Given the current state of the economy, jobs are hard to keep and even harder to get. This is a time when a company's training department can come to the rescue. Often times, when layoffs are prevalent, there are fewer employees to do the same amount of work. When these situations occur, the training department must step up and organize frequent training seminars. This is a great way to train a large group of people in a more effective way.

However, some organizations feel that training employees during working hours isn’t always the most efficient way, as it takes away productivity from an already taxed department. But wait, let’s think outside the box! Companies can organize training sessions held before employees must “technically” be at work. With some bagels, juice and coffee, these training sessions turn into breakfast seminars, which can be fun and rewarding for all involved. OR, a company can institute "Lunch-Bag Trainings", where everyone can enjoy a packed lunch while still learning about the company.

Training doesn't always have to be used in times of crisis, either. Frequent trainings should be an important initiative during good economic times as well. Why is this? In correlation with economic improvement, hiring efforts are likely to increase. So, now you have a lot of new recruits eager to get to work, but lacking the knowledge to be efficient. So, what to do? Combining general training sessions with a mentorship program can be a wonderfully effective way to train people, as it gives the new recruit the opportunity to learn about the company as a whole while still having time for specialized departmental training with a member from their own team.

Let's look at an example. In the morning, an HR manager can train a large class on the basics of the company and teach them general tools needed for job completion. Then, in the afternoon, those employees can train with a mentor to either reinforce what was already learned in the morning session or to learn new job-related skills. This seminar and mentorship training method allows your new hire to learn and perform all in the same day. This is an effective way to enable your new recruit to feel confident in their new role, by implementing immediate hands-on learning.

After three to six months, it is important to conduct a survey to analyze the training program's success. This will enable companies to track how successful the program was; what changes need to be made; and what can be improved upon. Although it may be difficult to encompass all suggestions, as different positions call for different training needs, gathering information from your employees is still vital in developing the basics of the company's training program.

However you decide to organize training at your company, a major part of the onboarding process, always remember that this is an employee's first glimpse into working with your organization. Therefore, you should try to make this process as pleasant and rewarding as possible in order to set up your new hire for a successful, productive, and satisfying tenure at your company.

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Comment by Steven Coyne on March 15, 2010 at 12:00pm
Karen:
Exceptional post. It's a way to keep employees interested, safe and aware of new things happening in their industry!

I held a Safety Coordinator position for a large airplane catering company several years ago. I was required to evaluate the catering drivers safety out on the Ramp area of the airport. We had over 200 drivers and they were to be evaluated at least 4 times per month. That was a lot of work, and even more if there was a safety issue with one of the drivers.

I suggested that we implement a "Safety 5's" program to reduce accidents and to encourage all who attended these quick meetings. They clocked in and were ready to receive quick reminders about safety issues. These safety meetings lasted 5 minutes twice per week and immediately reduced accidents by 75%.

Not only were the accidents reduced by a large amount, the employees Paid More Attention at these quick meetings, and out on the very dangerous Ramp where all of the airline preperation happened. It didn't cost much, it was quick, and it reduced my workload dramatically. The drivers were not failing safety evaluations as often and the attitude changed out on the Ramp!

Training is worth EVERY PENNY!
Comment by Karen Bucks on March 15, 2010 at 3:13pm
Wow, that's great! Short, frequent trainings are the way to go. We are all human, and we all have our limits. There is only so much we can digest at one time.

We also have weekly trainings at iCIMS, but maybe we can somehow incorporate 5-minute departmental trainings to supplement. I will have to talk to HR. Thanks Steven!
Comment by Steven Coyne on March 15, 2010 at 3:19pm
Just let me know if you want any details. Contact me through the "Send Message" button on my profile, and we'll trade numbers for a quick conversation about this issue.

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