Two women are pictured in an office setting. One young professional woman smiles as she listens to her coworker.
Michael and Amy Harris recommend creating a formal employee training and also splitting training into smaller segments so as not to overwhelm new team members. — Getty Images/Portra

If you could create your own fantasy board of directors, who would be on it? CO— connects you with thought leaders from across the business spectrum and asks them to help solve your biggest business challenges. In this edition, we ask an expert about how to effectively train employees.

In this edition of “Ask the Board,” we’re pleased to feature Michael and Amy Harris, owners of Oceanside Cleaners, a family-owned and operated cleaning business serving Jacksonville, Florida, for over 30 years. They share how you can train your employees as a small business owner.

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you know that your employees are your greatest assets. With well-trained, passionate employees, you can meet (or even exceed) your business goals, no matter how minor or far-fetched they may seem. So how can you train your employees so they perform at their very best? Michael and Amy Harris of Oceanside Cleaners answer that question …

Create a formal training program

Every time you have a new employee, it’s a good idea to put them through a formal training program. While you can train them on a whim, a formal program that you’ve spent time creating and implementing will be far more effective. A formal program can also position your business in a more positive light and show your employees that you genuinely care about their success.

Split training into smaller segments

It can be overwhelming to start a new job. That’s why we recommend breaking up your training program into smaller, more digestible segments.

Give your employees a chance to truly understand and process what you’re trying to explain or demonstrate to them. It’s essential for retention. Bombarding them with too much information at once can backfire.

Be patient and accept the fact that each employee learns at their own pace and that it may take longer than you’d like to fully train someone.

Michael and Amy Harris, owners of Oceanside Cleaners

Be patient

Not all employees are created equal. You’ll find that some employees catch on faster than others.

Be patient and accept the fact that each employee learns at their own pace and that it may take longer than you’d like to fully train someone. Sometimes, the employees who take their time to train are the ones that become the most successful.

Appoint a designated trainer

Consistency when an employee is being trained is a must. The same individual who starts to train an employee should finish training them. Otherwise, there are bound to be some inconsistencies in training, which can lead to confusion.

Don’t forget to explain the ‘why’

Instead of simply saying, “This is how we do this,” go the extra mile and explain why. Employees will better understand and remember a new process if they are shown why things are done a certain way. Allow them to ask questions and express their thoughts.

Realize that training never ends

Employee training doesn’t end days, weeks, or months after an employee gets hired. It’s an ongoing process that helps them grow into a great employee who eventually takes on more responsibilities and grows with your company. Be sure to continue training and follow up with your employees over time.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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