The Training (Learning) Always Continues…

3 min read
Self education for employee development, learning, and training

Employee Training. The very phrase can induce eye-rolls, and many people can’t even relate their company’s training to the job they are being paid to do. “Why are we doing this? Because it’s required.” It does not have to be an exercise in going through the motions.

Of course, employee training is necessary for the new hire to learn the functions of the job. It also plays a role in raising the employee’s morale and improving the company’s culture. At times, we overlook this aspect.

Training to learn the company’s culture

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, realized the most important aspect of the company was its dedication to excellent customer service. It was imperative that new hires understood this.

In his book Delivering Happiness, Hsieh lists 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company. Two ways that stuck out to me were:

Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.

Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service.

All employees, even if their role is not related to customer service, are put through customer service training. Employees are also given a copy of Zappos’ Culture Book.

Training for Zappos is not simply for the employee to learn the functions of his/her job. It is for them to understand the Zappos way of working — the company culture.

Some of us employees have fond memories of our training. It was when we were new and eager to learn all aspects of the job. Yet, as we become more seasoned employees there isn’t always room for growth. As knowledge leaders in the company, it’s a good idea to volunteer that expertise as an instructor for the next group coming in. You’d be gaining training in communicating your ideas, and demonstrating full understanding of concepts on the job. You are also training the next group according to your own standards, contributing to the culture.

For example, if you were a safety instructor, and you took on-the-job safety very seriously, you could tailor the training to clearly and impactfully communicate the gravity of safety violations. Using relatable, real life examples, you would deliver safety training that is superior to whatever was dug out of the books. You would be delivering a valuable contribution to the high standards of safety in which the company prides itself in, setting clear expectations of a safe work environment.

But the training doesn’t stop here!

Many companies value learning and encourage their employees to continue developing professionally.

Writing for Spark (ADP’s blog), Tess C. Taylor lists best practices for employee development.

Think about your company. Does it offer you opportunities for professional development? If you are an employer, what opportunities for Continuing Professional Education do you offer your employees, and how could you improve the development offerings?

Training is not over in the first two weeks — it continues well beyond the end of onboarding and probation. It is a form of learning, after all, and learning never stops.

Raghav Suri