When it comes to manufacturing, your employees have to know their stuff. There is no room for mistakes on the factory floor. Poorly trained manufacturing employees can not only produce defective products, but they can also be a danger to themselves and others. When you design an employee training program, you want to be confident that you are designing one that works.
Here are a few tips for making a smooth employee training program.
Remember That You Are Training Adults
Adults learn differently from children. Children are sponges when it comes to knowledge. They will accept any information you choose to put into them and are less likely to challenge teachers and trainers about the knowledge they are offering. They are also less likely to try to go out and learn more on their own — at least at younger ages.
Adults are different. They understand the importance of the training they are receiving, but they also have years of life experience informing their knowledge and opinions. In addition, they are not just there to learn. They want to learn specific skills that are relevant and will help them meet their goals for the job. They are self-directed, prefer task-oriented training, want to know how the training will benefit them, and want respect.
It’s very important that any training program considers these truths about adult learners.
You should have clear objectives for your training program that you want your employees to achieve. Those objectives can be knowledge-based (Here is how to fix Fault X in Machine Y), skill-based (Employee shows the ability to successfully operate Machine Z) or attitude-based (Employee can explain the importance of proper maintenance for Machine A).
The objectives you create should be SMART objectives. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Meaning, respectively, the goal of the training should be clear, there should be a way to accurately test if the worker has achieved the goal, it should be reasonably possible to achieve the goal, the goal should be relevant to the work and the worker should achieve the goal within a given time frame.
Offer Training Materials
You have so many options for multi-media training in the digital age. The more interactive the training is, the more engaged the trainees are likely to be and the faster they should be able to catch on. Handouts, podcasts, PowerPoints, online quizzes, videos, whatever you can do to make it easier for that training to stick. Simply reciting the fundamental points of the training or handing the worker a training manual to study for them to be tested on later is unlikely to produce the results you hope to achieve.
Remember that in most cases your employees will be motivated to successfully complete your employee training program, as it will usually mean they have a paying job moving forward. Give them every opportunity to succeed and they usually will do just that.