Best practices and trends for training new employees
Training often defines a payments company's environment, facilitating the transition from a new hire to a fully functional employee. How well companies approach training can determine how employees feel about the company, their work and their role on a team. For this reason, offering exceptional training for sales, customer service and other new staff is a priority for successful merchant services enterprises and their dedicated human resources teams. In this two-part series, I'm going to explore how to support best practices in training, as well as the methods you can use to achieve success.
Why companies must adapt their training methods
Companies are always looking for ways to enhance the value that their employees bring, and great training is one powerful solution. As HR leaders learn more about training and what is effective for different kinds of people, they make it possible to improve training efforts significantly.
When payment companies don't improve their training by employing best practices, they will inevitably give the impression that they do not care about the staff as much as they should. When asked, 87 percent of millennial employees said that they believe learning and workplace development is important (see https://bit.ly/3LqSNWk).
Training is not just a set of rules; it is an empowering resource that often determines how effective someone is at their job. Adapting training each year is essential for continuous and improved success in all business spheres, including payments.
What is a training best practice?
Best practices in any niche are the general set of guidelines that anyone will want to follow to succeed. We use best practices in every aspect of our lives, but they are particularly powerful when it comes to training. Trainers can leverage methods with a proven history of success to help employees learn and build valuable skills.
Training best practices are procedures that will have a significant positive impact on the effectiveness of training. It means knowing what works and what doesn't—at least for most people. Using best practices can help to make training relatively painless and more effective, too.
What is a training trend?
While it often seems like trends are a byproduct of social media, the reality is that trends have always influenced how we do things, especially in business. Training trends are fresh, modern approaches to training that a growing number of companies use to reach success.
A trend in training can be anything from using specific tools that prove to be really effective— like a CRM designed for managing merchant leads through the sales process and beyond—all the way to the methods used to teach certain kinds of information—like a self-guided video course on payments basics.
Some trends come from trainers who are gaining traction online, while others are simply shared by word of mouth among leaders out on the golf course or in similar situations. Trends can shift quickly and have different impacts depending on the environment.
How to choose best practices and trends in training
Companies must adapt to stay relevant, especially today. For generations, employees tried to land a spot at a good company and stay there. Now, every ISO owner managing an enterprising crew of sales agents knows employees are willing to leap to other companies on a whim—or at least if the company doesn't meet their expectations. Already, 74 percent of workers feel like they are not reaching their potential due to a lack of training and development (see https://bit.ly/2FMoFSn).
- Focus on the right tools: The growing gamification of our lives is influencing everything we do, including how we learn. Today, a variety of powerful training tools and resources are available to help assist with training. With so many options, it is important for trainers to avoid being dazzled by all available offerings.
Many amazing training tools are joining the scene as more companies seek opportunities to expand their digital resources—but not every fit is a good fit. Choose tools and training approaches that accommodate your employees and what they need to learn. Some tools might offer a lot for, say, retail staff, but very little for a payment processor's customer service representatives. Evaluate each tool and what it can offer your employees.
Evaluate employee needs: All successful training efforts are built entirely around the needs of the employee. After all, training is not just about giving staff skills to support the business; it is about helping them to understand their part in the company's success. For this reason, choosing training best practices and trends that align with employee needs is essential. For trainers, employees are the customers, so be sure to act accordingly.
Focus on scheduling impacts: There is so much power in training, but even a top-performing training plan can be derailed with poor scheduling. To effectively utilize popular methods, companies need to consider scheduling impacts and what it can mean for the training experience. Scheduling considerations include duration of exposure to materials, reasonable learning rates, and external influences such as levels of focus after lunch, time spent realigning training classes after exciting events, etc.
Make information accessible: Your company's training model might start with classes and modules, but it shouldn't end there. To best support training, companies must continue to provide resources and accessible information for employees to refer back to, as needed. Focusing on models and tools that make it easy for employees to continue to learn after the class is over can have a positive lasting impact.
Ask current employees: No one knows how effective your training program really is like existing employees. Before investing in new methods and tools, trainers should absolutely focus on the experience of employees they have already trained. Talking to employees who have been through the current program about what would help them to succeed can help you to choose targeted best practices that deliver great results.
Industries evolve and business practices change, which is why consistent, effective training is essential. Whether you are training new merchant level salespeople or seasoned payments professionals developing new skills, you must consider their needs when deciding which best practices and trends are right for your program.
In part two, I will take a closer look at the most popular modern tools and tips for trainers.