Training employees can be exhaustive but having a training program in place can make it not only easier and more efficient but more effective in the long run. Training programs give you a framework that you can use to bring new employees into your organization, making the transition process smoother, setting consistent expectations for all your employees across the board and ultimately giving your employees more information and resources to start their careers with momentum.
However, there’s a cost involved for training programs and that is time. It takes several hours to develop a training program from scratch, and that isn’t the end of your investment. You also need to constantly update and refine your training program if you want it to remain effective.
Why Updating Is Important
These are just some of the reasons why updating your training program is important:
- Changing information- The world we live in is constantly changing, so your training program should reflect those changes. Think about the curriculum for medical programs and other skilled professions—these aren’t the same as they were 20 years ago because of all the new technologies, new breakthroughs in thinking, and new trends in each respective area. Your workplace may not go through as many changes as a hospital, but it’s still important to account for those new developments when they do occur.
- Spotting and correcting errors - No matter how careful you are when designing your original training program, you’re going to be left with errors. There will be processes you didn’t account for, systems you incorrectly described, and statements that are just plain wrong (or at least obsolete). These errors make themselves known most apparently through practice, so as you discover them, return to your training program to correct them.
- Streamlining the process -The training program you envision in your head rarely pans out precisely as imagined when it’s put into reality. As you implement your training in a live environment, you’ll notice things you could have done better, such as word choices, the amount of information provided, or the overall organization of the program. Updating your program gives you the opportunity to make everything more streamlined, making the training process better for both trainers and trainees in the future.
- Adjustments for new processes and procedures - Few organizations keep their processes, policies, and procedures the same indefinitely. New standards and practices will inevitably emerge, at which point, you’ll need to update your training procedures to comply with them. Ideally, this would be done as the new policies roll out, but in practice, few training programs are updated regularly.
- Revising for company growth - Companies are like people in that they change as they grow older. Your brand, logo, values, and ideals will likely change as your company expands. You need to make sure your training program reflects those changes accurately and in reasonable time if you want your new workers to adjust.
Practical Tips for Updating Effectively
Follow these tips to update your training program more efficiently and reliably.
- Set a schedule and follow it - There’s no set rule for how often you need to update your training program because it’s going to be different for every business. Whatever you decide, you’ll need to set a formal schedule of when to update and follow that schedule.
- Designate a “keeper” - Instead of having a collaborative training program, designate a single “keeper” to be the point person for it. Having someone accountable for the program’s update will help ensure it happens.
- Collect feedback at multiple levels - Ask your trainers what they think about the program. Ask your trainees if anything could be made clearer. Gather feedback from multiple areas and update your program accordingly.
- Rotate different sections of your program. If your training program sprawls through multiple departments or different areas, consider updating them in a rotation. Have an ongoing cycle of updates so your entire program stays updated without needing to revise the whole thing at once.
Training programs provide a template for the future workers of your company, so it’s important that yours remains in top shape. If you follow these best practices and prioritize your training program’s modernity, your new workers will be more productive, and you’ll spend less time in the actual training process. The biggest key here is commitment. If you commit yourself to keeping your training program updated, you’ll likely make it happen.
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