Magazine article Business Credit

Keeping a Staff Motivated through Training and Development. (Selected Topic)

Magazine article Business Credit

Keeping a Staff Motivated through Training and Development. (Selected Topic)

Article excerpt

When you think about training, you think about the reasons why you train someone. Those reasons can range from a new-hire needing training on how the department and/or company operates, to introducing a new concept to a workgroup or a new computer system. Whatever the reason for conducting a training session, it is important for a company to develop a comprehensive, ongoing and consistent training program. This training program will be essential in keeping your staff motivated about learning new concepts and keeping your department profitable.

A complete training program should always include a formal new-hire training program, including an overview of the job expectations and performance skills needed to perform the job functions. Also, a new-hire training program should include a fundamental understanding of the position and how the position fits within the organizational structure. The more background knowledge of how one work group interrelates with ancillary departments, the more the new associate will understand their impact on the organization. Another aspect of a comprehensive training program is continuing education. It should be an ongoing responsibility of one person in a department. It is an important function to keep all staff members current on policies, procedures and the technology used in the department.

New-Hire Training

A solid new-hire training program begins with the creation of a training manual. This manual acts as a building block of practical and technical skills needed to prepare the new individual for their position. In order for the department to understand current policies and procedures, it should be a manager's or supervisor's duty to ensure the department manuals are kept current. This includes any system enhancements and/or change in policy or procedure. In addition, it is important to remember to keep the manual interesting for the reader. In other words, keep the reader/associate in mind when designing the training manual. Do not be afraid to use language that is not "corporate" or to include graphics. Also, when possible, incorporate a visual image of a computer screen to illustrate a function.

Another form of new-hire training could include having the new associate train directly next to an existing associate. Some call this concept "OJT" (On the Job Training) or side-by-side training. This type of training allows the new associate to see firsthand the different facets of the position. Also, this allows the new-hire the opportunity to develop a working relationship with an existing associate. However, it should be noted, this type of training enforces learned concepts in the initial training and should be used as a form of reinforcement and application of those same learned concepts.

Continuing Education

A continuing education program for a department is just as important as the newhire training. Keep in mind, when you train a new associate, they will only retain approximately 40 percent of the information learned in the initial training session. Therefore, a Continuous effort must be placed on reminding the staff about various procedures and concepts. This continuing education can be formal or informal. (It should be noted the author's preference would always be with more of an informal approach. However, the manager should decide what works for their department.) The formal, or traditional, approach would include a member of the management sending a memo to each associate. The informal, and often more appealing approach to a visual learner, would be to send a one-page information sheet to their staff. This information sheet, or "training alert," should be informative and presented in a non-threatening manner. Therefore, if the policy or procedure changes, the informal approach would better prepare the depar tment to receive this presentation.

Designing a Continuing Education Program

Prior to putting together a continuing education program, the management team must decide what the desired outcome should be. …

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