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Train Your Employees, Educate Yourself

Whether or not you or your employees are aware of it, learning happens all the time. Do you have employees who forget to save their daily work on their work computer on a regular basis? Or, if something out of your control like a power failure occurs and data and work is lost, do you or your employees learn anything? If you say to yourself, or your employees, “I (or you) must remember to save work more often”, you have done some learning and educated your employees at the same time. Not everybody is aware, but this type of learning is known as incidental learning; you and your employees have learned things without really thinking too much about it or even meaning to learn or educate.

However, on the other hand, intentional learning happens when you or your employees engage in work-related activities with an attitude of “what can I learn from this?” or “how can I better myself for work by doing this?”. An example of this would be an employee or boss in the construction industry talking about training their staff in how to get training for scaffolding, confined spaces, forklift driving and rope access.

Here is a checklist for a successful employee learning experience:

The goals of the employee training or development program are clear and well set out.

The employees are involved and make decisions in determining the knowledge, skills and abilities to be learned.

The employees are participating in activities during the learning process of their own free will.

The work experiences and knowledge that employees bring to each learning situation are used as a resource for future learning experiences.

Employee training is the responsibility of the organisation or business. Employee development is a shared responsibility between the management and the individual employee, or employees. It is the responsibility of management to provide the right resources and also to provide an environment that supports the growth and development needs of employees.

For a successful and worthwhile employee training and development project, management should:

Provide and hone job descriptions – it is the foundation upon which employee training and development can be used on.

Provide training required by employees to meet the basic competencies for the job.

Develop and learn about a good understanding of the knowledge, skills and abilities that the organisation will need.

An individual development plan is usually prepared by the employee with his or her supervisor.

The plan is based upon the employee’s needs. A good individual development plan will be motivating, achievable, realistic and reasonable. It is put into operation with the approval of the employee’s supervisor, or boss.

Then it’s down to self-assessment. The employee recognises their skills, abilities, standards, strengths and weaknesses. To conduct a self-assessment:

Use self-assessment tools which can be easily found on the internet.

Compare your knowledge, talent and skills to those in your job description.

Review performance appraisals (performance appraisals are often used as the starting place for early individual development plans).

Ask for advice and feedback from your supervisor.

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