There are many ways to offer education to your employees and as a business owner, you’ve probably tried most of them including seminars, cross-training and perhaps even college credit courses. If you’re stuck on how to train, try one of these three innovative methods--you may be surprised!
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It’s Time for Some New Ideas
More than not, your employees do want knowledge about the jobs and duties they’re expected to perform. Unfortunately, when it comes to employee training methods, there are the standards that most business owners stick to.
These include developing written policies and procedures to follow, attending knowledge or skill-based seminars, and even cross-training from department to department.
This sounds strange but if you’ve ever watched one episode of Deadliest Catch where crab fisherman face the Bering Sea, working for the competitor can be a good thing—especially to motivate current employees to do better.
On one episode of Deadliest Catch, two of the captains switched what they call “greenhorns" to let each see how things worked on a different fishing boat; and under a different captain. Not only were these newbie greenhorns ready to get back to their own ships at the end of their switch, they came back with a new respect for their co-workers.
I know you’re wondering, “How do I get a competitor to switch employees?" No matter where you live, whether your town is large or small, you have a competitor that is not your direct competitor. He probably has the same problems as you and wants to see some employee improvement. So, why not pick up that phone and ask to make a switch for a week or two?
This training method is good for both the employers and employees. The employees may learn new processes that aren’t used at their current jobs and vice versa. This way everyone benefits by gaining knowledge and new insight into their duties, tasks, and work environment.
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2. Allow Age and Knowledge to Rule
Almost every city has an economic development center or senior citizen’s activity center. Most of these organizations are partly staffed by seniors willing to offer their knowledge and experience on how to get the job done.
Sometimes you really don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but instead, rely on tried and true methods that work and that’s what age and knowledge can bring to employee advice and training. Most of these seniors will work for free or at minimal pay; it’s definitely an idea worth checking into.
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3. Boss for a Day
Your employees know you have all the experience, power, and can handle any problem and make every decision with ease right? If you’re that boss, you don’t need an employee training program.
Allow each employee to be the boss for a day. They’ll quickly realize how hard it is to be the boss and what and who isn’t contributing. They might even discover a new way to do things.
After everyone’s had their turn, hold a group meeting and really implement their suggestions. After all, being the boss for a day can fill up the mind with harsh realities that may bring some really good ideas on how to change processes and motivate your staff.
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Know When It’s Training Time
If you need to put a little fire under your staff, get them on board with policies and procedures or even help to implement new ones, recognize when it’s time to implement employee training methods. Don’t wait until your employees are so lost there’s no way back.
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Jean Scheid has been a business owner for over 17 years.