How to Create a Simple Employee Training Strategy

Many managers struggle with learning how to create a simple employee training strategy. On paper, their training strategies and methods might seem straightforward. In practice, however, training can often set new employees up for failure before they even get started by allowing errors and gaps in knowledge to go to create a simple employee training strategy 

The Music Conductor Knows How to Train

Are you allowing your new employees the chance to fail? Many leaders will balk at this concept: after all, failure isn’t something most people would say they want in the workplace. However, without allowing new employees to fail safely, you’re creating an environment that discourages them from trying new things or asking for help when they need it.

To teach you how to create a simple employee training strategy that works, a recent example comes to mind. I was watching a musical group rehearsal when the conductor first insisted that the group sight-read the entire piece of music all the way through, regardless of how many mistakes are made (and there were many). 

He drove the group to finish the piece completely the first time through even though the musicians were frustrated and their confidence was low. Once the first run-through was complete, he praised the group for their patience and found several ways to compliment the musicians even though it was hard to find much appealing in their performance. 

The conductor immediately went to the hardest passage in the music where there were many problems and patiently worked each section through their individual parts until they were more confident. Amazingly, the quality of the performance improved significantly through this step alone.

The next step was to go to the second most troublesome part of the music, where he repeated the process. He continued in this manner throughout the piece, and the quality progressed until all of the tough parts of the score were at an equal level of competence.

From there, it was back to a complete run-through of the music to discover where he needed to teach and reinforce. In the end, the consistent doubling back to the problem areas coupled with constructive encouragement allowed confidence to soar, and ultimately the players delivered a nearly flawless performance.

How to Create a Simple Employee Training Strategy for Your Business

I guess that you have just quickly compared my story to how you and your team manage employee performance. You can channel this method when contemplating how to create a simple employee training strategy for your business. Here’s how you can adapt the conductor’s approach to your training methods for new employees.

  1. When teaching a new method, run through the entire process entirely and look for good things to say. Let the new employee know that mistakes are to be expected at this point in their training. By providing a safe environment to fail, you can help your new employees learn from their mistakes and pinpoint potential problem areas. 
  2. Find the most troubling area that needs work and drill it until it’s okay. It’s important to keep morale high during this process. No one is perfect on their first attempt, and identifying the problem areas early on will prevent new employees from learning bad habits and ensure that they truly understand the procedure. 
  3. Go to the next most troublesome area and do the same. Repeat the process until your employee can run through the entire task without error. 
  4. Continue to train in this method, revisiting processes as needed to be sure that your employee can still perform the most difficult tasks flawlessly after learning new ones. 

Ultimately, figuring out how to create a simple employee training strategy for your business boils down to your dedication to the training process. If you work with your new employees early on to address mistakes as they happen, they will master their tasks and confidently avoid errors in the future. 

Learning how to create a simple employee training strategy is an ongoing process, but improving your leadership skills can help. Sign up for my email list and have my latest articles on leadership delivered straight to your inbox. 


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Dave Schoenbeck
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