Happy or Engaged III
The third characteristic of employee engagement is training. Almost every company I have worked for or with has some sort of formal training for every aspect of an employee’s job. From safety training to how to do the job training. Some companies use computer based training and then have the employee “shadow” a senior employee. Some companies just have the employee learn while they work. I am not going to get into which method is best or how to train an employee. I am going to tell you that your employees want more than you are giving them. Training is crucial to the success of your business and it is crucial to your employee engagement growth plan.
Have you ever read a book and then later read it again? Did you read something on the second time through that you stopped and thought how did you miss that the first time? Well, that is the reason that organizations that have a well-executed ongoing training system in place usually have the best results. When someone is trained the first time, they are usually a bit nervous and are trying to “take it all in”. They miss things or may misunderstand priorities. Therefore, I always suggest constant training. A leader should always be training, if not in a formal setting, by example. I’m sure you have heard the saying, “Success is when preparedness meets opportunity”, well training is preparing your employees for the opportunity.
Some smaller companies could benefit from cross-trained employees; meaning they have been trained to perform in multiple positions. I read comments daily from employees that request cross-training. For me this just seems like a “no brainer”, if you have an employee that is requesting additional responsibility, they are engaged…do not shoot them down with denial. Give them the additional training and help them understand the operation more, this can only be a win-win situation. They learn more and you have an employee that can work in multiple positions when needed.
If you feel like you are training enough, train some more. Training instills confidence and confidence, in turn, will create positive customer experiences. In your daily life, outside of your company, have you ever dealt with a “new” or undertrained employee? Of course, you have, we all have. The lack of confidence creates a very poor experience for the customer. Now think about what it does to the employee, who is trying hard to do their best…but they are lost and don’t know what to do. This is a lose-lose situation.
Just realize that your employees want to learn and grow and giving them the opportunity to do so gives them a feeling of importance which makes them happy and creates engagement…Awesome employee!