When it comes to continuous improvement within the workplace, there are few greater areas that influence quality management than employees. Your employees are a huge commodity within your organization, and as such, training them to provide the best level of service to your customers is the most effective and valuable way to ensure that they are able to represent your organization to its greatest advantage.
How to Maximise the Value of Training
While many organisations have some form of training in place for both new and current employees, it is vital that this training adds the most value to ensure the best results. It is no longer sufficient to hand over a company guidebook or procedures document and expect employees to understand your business and its goals without teaching them and motivating them to play an active role in achieving a higher level of quality. The following steps will assist managers in getting the most value from their training procedures.
1. Link training to specific company objectives.
Training offers an effective resource to ensure improved business results such as enhanced delivery, shorter delivery cycle, increased productivity and overall motivation through specific skills and tasks. Business goals should therefore be clear to all employees to provide a clear motive for training.
2. Educate rather than instruct.
Training is not simply a case of instructing employees with the help of visual aids. Training is about building relationships and understanding, encouraging participation, stimulating thinking, and modifying behavior. In this way, teaching should be more about assisting awareness and comprehension rather than simply programming set information.
3. Hire skilled and appropriate trainers.
Trainers should have a great deal of passion about their subject matter, and should also have a solid expertise and understanding of their subject as well as the learning process. Trainers should have a vision, with extensive experience to ensure the best results. As leaders, trainers need to be able to inspire and teach employees to do their best, and this role should not be delegated to someone who is simply good at public speaking.
4. Practice makes perfect.
Training is not just about learning – it is also about implementing what has been learned. This is the best way to begin the steps to implementing basic quality management principles for those who are still learning, and will help them understand exactly what they are being taught. Build intervals in the training process so that employees can go back to their work and have the time to apply their learnings and therefore get the most value from the training.
5. Training benefits employees.
The objective of the training process is to improve employee skills, and the focus should therefore be on employees. In effect the employees become the customer. Allow them to ask questions, and provide specific answers and information to make it easier for lessons to be understood, and most of all, provide means of feedback to ensure that employees are able to clearly benefit from the training process.
Through effective and regular training, employees will be given both the understanding and the motivation to realise the importance of their role within the organisation, which in turn will provide the best results for quality management across the organisation.