Why You Should Implement a Standardized Training Program
When running a business, it’s easy to think that standardized training is something that big “corporate” or multi-location companies have to do—and not something you need to worry about. However, without a standardized training program rules and norms are passed through employees, leaving your operation prone to errors as staffing changes.
When determining whether standardized training is worth the investment, here are a few things to consider:
“The Way We’ve Always Done It”
Peer to peer training is only as good as your trainer and their memory. It’s easy for things to slowly change over time and for cultural norms to develop which are not consistent with the way you want your organization to be run. If you do not have standardized training, it’s likely that new employees will be trained on “the way things are” and that may not be the way you would prefer them to be. It is also quite likely that the information passed along will vary greatly between trainers as each will have their own personal experiences that are reflected in the training.
Alternatively, with standardized training programs in place, you can be more confident that training will be consistent with your policies.
Consistency and Productivity
Similarly, if training is not standardized, it’s easy for individual employees to do things their own way. This is not necessarily a bad thing—but it can result in an inconsistent performance on the job that dramatically affects productivity. An example of this would be two different employees performing the same task, say pushing snow with a Bobcat, but in different ways. While the end result, a clean lot, would be the same, the time to complete it could vary greatly depending on the training provided to each employee regarding skid steer operation.
These inconsistencies can also have an impact on customer satisfaction as they may question the differences in completion time for a particular job.
Speed up Onboarding
If training programs are standardized, then getting new employees ready to begin productive work is a snap. Supervisors will know exactly what they can expect from a new employee as each one would enter the job site with the same knowledge of your work processes and expectations. Should that employee move to another jobsite, the training does not have to be completed again as it would if you were relying on peer to peer instruction. For example, when an employee joins McDonald’s they go through standardize orientation and training. If the employee moves to another McDonald’s restaurant he does not need to be re-trained. They don’t need to learn the unique habits of the co-workers either because they, too, know the standard process.
Standardized training will also help your employees avoid unnecessary risk. When the required processes are visible and understood, there is no need to attempt shortcuts or try to improve efficiencies on the fly. Standardized processes simply make work safer and more worry-free.
While determining the standards to which you will train your people may be time consuming, the benefits can be felt quickly. Standardized training leads to standardized work which provides the baseline from which continuous improvement is a real possibility. This can begin as soon as your next hire!
Chris Budzich, CRSP, CES
Proactive Consulting Services Ltd.
235 N McDonald Street