Whether you are training for a marathon or for a cashier job in retail, it’s good to understand the importance of correct training methods. There will always be some methods that work best for particular people but here is a rough guide on how to train a new employee.
- Set regular meetings with the trainee so you have an idea where they are at. This will also ensure you are allocating set times throughout the week to purely focus on how they are progressing. It will also allow them to ask questions and feel comfortable approaching you about any concerns they may be having.
- Give clear instructions on all tasks to ensure the trainee knows what is expected of them and within the expected time. Start off with simple tasks that won’t overwhelm the trainee and ensure they are completing all the tasks correctly.
- Go through the trainee’s work with them and explain any mistakes they may have encountered. Ask them what went wrong: were the instructions not clear? How could it have been explained better? Would they like you do demonstrate how the task should be completed again?
- Once the trainee has progressed to the expected level of standard, you can split the workload with another employee who is under the pump. Let them work in their own way which might not necessarily be the same way you would do things. As long as the result is the same, the process can be altered to suit the person. But remember to check their work in the early stages to ensure it’s of a high standard.
- Towards the final stages of training, encourage the trainee to make decisions in conjunction with you and discuss the best possible ways of making the decision. Even if you are running late to a meeting and have five deadlines waiting, take the time out to discuss the decisions with the trainee. It’s always better to talk about the decision than making the wrong one.
- And most importantly: be patient and have a good attitude towards the trainee and the training at hand. The trainee will probably be nervous in the beginning and they will make mistakes so it’s important you are patient even if you want to rip all your hair out and take the first bus out of there. If you have a positive attitude, your trainee will be much more likely to respond to the training.
Training a new employee can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating but if you take the time to make sure the new employee understands what is expected of them and how to do the job properly, they will respond positively. You will most likely get a hard-working, enthusiastic employee from all the hours of training, and they are more likely to stay in the company for longer.
Julie works on behalf of Barminco, a Perth based company specialising in training and employment in the mining and construction industry.