The dog days of summer are a time to get outside and get more active. For many businesses however, the second half of summer is often a slower time of less activity. When this is the case, it makes August the perfect time to assess and improve human resources practices before the fall and new fiscal year arrive. Taking a strong look at employee training procedures is a huge part of that.
If you had a round of new hires at the end of last year or at the start of this one, right now is an ideal time to check-in with those employees. Now that they’ve been with you for half a year or more, they’ll be able to give you actionable and honest feedback on their training experiences. Dig into how training prepared them for their roles. Which aspects of training were helpful to their everyday responsibilities, and which felt like a waste of time? What do they still need help with? It can be difficult to hear that a process didn’t work as you expected, but it’s tough conversations like this that improve a company.
While exploring training processes directly related to role responsibilities is important, that’s not the only aspect of training to consider. Your employee compliance training programs play a critical role in the success or failure of your business. Do your employees understand what constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination? Are they aware of who to contact or what procedure to follow with a workers’ comp claim? If they regularly interview candidates, are they aware of the latest employment law?
Compliance training can address these issues and more, making sure no employee even accidentally crosses a line that ruins a company’s image. Considering that only 10% of U.S. workers said their employers added more sexual harassment training since the high-profile allegations of the last year, it’s clear that many companies have a lot of work to do. Moreover, new laws go into effect every year. Even if new regulations are several months old, that does not mean your staff is versed on them. Making compliance training just as important as regular position-based training is the way a business thrives.
Before hiring picks back up and the hectic fourth quarter starts, it’s time to refine and overhaul employee training procedures. Not only can it be an easier time to plan ahead, but it’s likely easier for employees to carve out a few hours from their schedules to experience a new training session. Begin by building on the areas of your previous training that seemed to be working and flesh them out fully.
Timelines play a big role here. Throwing vast amounts of information at a brand-new employee in their first few days means they won’t retain even half of it. Training needs to be at the right pace for trainees to retain concepts, and that goes for existing employees too. While the initial training period is important, training should never actually end. Policies and procedures change. If one person does their role the exact same way for decades while their surroundings evolve, that can create a problem.
A proper employee training program has many nuances. There is soft skills training to consider that can round out a workforce and improve communication. Managerial training requires another strategy altogether and should be planned differently than general employee training. According to Forbes, unconscious bias training should be mandatory for all employees, especially managers who oversee and hold power over others. These are just a few of the many areas a proper multifaceted training program must consider.
Ultimately, any time can be a good time to overhaul employee training. Best practices in HR evolve with the business world and alongside individual industries. The best training programs are the ones that adapt accordingly. If your business operates a bit more slowly during the summer months, then that just gives you an added incentive to start refining your training program right now.