How to train your team in 7 steps (with tips and benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

It's critical for managers and team leaders to know how to boost their employees' skill sets and collaboration. Team training promotes positive dynamics and ensures that all members have equal access to professional development opportunities. Understanding how to train your team can help develop a strong group capable of meeting performance targets and elevating the organisational profile. In this article, we show you how to train your team, review types of training, discuss why training your team is important and provide essential tips for ensuring training is effective.

How to train your team

Follow these steps to learn how to train your team effectively:

1. Ask your team members for their input

Receiving input from your team is an excellent strategy to determine what training initiatives to implement. The feedback can help establish the areas in which they require more expertise, such as learning to use a new software program, developing innovative solutions to company problems or communicating better with other employees. If several team members propose the same topics, you could also consider including them in your training programme.

2. Align training programmes with departmental activities

After you've determined your team's training requirements, you can plan a training schedule to provide your team with enough time to master new skills. For instance, if an advertising team's busiest days are Thursdays and Fridays, it might be best to schedule training for Mondays and Tuesdays with a break on Wednesdays. Aligning your training schedule with the team's routine activities ensures they can fully engage without compromising their free time.

3. Develop lesson plans for every training session

The next step is to develop lesson plans for the training sessions. Lesson plans can include talks, collaborative learning, demonstrations and other educational components to help team members improve their knowledge and awareness of a subject. Prepare lesson plans beforehand and preview presentations to ensure you get the most out of your training sessions.

Related: How to become a personal development coach (salary, skills)

4. Use multiple formats

Using multiple learning approaches helps employees stay engaged throughout training sessions. For instance, the first 20 minutes may be a presentation discussing existing customer service strategies and how you aim to change them in the future. After the presentation, you can then divide employees into subgroups and have them simulate customer service scenarios. Once that activity is over, gather the group again to review the customer experiences in greater detail and address any queries.

5. Document key takeaways from each session

Summarise the essential discussion points and the questions you addressed to help team members remember what they learned during the training. You might also send presentation slides to the attendees for future reference. To ease the documentation process, you can appoint one team member to note the key takeaways from each session. Recording the sessions can also be beneficial as it lets participants replay the meeting to reference past discussions.

Related: 10 methods to improve employee development in the workplace

6. Conduct a post-training survey

Consider sending an anonymous email survey with questions regarding the topics you covered after each training session. The scores the participants assign can help you establish whether the training was successful. You can also send a questionnaire to team members asking them to rate the session and suggest ways to improve it.

7. Evaluate training success with key performance indicators (KPIs)

Once the training ends, you can evaluate individual participants' performance to determine the training's success. For instance, if the topic was customer service, you can conduct a customer satisfaction survey to see whether customers are happier after the training. If you compare the team's previous performance to current performance, you may discover the training boosted customer satisfaction and reduced complaints, indicating that the training was worth the investment.

Related: How to approach the 5 stages of team development (with tips)

Types of team training

Here are different types of training you can consider for your team:

  • Team-building training: Team-building training aims to create a strong bond among a group of employees. Team building encourages employees to establish close working relationships and engage with one another outside of the workplace.

  • Workplace culture training: Workplace culture training educates members about the firm's core values and purpose. This training aims at enabling participants to maintain workplace culture in their daily interactions with other employees and other company stakeholders.

  • Conflict resolution training: Teams might benefit from conflict resolution training to help them recognise issues and seek solutions as a unit. Conflict resolution training often involves members simulating typical workplace conflict scenarios and asking them to resolve the issues collaboratively.

  • Team process training: Team process training can include a wide range of issues, such as dispute resolution, group dynamics, personas, performance and communication. This training takes place over time and allows team members to change their preferences to collaborate effectively with others.

  • Technical team training: Any training in which individuals acquire skills or techniques relevant to their domain is technical team training. For instance, the IT team can learn how to perform penetration tests, or the accounting team can learn about best practices in accounting.

  • Soft skills team training: Soft skill team training encompasses all aspects of workplace interpersonal skills. This often includes ‘people skills' such as communication skills, time management, teamwork and empathy.

Related: How to improve soft skills in the workplace

Benefits of training your team

Here are some benefits of learning how to train your team:

  • Increased productivity: Employee training improves their job skills and knowledge, while also increasing their confidence in their capabilities. This boosts their productivity by allowing them to work effectively and efficiently.

  • Work processes uniformity: Training employees in the workplace helps standardise the work process. When employees apply and follow similar methods, it reduces potential conflicts and facilitates collaboration.

  • Reduced waste: Trained employees are often more likely to make efficient and cost-effective use of the company's materials, instruments and infrastructure. There may also be fewer accidents and less machine degradation, which saves money.

  • Reduced supervision: Though employee training doesn't eliminate the need for supervision entirely, it may minimise the need for intensive oversight in the workplace.

  • Internal promotion: When a company requires specific expertise, it's not always necessary to look for outside assistance. The organisation can instead search internally and identify promising employees to promote after receiving requisite training.

  • Systematic learning: When an organisation has a structured training system in place, employees learn in a systematic and consistent manner. This prevents them from learning through trial and error.

  • Better knowledge of company policies: Employees are likely to benefit from a training programme that helps them understand their company's core values, mission and vision. This enables them to recognise what different situations demand.

  • Improved customer perception: When a company frequently trains its employees, their job skills improve, and they may act more professionally. Customers are likely to notice the difference in service, positively influencing their perception of the company.

  • Updating team members with technology: With the ever-increasing advancement of technology across industries, training employees aid in the organisation's performance and profitability. An organisation is also likely to benefit from technological investment by training its employees.

Related: Types of employee training programmes (with benefits)

Essential tips for training your team

The following tips can help train your team more effectively:

Focus on team building

Establishing team synergy requires your team to spend time together. During the week, employees are likely to spend more time with each other than they are with their own families. So rather than focusing on individual goals, effective team-building skills can unite team members around a common goal and enhance productivity. They may be in different departments and roles, but their collaboration ensures that they are all working towards the same organisational goals.

Determine preferred training methods

It's critical to understand why you want to train your team. For instance, you may require your team to study a specific subject or help them develop interpersonal skills so they can collaborate more effectively. After establishing your training objectives, you can then determine different ways to train your team. Some training methods are more suitable for certain teams rather than others. For instance, when integrated with team-building activities, hands-on instruction can allow employees to practise what they've learned while working towards a common objective.

Encourage informal learning

Integrate and encourage informal training in your team. Informal training includes learning from colleagues, mentors and supervisors, learning through self-reflection and learning from books and articles. With better team synergy, team members are more likely to learn from each other.

Cross-train your team members

You can train employees to perform different tasks in a company. For instance, you can teach a cashier how to take inventory or stock retail items. Employees that participate in cross-training may improve in their primary position and learn transferable skills. Additionally, they may better understand what to expect from colleagues in different departments. If a company is experiencing a personnel shortage, such as when another employee is sick, a cross-trained employee can take up the position.

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