Training Referred to as Key to Employee Performance and Retention

by WOHe

Training Referred to as Key to Employee Performance and
Retention


Training is the key to retaining employees and having them perform
at the highest level. Yet, small businesses such as those that
characterize the kitchen and bath market sometimes neglect the
important step of implementing a formal training program and that’s
one reason why they often have positions that become “revolving
doors.”

A formal training policy will increase worker productivity,
decrease confusion and increase satisfaction for both employer and
employee, personnel experts are quick to point out.
They note, for instance, that successful employment begins with an
orientation of the new employee. One person should be in charge of
all orientation generally the owner/manager of the company. This
ensures a consistent message to all employees.

Orientation should cover a basic core of material needed. This
includes the mission of the business, its history and its basic
goals. Personnel policies including probationary period,
disciplinary actions, work schedule, safety rules and use of
equipment need to be covered, as well.

New employees are always interested in benefits. Orientations
should cover items such as pay, payday, vacation, sick leave and
other benefits. Discuss specific job responsibilities to which the
new employee will be assigned, how the job relates to other work
performed in the business and safety requirements. The new employee
should also be formally introduced to the other employees, one at a
time.

Personnel experts also say that it is helpful to put the
orientation information on paper in the form of a written employee
handbook. That way, policies and benefits can be accessible and
clear to both employer and employee. It also provides a reference
for any aspect of the job not immediately understood by the
employee, who may feel confused and overwhelmed.

It’s important, too, to develop open, two-way lines of
communication between management and a new employee right from the
beginning. Encourage questions and answer them. Clear, well-defined
expectations will pay dividends in the future and reduce possible
misunderstandings.

Determine the skill level of the new employee and identify
specifically what you want him or her to be able to perform after
training. Spell out exactly how fast, how accurately or at what
standards various tasks should be performed. Make sure the steps or
procedures are logical and in correct order. Have all the equipment
or material needed right at hand and ready for use.

Teaching consists of the following five steps:

  • Prepare the employee. In a relaxed way, explain why the skill
    to be learned is important. Explain any hazards or problems that
    may be involved, as well as how to deal with them. Answer any
    questions that the employee may have about the task.
  • Tell the employee. Break the task down into key parts or steps.
    Most employees will find that learning several smaller tasks, and
    putting those together, is easier than trying to learn one large
    skill all at once.
  • Show the employee. Demonstrate exactly how the task or skill is
    to be done for the employee. Involve the employee by asking
    questions and getting feedback. Have the employee explain the
    process or skill back to you.
  • Let the employee do the task by him or herself. Help develop
    his or her confidence by carefully monitoring at first. Then allow
    him or her to work without supervision. You need to make sure that
    the employee does each step correctly and avoids developing any bad
    habits.
  • Review the progress in terms of encouragement, constructive
    criticism and additional comments. This is a great opportunity to
    praise the employee or correct his or her progress.

Give feedback to the employee, complete with a checklist
detailing all of the job tasks. On a regular basis, the employer
and employee should go over the sheet. Recognize the good points
and explain what points need to be improved. This method keeps new
employees up-to-date and involved with the review process.

Well-planned, as well as well-conducted orientation and training
takes time and effort by both you and your employee. However, the
far-reaching benefits are certain to spell positive, productive and
motivated workers. 

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