4 Ways to Create an Employee Training Process That Works for Your Small Business

If you’re a small business owner with experience hiring employees, you already know the stress and time that comes with the process. It starts from the search for the right candidate to the onboarding and training of a new employee.

“You hope your hire will work out and be highly successful, but you never know who will stay with you for a decade versus whom you'll have to fire in three months,” says serial software entrepreneur Heather R. Morgan in an Inc. post.

Ideally, every business owner wants a training process to help the new employee be successful at their job and your company. But further, you want scalable techniques that will save you time for future hires, writes Morgan, co-founder and CEO of Endpass.

Here’s the latest in new employee training, including in this post-pandemic era, and tips on making the training and onboarding process at your small business better for everyone.

Employees Are More Trainable

During the pandemic environment of safety protocols and remote work, small business owners saw their employees’ remarkable ability and capacity to learn new things on the job.

“Workers who remained on site had to learn to comply with new and vast safety measures, and those who transitioned to a remote environment faced an abrupt and total transformation of how work gets done,” says HR Dive editor Katie Clarey in a blog post.

As a result, McKinsey & Co. partner Monne Williams says, employees became more trainable, writes Clarey.

There’s been an increased focus on skills training, according to research from the Milken Institute in partnership with Infosys. More than half of respondents in a survey they conducted cited training in some form as a benefit of remote work.

Go For ‘On the Job’ Training

On-the-job training is the most important type of skills training, according to a Milken Institute and Infosys survey of employees and managers at large U.S. companies.

Survey respondents were given 10 points to allocate to four types of skills training, including on-the-job training, which led the list with 27% of the points.

Respondents also rated the importance of specific soft skills. Trustworthiness, leadership and friendliness were the three most chosen options, writes Clarey in the HR Dive post. Creativity, decisiveness and persuasiveness were the three least chosen options, the report said.

Make Training Less Time-Burdensome

Some training lasts longer than it needs to. Experts advise businesses to look at their onboarding and training and determine how to deliver relevant training to new employees in less time.

Your aim is a process that reduces the time spent “learning,” whether that means shorter sessions or spreading it out over days for smaller increments.

One way to do that is by converting to microlearning, suggests Chris Scherting in a post for ej4, which provides online learning solutions to companies.

Develop learning sessions that take into account the reality of interruptions and the responsibilities that come with everyone’s busy workday, Scherting writes.

“There may be obvious shorter ‘chapters’ to the content that could be converted to microlearning,” she adds.

Let Your New Business Model Lead the Way

Even before the pandemic forced some companies to shift their business models, changing technologies and new ways of working were disrupting jobs and the skills employees need to do them, says an article posted by McKinsey & Company.

It’s up to business owners and leaders to ensure that their employees are equipped with the skills critical to their recovery business models, says the article by McKinsey’s Sapana Agrawal, Aaron De Smet, Sébastien Lacroix and Angelika Reich.

“The first step is to build a no-regrets skill set—a tool kit that will be useful no matter how an employee’s specific role may evolve,” they write.

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