Business Management: Train to Retain

October 6, 2012 03:36 PM

Challenge and educate employees to keep them on the job

Providing on-the-job or professional training for your employees definitely requires a time  commitment, but it is one that can provide huge dividends.

"You must not only compensate employees for the work performed but also offer competitive benefits and training," says Gerald Higginbotham, ruminant business manager for Micronutrients, a division of Heritage Technologies LLC.

Higginbotham says if you do not succeed in attracting and keeping a skilled work force, you will spend an excessive amount of time hiring and training new employees and doing the work of the employees who are missing in the meantime.

"An important part of every manager’s job is continuing the development of the people who work under his or her direction to ensure a productive work force and the ongoing ability to meet changing job requirements," he says. "Good managers are regularly challenged to find new ways
to keep employees motivated and interested in their work."

Where to Start. Higginbotham says you should begin your training effort by thinking about your operation’s goals and objectives. Identify the tasks you are trying to complete, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your work force. "Knowing what a job requires and how well you
want it done will give you information to make training decisions," he says.

Employee training can be in many forms, such as an educational course on new regulations or having a representative from your local dealership show how to use a new piece of equipment.

These steps might have to be repeated a number of times before an employee sufficiently grasps
what needs to be done, Higginbotham adds.

Any training that is conducted, he says, should include an explanation of the reasons for following a certain practice on the operation.

Higginbotham emphasizes that you must consider all employees fairly for training opportunities.
Employees should be selected without regard to political preference, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or handicapped condition.

How to motivate and guide your employees

Gerald Higginbotham, ruminant business manager for Micronutrients, says a well thought-out training program will assist employees in being successful, regardless of their positions or tasks. Here are several guidelines and tips for training personnel:

• Explain and demonstrate correct task performance
• Help workers to perform under supervision
• Allow personnel to perform alone
• Evaluate worker performance
• Coach employees based on evaluation results
• Continually assess workers’ level of understanding
• Gear training to the participants
• Present only a few concepts at a time and encourage questions
• Where needed, divide employees into small groups
• Involve all workers and use visual aids when applicable

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