Whether you are training a new or current employee, the old adage still applies: “If the student hasn’t learnt, the teacher hasn’t taught.”

If you are running a business with limited resources, this is especially important because it costs you heaps when employees can’t do their jobs properly because of poor training.

Here are seven things you must do to make your on-the-job training programme successful:

1.Specify what employees will be able to do at the end of the course

The purpose of training is to get a job done well.

The first thing to do is to state what the trainees will be able to do at the end of the training that they couldn’t do at the start.

The operative word is “do”. If you can’t measure it, don’t teach it. And you can only measure what the trainee can do.


2. Specify what they need to know

To be able to “do”, trainees need knowledge.

Only when you have stated what they need to be able to do can you specify what they need to know. Be careful. Don’t overdo the “knows”.

For example, you don’t need to know how a computer works in order to operate it. But you do need to know how to read various screens and what the data represents.

Stating the “able to do” and “need to know” matters is the key to successful on-the-job training. Do this before you start. If you don’t, your trainees won’t learn what is essential.


3. Set performance standards for ‘do’ and ‘know’

It is not enough to say “be computer literate” or “operate all company computer systems”.

You need to add “how often”, “how well”, “how quickly” and “how accurately”.

You must decide how you would measure competence and what you would consider to be adequate knowledge. This degree of detail also gives the trainee clearly defined goals and standards and a clear idea of how his competence will be assessed.


4. Replicate job conditions

This is the golden rule: Replicate actual working conditions as accurately as possible.

Use tools and equipment in good working order exactly as the trainee would find them on the job. If you can run the training in the trainees’ normal workplace, that is ideal.

You can learn to drive in the family sedan, but it’s no place to learn to be a Formula One racing driver.


5. Treat safety seriously

If the management is casual about safety, that is what trainees will learn.

Ensure that all safety procedures and practices are followed exactly.

Imagine you are teaching the trainee how to operate potentially dangerous machinery safely and accurately.

Be as careful as you would in those circumstances.


6. Plan carefully and in great detail

You might be the best trainer working with the smartest trainee. It doesn’t matter. Your training will be as successful as the thoroughness of your planning.

You have your “able to do”, “need to know” and performance standards. That’s an excellent basis for your training plan.

To develop your plan, start with the end goal and work backwards to the start — where you will commence the training.

Include competency checks at various stages of the plan. And do not move to a new training phase until you are satisfied with trainee competence in the previous phase.


7. Test before training

There is one last thing to do before you actually start training. You must test each trainee before starting the training.

Use the competency checks you have built into your training plan. If you are satisfied that the trainee is competent in any areas, don’t train in those.

Nothing irritates trainees more than being taught something that they are already good at. It wastes your time and resources too.


8. Know your destination

It is what you do before you start training that determines whether or not your training will be successful. It has been said so often that it is a cliché.

But it merits repeating in this context: “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you have arrived?”


Article by Leon Noone, who helps managers in small-medium businesses to improve on-job staff performance without training courses. For more information, visit http://managingemployeeperformance.com. Article source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Leon_Noone