Unit 6 STAFF TRAINING & MOTIVATION
A properly trained workforce is a company’s most prized asset. When employees go through appropriate training, they realize their involvement and importance in the company in a much better way. Consequently they become motivated and loyal to the company not because they lack other choices but because they understand their importance and responsibilities. Thus a good staff training program must develop focusing on the following traits:
· Career Opportunities
· Valued Employees
Understanding: Regardless of department or workload, each employee participates in a company’s advancement. However, the problem is a large portion of the staff often fails to see how they are doing it and thus remain only mildly motivated. Training programs help employees to understand how their jobs are contributing to the whole system and how they are not just another clog in the wheel. Understanding responsibilities is vital for individual development.
Improvement: Most employees unintentionally become specialized on a specific type of job and their understanding often exceeds that of a supervising individual (like a manager). Unfortunately they also often lack the proper educational training and tools to put these enhanced knowledge to us. A good staff training program must always be able to fulfill these intellectual and materialistic needs.
Career Opportunities: When an individual joins a company’s staff force, they come in expecting the current post as a starting position, not the final one. When that company fails to offer the expected training and opportunities to employees, they become uninterested and unmotivated towards the company’s ultimate objective. Gradually lethargy sets into the whole force. Every step of a staff training program must focus on teaching something new and thus making individuals more versatile towards new roles and opportunities.
Continuous: A company goes through changes from the beginning to the end. Thus, employees also need to be trained from the day they join the company to the day they retire or cease to be a part of the staff. Otherwise some would fall back while others prosper creating imbalance in the force.
Valued Employees: When a company offers training programs for its employees, it sends out a message that it appreciates what they do. This also indicates that the company values progress not for progress’s sake only but because it also creates opportunities for the contributing individuals. When a program manages to send out this message, employees become more psychologically attached to the organization seeing it not as a separate entity but as a collection of responsible individuals.
Often small organizations say that they cannot afford training programs for their employees or they just do not have the time. Problem is, regardless of company size, an untrained or under-trained staff is incapable of using its fullest potential and consequently the company keeps losing a steady flow of profits. A training program does not need to be expensive to be effective; it just needs to be properly organized. Let us take a look at the steps through which a staff force can be trained regardless of new or old employees.
1. Delegate the training responsibilities to people with the proper experience and willingness. Selecting instructors because they are simply in the closest proximity of the individual(s) and have the most amount of expendable time is a recipe for disaster.
2. In case of a new hire, training should not just focus on teaching the professional responsibilities but also socializing them into the organization’s informal environment. This should drastically enhance the hire’s learning capacity.
3. The goal and steps of a training program should be put in written form and shared with all the participants. Literal visualization helps people in staying focused and motivates them since they know where all this is going.
4. A good training program requires a safe environment for learning. If an individual(s) feels uncertain about their progress, they start feeling isolated and unwanted. It is a trainer’s responsibility to make sure nothing like this happens by treating the trainee as a human being with feelings, not just another objective to be fulfilled. Trainees should be able to realize that it takes time to learn something new or upgrade an existing skill.
5. The training pace should be decided in a participative manner. This means trainees should also be consulted in deciding how fast the program should be carried on. This is especially important when there are multiple trainers since their schedules might turn out to be too overlapping leaving not enough room for sustaining new lessons.
6. When training new employees or old employees for new roles, providing them with a detailed manual of their new jobs and responsibilities is a great idea. This way they would not be confused thinking whether something is expected of them or not.
7. Eliminate negativity from the program. Both trainers and trainees should remember that if something has been done before, it can be done again. Negativity is a common problem when new technology is introduced to older employees. Both parties must keep in mind that not everyone learns at the same speed, some have to work harder than others. Replacing negative sentences like “I don’t think I can do this” with “I’ll try to the best of my ability” is also a good idea.
8. Avoid cross-training. Remember that training is for teaching something new and people cannot learn too many new things simultaneously, especially when the different ideas do not complement each other. Otherwise all the new introductions will suffer.
9. Feedback is the best catalyst a training program can provide for its participants. If detailed feedback is provided after each session or segment, employees will know exactly how much they have improved from the previous period. Employees can develop a sense of achievement this way and manage to stay motivated for longer.
10. Lastly, be generous with positive comments. Providing employees with playful yet constructive criticism is a lot better than coming down hard on them. In fact, studies show that it is counter-productive and gradually reduces an employee’s efficiency.
A good training program does not try to change an employee’s personal traits but adds new skills to the existing set. Micromanaging is the best way to confuse a trainee’s personal attributes which in no way helpful of the program. A participant must be considered as someone who already has enough capacity to learn what the program wishes to teach.