s trying to process all of the new information. Include open discussions and encourage communication during the training sessions. Remember mistakes will happen, but we all learn from those mistakes.

3. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. Listen, listen, listen.

As the training sessions proceed, don’t assume that since you’ve been doing an excellent job imparting all of your business wisdom onto the new hire, you’re job is over. Assess the progress of the trainee but don’t be too hard on him right away. If you’re consistently monitoring the progress of a specific trainee, you will have the opportunity to assist the trainee and potentially shift your training plans to accommodate his needs. By taking measures to evaluate the progress of each trainee, you’re actually saving yourself time and money. Addressing certain issues in the training sessions will likely eliminate many future problems when he’s in the field, working for you and your business.

Finally, be alert and inviting. Always listen to the trainee. Whether it’s a question, a clarification regarding a procedure, or a response to a question you’ve posed, you must use the training period to establish open communication. Who knows….you may learn something new along the way.