Are you gearing up for a new equipment acquisition? Don’t forget the importance of new equipment training. Depending on the type of equipment you’re working with, the guidelines for effective employee training can vary. However, there are several do’s and don’ts that are important for any company to follow. Take a look at what to do and what not to do for your next equipment training session.
New Equipment Training Do’s
- Set goals. What are your goals for training your employees? Are you hoping for them to be able to simply operate the machines, or operate them at a certain efficiency level? Are your training goals matching up with your company’s goals? Keep these questions in mind when developing training goals.
- Make things hands-on. Business & Legal Resources recommends that you use as much hands-on training as possible. While manuals and PowerPoint slides are great, actually getting to see and test out new equipment in-person tends to be most effective.
- Utilize testing. If your new equipment includes a lot of specific information and many safety points that could quickly go in one ear and out another, try frequent quizzes and tests to encourage better absorption of materials.
- Always ask for questions. Something that may seem like common sense to the trainer could in fact be confusing to the trainee. Frequently stop and ask for questions so employees have an open space to voice their concerns.
- Know your safety guidelines. Working with new equipment can be dangerous, especially when it involves heavy machinery or complex operational needs. It’s important to be well-versed in all safety guidelines before training employees.
- Create a learning environment in your workplace. According to the HR Council of the Community Foundations of Canada, a positive learning environment is critical for the success of not only new equipment training, but also the organizational culture as a whole.
- Develop a schedule. A detailed training schedule that includes things like performance checks, periodic reviews and any sessions on new operation methods should be a part of the plan.
- Cutting training short to meet budget requirements. Sometimes training time is the first to get cut because management is unable to see its long-reaching value. Make sure your budget allows plenty of wiggle room to accommodate adequate new equipment training.
- Focusing exclusively on text-learning. Especially with machinery, it’s crucial to have experience directly with the equipment during the training process. A manual or training booklet can only lead an employee so far.
- Keeping training to a one-time event. Business & Legal Resources explains that a lack of continuing education and support from management over time is a key reason why training programs fail.
- Not communicating often. Part of acquiring new equipment is having open and transparent communication with employees in order to facilitate a smooth training process. Keep the lines of communication open between trainers, trainees and management.
- Administering training in large blocks. Online resource Electrical Construction & Maintenance suggests that training in smaller doses actually helps to avoid trainee burnout. Break up long topics and tasks into smaller, more digestible pieces to keep employees focused.
Not sure what your training should look like? Check out these helpful resources with additional tips on developing a training plan that will work for your company:
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