5 Tips to Improve Training Practices During Times of Team Growth

You can write the perfect job description, conduct a masterful interview, and hire the ideal candidate. And yet, if you don’t train that new employee well, you’ll waste all of that up-front effort.

Effective training practices are an easily overlooked yet important aspect of success. Good training empowers staff members with the knowledge, expectations, and tools they need to execute their new jobs with authority.

And yet, as your team grows, it becomes easier to slip in this key area. Here are a few questions to help you review your current training practices. As you do so, look for potential improvements to update your training procedures as you expand your rank and file.

1. Are You Implementing the Right Training Approaches?

The way that you train your staff depends on multiple factors. For instance, is your team on-site, off-site, or both? Are you training them for high-level activities, like engineering or operating complex machinery? 

The expectations for each role will dictate the way you should approach training for that position. For example, ILT (instructor-led training) is hands-on, personalized, and intimately detailed. Virtual learning is helpful for remote teams and asynchronous studying. 

As a leader, consider what you’re trying to accomplish with each employee. Then align your training with those needs.

2. Are You Using Formal Training for More Than Onboarding?

Training isn’t reserved for newcomers to your team. For example, Contiem, a global leader in full-service content solutions, highlights that training is important during transitional times, too. It’s needed when you upgrade a platform, implement organizational changes, or upskill your existing workforce. 

You also want the right documentation in place to support training. These provide task-based, on-demand information for easy reference when a newly trained employee needs a reminder.

Training is not exclusively for new team members. Make sure you’re using it to meet operational needs throughout your organization.

3. Are You Considering Evolving Protocols?

As teams grow, the way that they operate changes, as well. A marketer who used to manage social media and email marketing, for instance, might become the sole social media marketer while someone else is hired to take on email. In that case, it’s important to update protocols and ensure that the rest of the team knows they shouldn’t go to the original manager for email-related questions.

In smaller cases, like the above, you don’t need full training to keep everyone up to date. When your team is growing quickly, though, the shifts and changes in protocols can become overwhelming. 

If your team’s activities and responsibilities are changing rapidly, you may want to sit everyone down (in-person or online) and have a brief training session from time to time. Review any updated protocols, answer questions, and make sure your team is on the same page.

4. Are You Communicating Expectations?

Training is often seen as a technical activity. You’re transferring information, mastering processes, and understanding protocols. And these are all important aspects of teaching employees how to function well within your flourishing company.

Leaders need to look beyond these basics, though. They also need to weave expectations into their training endeavors. From learning how to use a tech tool to utilizing communication protocols, employees shouldn’t just learn the how but the why behind each part of their training.

Recruiting site Indeed stresses the importance of communicating expectations at work. This avoids ambiguity, clarifies communication, enhances employee engagement, and improves autonomy.

Whenever you conduct training in your company, clearly outline what it’s accomplishing in relation to your vision and mission. Then communicate that to your employees.

5. Are You Asking New Team Members for Feedback?

Learning is an ongoing activity — especially in the rapidly evolving modern workplace. When a company is growing, this can extrapolate this rate of change, as well.

This requires the constant finessing of your training programs and practices. While it’s possible to do this on a management level, one of the best sources for ongoing improvement is your employees themselves.

Feedback loops can provide you with an endless stream of information regarding how effective and impactful your training is. Are your current training efforts resonating with employees? Are new recruits learning what they need to feel empowered to do their new jobs? Does everyone clearly understand the connection between their training and expectations for their positions? (See the previous point for more on setting expectations in training.)

Improvement in training never stops. Make sure you’re going to your employees regularly to inform your ongoing efforts to upgrade your training activity.

Refining Training Practices With a Growing Team

It’s important to improve your training practices, especially during times of team growth. As protocols change, make sure everyone on your team is equipped with the knowledge and expectations they require.

That way, they can confidently and effectively play their part in the upward evolution of your organization.

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