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Giving Employees the Training They Need

By Sep Barkhodaee, September 13, 2013
Employee training

What is the goal of training? On its most basic level, testing employees and training employees in-person or online in an online course software is about ensuring that volunteers and staff in your organization are able to acquire a new skill, understand how to execute a particular task, or grasp the intricacies of a new policy or practice. But how do organizations ensure that their trainees master the content? How do they make sure that no employee is left behind? It means emphasizing employee engagement.

Engagement isn’t the same as satisfaction. Satisfaction in a training context means that the employee feels the exercise was adequate for their learning needs. A satisfied trainee feels they learned what they needed to keep the powers-that-be off their back. It doesn’t tell an organization much about whether the trainee actually believes in, supports and is willing to promote the new policy or procedure. Introducing new production quotas without getting employees on side can lead efforts to boost productivity to have the opposite effect. Engagement is about minimizing resistance to change by helping employees see how they fit into efforts to make the organization better. You can follow these easy steps to make sure that your trainees end up working for change, rather than against it.

 

1 – Engage staff and volunteers early on to minimize resistance.

If your organization is planning a major shift in operating procedure, or policy consider bringing in your staff from the start to help your organization consider front-line realities. Focus groups, online forums, and other activities to include your staff and volunteers in solving a problem or increasing efficiency can tap into new resources. It also helps to generate a group of advocates for change.

 

2 – Test your new procedure before you go live.

You may want to consider bringing in a test group and rolling any new policy or procedure out among a single unit before going organization-wide with changes. Allow a select group to try out the new initiative and work through it together. Follow up afterwards with focus groups to solicit their genuine responses and feedback. It helps to keep your employees in the loop, provides valuable feedback and can build positive buzz about the changes before full implementation.

 

3 – Create a transparent and direct line of communication for staff and volunteers.

Nothing will keep your employees on side like giving them a direct line to the top to discuss their concerns. Hopefully these will be minimal thanks to following the first two steps. However, making those who are still resistant feel like they are being listened to can gradually reduce their opposition to change. For those who continue to have difficulty adapting, offer one-on-one mentoring and support.

 

Change is never easy, especially in complex organizations. It is, however, inevitable. The challenge of change in the dynamic 21st century economy means relying on your employees support to make new policies and procedures successful. Including them in the design, development, implementation and evaluation of new initiatives helps keep them engaged and on side through challenging times. Now, more than ever, it is essential that organizations ensure no employee is left behind.


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