We can all agree that job training is an essential component of a thriving workplace, and according to workers, U.S. businesses seem to do pretty well when it comes to the first round of training. In a recent American Staffing Association (ASA) Workforce Monitor Survey, 67 percent of respondents said they got an appropriate amount of training when they started their jobs.
But there’s reason to believe that workers are looking for additional support from businesses. In that same survey, 61 percent of respondents said their work would improve with more training, and 60 percent blamed current workplace errors on insufficient training.
Richard Wahlquist, the president and CEO of the ASA, highlighted the importance of training for workers as well as for businesses.
“A company’s commitment to training helps to define its brand and culture, and must be an essential part of its recruitment and retention toolkit,” said Wahlquist.
At Staff Management | SMX, we believe there are four elements behind successful job training programs, especially for contingent workers. When businesses opt to outsource training responsibilities to us, we deploy a unique system called OnTask to help make sure our workers are properly trained, monitored and retrained for continuous workforce improvement.
Here are the four elements your job training program must have.
1) Comprehensive Orientation
New workers need to get the lay of the land. A successful job training program needs to provide trainees with a thorough overview of the workplace. Make sure to review parking availability and procedures as well as other transportation options, along with procedures for clocking in and out. Include any additional information your workers need to know so they can be successful at your facility.
Additionally, a comprehensive orientation is not complete without a general review of safety procedures. Review any hazards that workers may reasonably encounter. Make sure to review electrical safety standards as well as the protocol for reporting accidents and the procedures for locking out and tagging out of machines that use potentially hazardous energy.
2) Classroom Instruction
In addition to giving workers an overview of your facility, it’s important to provide them with instruction and modeling of workplace practices and procedures before they actually begin their jobs.
When we provide our associates with classroom instruction, we make sure to pair a Staff Management | SMX representative with a permanent supervisor from our host company.
This way, we can break down how different positions and teams interact with each other. When workers know how their job fits into the whole operation, they’re better positioned to make proactive decisions in the moment, and to solve problems as they emerge.
Our classroom instruction also gives associates a chance to learn our quality standards through visual, auditory and hands-on lessons. That way, they hit the ground running when they start their jobs. This also helps ensure that workers are adequately informed about potential job-specific safety hazards before they encounter them.
3) Position-Specific Information
While workers from several different jobs, teams and departments might be trained together, one very important element of a sound job training program is to provide workers with the information they need to complete the specific tasks for which they are responsible.
Set aside time for workers to receive and review information related to their positions. Have supervisors who monitor specific jobs instruct new workers personally and review standardized training documents with them.
Ideally, position-specific information should be integrated into a formalized document maintenance process. Make sure that a position’s documents are regularly reviewed by the people who perform this job, and have them update the documents as needed. Additionally, create and update video training modules. Ensure that work instructions comply with time-tested quality guidelines like ISO 9000.
4) Verification, Monitoring & Continuous Improvement
As with most high-ranking business priorities, a job training program is not something that you do once and forget about. A successful job training program requires ongoing monitoring, tracking and adjustment.
Make sure to audit workers for quality and safety compliance at regularly scheduled intervals. It can be a good idea to conduct more frequent audits early on to catch and correct potential issues before they become big problems. For OnTask, we audit employees after approximately one week, then after three weeks, one month, two months, three months, four months and one year.
OnTask also makes use of an associate tracking database (ATD) to retain records of what training an associate has received, when they’ve been observed and how they performed during those audits. This helps us make informed decisions about which workers require what kind of retraining. It also helps us measure the effectiveness of different training strategies so that we can continuously improve them.
Job Training Programs Are a Long-Term Commitment
Your contingent workforce needs to receive training that is comparable to the services received by permanent workers. At Staff Management | SMX, our optional OnTask training solutions can help ensure that your contingent workers receive the four elements of successful job training: comprehensive orientation, classroom instruction, position-specific information, and continuous improvement strategies, including verification and monitoring.