The past year has posed many challenges for organizations in nearly every industry. Social distancing and conversations about workplace equity have been difficult but necessary for organizations to navigate. Overcoming these hurdles has resulted in many creative solutions, as well as a renewed focus on the importance of training and professional development.
As many organization leaders and staff look for ways to improve, attention has turned to streamlining internal processes. This includes key elements of workplace management such as employee training and organizational logistics. Refining these aspects of your business can help position your organization for future growth and development opportunities down the line.
Of course, taking the time to rework your employee training practices and management processes is an investment of time and resources. To prove to your organization that taking these steps is worth it, let’s explore four key benefits of creating streamlined training and management logistics:
1. Reduced Onboarding Time
Onboarding is a necessary component of introducing employees to your organization and giving them the tools they need to succeed in their roles. However, onboarding is also a period of reduced productivity as your new employees are actively trying to get up-to-speed with the rest of your team and managers needing to take time out of their schedules to assist them.
Fortunately, several streamlined training practices have been invented specifically to help organizations create onboarding processes that are effective without becoming a major time sink. For instance:
- Use training management software. The right training management software can help your organization quickly set up a streamlined onboarding process, including logistic details such as initial check-ins and post-training reports..
- Create training resources employees can refer back to. New employees are hit with a lot of new information all at once. While your training process should ensure they are ready to work, your employees will likely have questions or need to refresh themselves on specific details. By creating training documents, handbooks and other resources, your new employees will be able to look up the information they need quickly and return to work. This is especially important for key processes, such as tasks that require communication with clients, processing payments and even potential safety hazards.
- Gather employee feedback. The fastest way to figure out how your employees learn and retain information during onboarding is to ask. During onboarding, managers should regularly check in to ensure that new employees haven’t encountered any obstacles. Then, after onboarding, ask them about what parts of the process were particularly helpful or unhelpful in orienting them to their new roles.
Remember that successful onboarding relies on streamlining certain processes, not cutting corners. While it can be tempting to encourage employees to jump into work as soon as possible, be sure they are ready to do so beforehand. Untrained and undertrained employees can negatively impact your business, and a comprehensive onboarding process can resolve your new employees’ potential skill or knowledge gaps.
2. Clearer Lines of Communication
Miscommunication can waste time and lead to a counterproductive work environment. By streamlining your training and management practices, your team should be able to establish open and accessible lines of communication. When looking at your team’s current communication practices, consider:
- How you share your organization’s goals: Everyone at your organization should understand what the company is working toward, why you are pursuing that goal, and what their individual role in achieving it is. Make sure your goals are clearly stated and public knowledge in employee resources, job descriptions and internal meetings.
- If manager and direct relationships are clearly established: Miscommunication is common in situations where employees are unsure who they should turn to if they need to ask clarifying questions. Ensure each employee knows who they should reach out to and take steps to prevent situations where employees have more than one direct supervisor.
- What your official internal communication policies are: Sometimes even organizations with strong communication channels can slow themselves down with internal conversations. For instance, if you find that your employees spend an excessive amount of time on internal email, you might be able to benefit from making official policies about email practices, such as asking employees to tag reference emails with a “no response needed” subject line to prevent unnecessary back and forth.
Strong communication can lead to increased productivity and a better company culture. Solid lines of communication ensure employees can rely on one another and have specific people and resources they can turn to when they need more information. This way, employees can quickly clear up confusion and will feel more comfortable speaking openly and directly to one another.
3. Easier Task Allocation and Accountability
It’s difficult to get work done if your employees aren’t sure what their responsibilities are. Ensure all important tasks at your organization are accounted for and that the individuals responsible for seeing them through can check their progress as needed.
You can assign tasks and improve accountability in several ways. Today, modern businesses often employ technology to handle scheduling, task assignments and reminders. You’ll still need someone to make key initial decisions about who will do what, but your platform will help keep your overall workflow streamlined and provide a record of previous assignments.
Ensure your staff all have access to your task management software so they can check in on their assignments at their discretion. Look for platforms that have high user-caps and permission controls, so you can provide appropriate access levels as needed.
4. More Structured Employee Assessments
Performance reviews can be a stressful time at most organizations, but they don’t have to be! With the right structures in place, employee evaluations can be transformed from a source of anxiety to a period of positive reassessment and refocusing.
The exact assessment process will likely differ from organization to organization, but for many it will consist of a self-assessment, an assessment from managers of their direct reports, and performance review meetings to discuss both assessments.
Be open with your employees about how the performance review process will be conducted and implement the following practices for increased transparency and employee satisfaction:
- Write clear job descriptions. Job descriptions should be laid out clearly and updated as necessary to fit their evolving roles and responsibilities. Performance reviews are an opportunity to refer back to your initial job descriptions and ensure they align with your current business operations.
- Offer development opportunities. There are many ways to improve employee satisfaction, and a key one is providing additional training opportunities. Performance reviews can be a pivotal moment to sit down with employees and discuss opportunities for growth within their current roles.
- Hold exit interviews. Employees leaving your organization can be difficult, but it can also be used as a learning opportunity. Create a structured set of exit interview questions to gain insight into employee experience at your business and any pull or push factors that might impact retention rates.
Above all, make sure you provide your employees with clear directions and expectations for what your performance reviews will look like ahead of time. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page for both individual assessments and meetings, helping to build a more open and productive dialogue.
Internal improvements keep your organization running smoothly, allowing your staff to focus more on work and less on time-consuming administrative tasks. Invest in the proper management tools to automate key processes and establish structured internal practices to keep your entire team motivated and working toward the same goal. Good luck!