Although innovation and creativity are increasingly valued in today’s organisations, there are still a number of tasks that need to be completed in a set way.
Whether it’s following a manufacturing process, inputting records or processing a refund, there is a defined way to do things right.
When consistency and quality are important, managers need to be able to train people on-the-job to complete tasks consistently and to the right standard.
Here are 5 top tips to make on-the-job training work:-
1. Plan it
Think about what you will cover in your training, why, when, where and how.
Consider if there is a particular order that things need to be covered and what support materials you need to help you (such as SOPs or procedures manuals). Remember that you don’t need to cover everything at once!
A sequence of short mini sessions over a few days (with some practice in between) will generally be far more effective than one long, detailed session.
2. Prepare it
Prepare your training environment and equipment.
Make sure that you have a suitable place to deliver the training as well as the relevant tools, documentation and equipment that you need.
It’s also useful to prepare your trainee: give them proper notice and put their mind at rest by telling them what they are going to learn, why and anything else they need to do in advance.
3. Demonstrate it
In small but logical bite-size chinks, demonstrate exactly what it is that you expect your trainee to do.
You can demonstrate it after an explanation or at the same time, depending on how appropriate it is for the skill you are training and the trainee’s preferences.
When demonstrating, remember to take it slowly and refer to any procedures manuals or processes so that the trainee can visibly make the connection between the theory and the practice. 4
4. Check it
After each chunk of training, take time to check understanding by asking questions of the trainee.
Ask questions to test their memory of the procedure but also to check their understanding of WHAT they need to do and WHY.
If your trainee doesn’t understand why they’re doing something, they are more likely to deviate from a set procedure.
By checking understanding on a regular basis, you can make sure you don’t overload the trainee and only move on to the next part when you’re both happy that they are ready for it.
5. Encourage them
While someone is learning, make sure that you give them plenty of encouragement and constructive feedback as they go.
What gets rewarded gets repeated!
The trainee is likely to be quite self-conscious and very aware of their mistakes in the early stages.
Helping them to focus on what they do well, as well as correcting any mistakes in a supportive way, will keep them motivated enough to keep on trying until they get it right.
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