Conducting Employee Training
February 19, 2021
- So, yes, today we're gonna be talking about conducting employee training. I wanna spend probably 10 minutes talking about why training is important, and then we'll spend probably equal amount of time how I prefer to conduct some training, and then we'll have some time leftover to wrap up for questions. So if you have those questions, you can submit them in the chat anytime, write 'em down or raise your hand. I've got time, I think, to stop as we go through this, so. First off, Shelby, you had a poll, I think. Yeah, if you could all respond to this poll. How often is your company conducting employee training for any reason? So, often, is it sometimes, or do you never do training? I don't know who clicks on these responses, so, you know, feel free to answer honestly. Every one is confidential. We got some responses to that, Shelby? - [Shelby] Yep, we have about half that have voted at this point. I'm gonna give it another 10 seconds-- - 'Kay. - [Shelby] To get more input. All right, five, four, three, two, and one. And here are the results. - Perfect. So pretty normal what we see. We see a lot of companies that have training as a major part of their regiment. We get some, about half the companies that do a little bit of training. Those tend to be seasonal. We do seasonal training when we've got a little bit of time, and then, of course, there's always some outliers that don't do any training. So just a good visibility. I wanted to see where everyone landed in that. So let's start out with why training's important. Now these are a few statements that didn't really fit into my regular presentation, so I wanted to get 'em out of the way right now. Number one, why is training important? We were not born with an innate knowledge to spread manure. Everyone believe that? You weren't born with the knowledges that, the knowledge that you need to run that company. And all employees and all business owners, their knowledge is different, as different as their backgrounds. Just being born in the country doesn't make you a tractor driver any more than being born in the city teaches you to drive a subway train. And then, and final statement I'll make before we move on here is, owners and trainers need to try something new themselves. And the reason I say that is we often forget how little we know or put ourself in that position of being a new employee or being somebody with a new task. You know, I learned how to play a video game with my grandson the other day. It made me feel pretty inadequate, but what it did was remind me that you don't know everything about it, and we do need to take that into mindset. So, why is training important? Here's a few of the reasons that I think training is extremely important. Number one, new employees or existing employees. Orientation, integration, and onboarding. So we get new employees, there's so many questions that the employee has. What does our company culture look like? Do we have a strategy or a vision? How 'bout basic information? Where's the trashcan? What's our expectations for the job? When's the break, when are breaks? You know, what do I do at the end of the day? Do I just pull in, shut off and go home? Do we have a meeting? Is there a cleanup period? So just some of those job expectations. And all those do is they'll really help reduce anxiety. Again, all those questions that are bouncing around in a new employee's head about when or what should happen. Other great reasons to train is to understand regulations, 'cause regulations, as we've seen today, Craig and Laura both had great presentations and they both brought up regulations that we need to be aware of and to make our employees aware. And if we don't do those, that training, the company itself is liable. So the liability, not that it erases your liability, but it will reduce it if employees know what the regulations are that they're expected to follow. Some more reasons to train. We're running expensive and complicated equipment. You guys have a capital, a very capital intense business, whether you're a dairy or a manure applicator. You know, it's not unusual to see a tractor and tankers alone, a new tractor and tanker that approaches $500,000. And too often I see guys that aren't properly trained to really understand the functions of a tractor, the functions of the tanker, what does safe on the road look like? Those types of things. So in no other industry that I work with, with the exception of agriculture, does it seem like they would take that approach of give an employee a $500,000 piece of equipment with a couple of hours of training and say, you're on your own. How about standard operations? As a company, we develop standard operations. How do you convey that message to a new employee? Company policies and promises. If you've made commitments to your customers, how do we convey that? So those are good reasons to do training. And then work improvement and development. So, developing new employees, developing skills that may be outside of their normal, everyday work has some great advantages. So I'll just talk a little bit about what it means, what training means to an employee. There are three psychological demands or psychological needs that people have, especially at work. They want to feel competent. They want to have relatedness, means they want to have a relationship with the business. They want to feel like they're part of the business. They want to have a relationship with the people they work with, and they want to have autonomy. Autonomy means the ability to make their own decisions and control a little bit of their own work. And you can't have that autonomy if you don't have the training and the ability to make some decisions on your own. So what does that eventually, again, what's the goal here with the employees? You're gonna see employees with higher job satisfaction, you're gonna have employees with higher morale. They're gonna make a better use of their time because they have the training and they understand the job in front of them. You'll see an increase in ideas and suggestions. So, you know, an employee that understands the company's policy is, or, and decisions and standard operating procedures, is more likely to give you suggestions on how to make things better. Studies have shown over and over that we'll have lower turnover. Companies that engage employees with a large amount of training have less turnover. Some of that comes from anxiety, some of that comes from parity or equity from one employee to the next. They all know that they're doing the job the same way. And then finally, as a business owner, it's gonna free you up with less supervision and less instruction to do some higher, value-added activities, finding more work, becoming more efficient, that type of thing. So what does good training look like? In my opinion, I look at actually five different areas on what good training looks like. Good training should be repeatable. In other words, it's not that seasonal, we did it once and now we'll maybe see it again next winter, but it can be done anytime. A new employee can sit down in April, May, August, and see the same training. It's available. In other words, it doesn't require a calendar. Yes, that training will be available in two months or three months from now. No, I want that training to be available right now, when the employee needs it. There's traceability, meaning that we want to be able to ensure that all of our employees have gone through the right training. How are we gonna make that traceable? How are we gonna keep track of the record that that training has been done? Training has to have an evaluation. It's, and this is the owner's and/or manager's responsibility. How are we gonna evaluate that the training's been effective? And then the fifth point is we need to keep it short and repeat it often. So you guys probably have seen similar studies, but one of the studies that's been done recently is a 10 minute presentation, so shorter than even I'm gonna do now. People remember 50% of what you said immediately following the presentation. The next day, that drops to 25%, and then a week, it's 10%. And the same thing happens with our training. We can train an employee on how to, let's say, service a tractor, do our first morning inspection or service a tractor or grease the tractor. If I show them that once, they'll remember 50% of what I showed them. The next day, it drops less and less. In two weeks, the only thing that they remember is what they've been doing daily. They don't remember hardly anything of what you showed them two weeks prior. So we need to have, your training needs to be kept short and it needs to be repeated often. So that leads me into, how do we do that? How do we accomplish all those, all of those five criteria and still not make our primary job training? What we don't want to do is take away from productive time. We want to make training simple, fast, available. And this is my work instruction for creating training. I'm gonna show you a few examples of this, but for you to create instruction or create training, break it down into training that can be done in six to eight simple steps, okay? Use direct and clear text for each step. People learn in different ways. Some people learn really well from looking at photos or seeing it done. Demonstrate it. Some people want to read the text, and then other, and then the third thing is they need to be shown, so that's the third way that people learn. And as we go through this, you'll see all three of those. You wanna represent each instruction with an example picture. So we're not just gonna say, grease the pickup chain. We're gonna take a picture of where that greaser is, that type of thing. Fourth step, videotape the process. Explain each item in proper sequence. We all have a smartphone in our pockets. We all have a production studio from that standpoint. It's a camera, it's a microphone. I'm not gonna, we don't want to do this highly edited or take a bunch of time doing this. While I'm doing it, have somebody videotape the process. We're gonna download the video then to YouTube, which YouTube is a free account, so I haven't cost you any money yet. You've already got a smartphone in your pocket. You're gonna create a YouTube account. You'll leave that video as unlisted. And then we're also gonna create a QR code. That's the link in the bottom of this instruction, the little box, graphic box. That'll take you directly to that video. So if I post this work instruction for our employees, they have then three things. They can read the text, understand what the job is. They can review the job by looking at the pictures, and then finally, if they need further reminders, they can watch the video of somebody else doing it. So let me go on and show you an example of what that looks like. Here was a really simple example that COVID put on us. A nonprofit that I work with in the healthcare industry, they got these Safety 1st thermometers for all of their sites for COVID pre-screening, and right away, they noticed that there were a lot of questions about how to run it. It seems simple enough, but if you've never held one of these types of thermometers, you might have questions. So push the green button, wait a few seconds, put the red dot on someone's forehead, pull the trigger. So really easily now, without, only seconds, we can be training everyone on how to use a thermometer. And if we scan that video, it actually takes us to the manufacturer video on how to use the thermometer. So in that case we didn't even have to do any filming or anything. Here's an example from one of the dairies that I work with, and I'm gonna spend a little bit more time on this because it is a, well, and we'll go through each step, or it is a little more of a working example. So their question is on a rotary parlor. How do I black a stall so that a cow can't enter it? And they have a process that they use. So block the stall. You look at the second step. The roamer, the person responsible, takes the strap. This is where the strap is located. This is what the strap should look like. This is where it needs to be placed when you're not using it. When the malfunctioning stall reaches the exit, you pull the red cord. You apply the strap to the stall. You release the safety, and you make note for maintenance people in the notification board. Now every new employee that they have come into their parlor, and there's 15 milkers on the farm, and if they have some turnover of 30%, that means they've got five or six new employees to train every year on this, instead of going through training, you just show 'em this instruction. This is how it's done. They have a time expectation, if you look at the top. It should take about two minutes. They have the tools that they need. They only need the strap. And they have the video. And that's what I'm gonna try to show now. - [Man] First pull the (indistinct). - Got to share the proper screen here a second, so give me just a second. There, you should be looking at YouTube now. - [Man] First pull the cord. You just have the (indistinct). You're gonna have your (indistinct). First your (indistinct) with your team. You catch the (indistinct). Go back to the top, across to the (indistinct). Back to the other side. Take that loop around, (indistinct), your team. Back with your flip together, so it's turned. And we will restart the wheel, so you'll release the cord, like that. Down then with your start bags. - [Worker] Here we go. - [Man] And that's it. - So you can see that it doesn't have to be highly edited. It's just, take your phone, shoot the activity. You can download it to YouTube without needing a computer. You can generate this QR code, and I've got in the previous slide, the website is QRcodegenerator.com. So you just put your YouTube video into the generator. It'll generate the link for you to use to create that. So really simple. Let's go back and evaluate that type of training. Is it repeatable? Absolutely. We can use that video and have that work instruction over and over and over. Is it short? It takes only a few seconds to review the sheet. The video is 43 seconds long, so you're gonna have, you're not gonna have attention problems with that type of broken down training. Is it available? The only thing that would make it not available is if I didn't have access to YouTube, but even there I still have the printed sheet, the work instruction and the pictures that are necessary. Is it traceable? The customers that I have that use this actually have employees put in the comment section of the YouTube video their name and date that they watched the video. So they have traceability. They can go back to the video and see who watched it and when. And you get that information, too, despite clicking on any comment, because if they're logged into YouTube, they're, well, they put their name and the date that they watched it, we have traceability. And then the evaluation and training, that's up, there's, depending on the type of training, there's a lot of different ways to do that. Again, the simpler we keep the work instruction, the simpler the evaluation is. I tried to keep it real short today, guys, for everyone, 'cause I knew I'd be touching up against lunch and the end of the break, but if you have any questions, I sure would love to address them. And if you have any information or need to talk to me in the future, you can go to my website at farminglean.com, there at AISequip.com, and there's my contact information. Do we have any questions? - Thank you so much, Allen. If you have questions for Allen, please put them in the chat box. We got lots of time for questions, so, you know, feel free. It was a great presentation. I really enjoyed it. - You know, the place, and I'll just fill in here a little bit while people are thinking about questions, great places to use work instructions like this, and it doesn't accomplish all the different types of training that we need in a business, but a great place to use this type of training may be daily inspections or how to grease or service a piece of equipment, spreading patterns. You know, you can show somebody when we address a field, this is how we're going to spread. How about road rules? You know, just a video to reinforce that when we are on the road, we follow the rules of the road. We stop at stop signs, that type of thing. They're great short videos that just take a few seconds to put together. One of the ones that I thought about earlier is how far away from a water or a waterway when you look at the GMPs. You know, you can use the video to to show employees what constitutes a waterway. What does 150 feet look like? And you can put that in the video of where it's really difficult to do just through text, showing someone. - Yep. Thanks, Allen. And so we had a comment from Steve in the chat. It said keeping a log of all your training so that if you learn training is no longer accurate, you can pull it out and update and then send out notifications of updates. And then how do you, Laura asks, how do you recommend using these tools for training for more complicated operations or things that take longer, involve more steps than simple steps? - Probably, I might go a, you know, Laura, I might go a little different route than a work instruction. The work, the one thing we can do, though, is we can break complicated things into smaller pieces. If that's still not possible, then we do need to look at a different training. So oftentimes we will link to legal training, as an example. Maybe this video, maybe this presentation, it's a two-hour presentation, but you can still use video to accomplish it. You just can't do it in small, broke down pieces. But yes, keeping, and to go to the previous comment, keeping a log is important. It's also very difficult for us to keep track of employees when they're, when they have so much training that needs to happen right away in the beginning. That's what I like about YouTube, is that I can, is just go down to comments, put in a comment, and I have traceability just by going back to the video myself and looking at the comments and see who's been there and when they took the class.