DAVE ANDERSON | 4 MIN READ
You have certain expectations for your employees. You not only need them to produce results. You also need them to follow the right procedures as they work toward their goals.
Training employees is an important part of running a successful organization. Even though you have smart and talented people on your team, they need to be coached to do things the right way. Forming a training program ensures new hires and seasoned employees alike learn how to properly apply their skills.However, a training program is pointless if your team members don’t take it upon themselves to acquire the necessary knowledge. In this article, we provide tips on how you can hold employees accountable for their training responsibilities.
Create attention-grabbing training materials
One of the biggest mistakes organizations make when it comes to training is creating boring, hard-to-consume materials. Relying solely on a training manual or similar text-based documents is an ineffective method for teaching your employees.
Think about how students learn in school. They’re not asked to read the textbook cover-to-cover. Most of their knowledge is acquired in the classroom, where the teacher breaks down and talks through complicated concepts. The textbook is simply a supplemental resource.
You should take a similar approach with your training program. Create step-by-step lessons your employees can easily engage with. Use PowerPoints or short videos that are easy to focus on. If completing your training program doesn’t seem like a massive undertaking, your employees will be inclined to jump in and get started.
Make lessons a reasonable length
While presenting training materials in the right format is important, you also need to keep each lesson a reasonable length. Employees will get distracted, overwhelmed, or simply lose interest in a course that has too much to it.
Even if someone has a big cup of coffee and tries their best to stay focused, the human brain can only take in so much new information at a time. In fact, most scientists agree that our short-term memories can only store about four-to-six pieces of new information.
The key is to segment, or chunk, large concepts into smaller points that build on each other. As the employee progresses, the pieces fall into place. Through repetition and connecting common themes, the brain eventually grasps the big picture.
We recommend starting your training sessions off by presenting the large concept and reassuring the employee you’ll slowly build up to it. Then break it down into smaller points, giving each one its own slide or portion of the video. Reinforce the lesson by providing examples and referencing the previous points as the training moves forward.
Establish a deadline
Creating effective training materials goes a long way in keeping your employees interested. But once you have them in place, it’s up to the employee to do their part.
One of the best ways to hold your employees accountable to their training responsibilities is to set deadlines. It creates an expectation that completing the training program needs to be a priority and can’t be pushed aside until they get to it.
It’s okay to be flexible with deadlines when you first implement a training program. But as more and more employees go through it, you’ll get a sense for what a reasonable completion time frame is. With Mindflash, you can see the average completion time for each of your courses, helping you set appropriate deadlines.
Test your employees' knowledge
It’s crucial employees finish their training in a reasonable time frame but even more important is they come away knowing what they need to. After all, breezing through the program and not retaining what was covered is almost as bad as not completing it at all.
Letting your employees know they’ll be tested ensures they stay focused as they go through the training materials. And, of course, you’ll get confirmation they learned what they needed to. Consider creating a comprehensive test employees take at the end of the program or smaller quizzes they take after each course.
If your training program is product or sales-focused, it might make sense to require employees to give a demo in lieu of taking a test. You can confirm they learned everything, while also having the opportunity to give feedback on their delivery.
Reward employees when they finish
If you want your staff to grasp the importance of your training program, you should give public recognition when an employee completes it. You’ll encourage future participants to give it their all when the time comes while showing you appreciate the hard work of the people who already finished the lessons.
There are countless ways to reward employees who successfully complete your training program. Giving a shout out or presenting a nice-looking certificate will often suffice but the right method is really up to you. Just be sure to give some sort of recognition to the people who lived up to your organization's training expectations, just as you do whenever an employee does great work.
Help your employees be accountable
Your employees need to take it upon themselves to handle all their work responsibilities—training included. If you create an engaging training program and set clear expectations, you’ll likely find that your employees come away knowing exactly what they need to.