CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JUN. 02, 2014
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How to Train Someone to do Your Job

Have you ever trained someone to do your job before? Are you planning on training someone in the near future? If so, it's important to be aware of effective ways to train. You want to make it easy for them to transition into your job, while benefiting the overall work environment.

Reasons Why You Would Need to Train Someone

  • The most obvious reason would be that you were moving into a new position, or a new career. With you leaving, someone will need to replace you. Who knows your job better than you? It is very possible that you will be responsible to train the new employee before you leave.
  • You may need additional help. Perhaps work is busier than ever, and your workload has increased to the maximum potential. If this is the case, you may need to train someone to help pick up the slack. Two heads, means four hands, means more work is being completed.
  • Sometimes managers need to delegate work. This may be you. If you are going away on vacation, you will need to leave someone in charge. In order to have everything run smoothly while you're away, you will need to train them effectively. This individual will more than likely be qualified and familiar with your position; it's just a matter of training them regarding the smaller details.

How to Effectively Train Someone for Your Position

There are most certainly right and wrong ways to train someone. If you have trained someone before, you may know what worked and what didn't. With that being said, everyone learns different. Some are visual learners, while others learn by physically doing a task. Here are some of the most effective ways to train someone who will be doing your job.

  1. Prepare Documents: It is a great idea to provide hardcopy documents. This will give the trainee something to follow along to while being instructed. As well, hardcopy documents can be used for reference when needed. They don't need to be anything fancy. Just make sure that you're targeting the main points
  2. Ask the Trainee What They Expect: This will give you a clear indication on which areas they are comfortable with, and which areas need to be focused on more thoroughly.
  3. Have Equipment Ready: If there is software involved, or any form of equipment; have everything setup. It will be beneficial to show the trainee first hand how to use it.
  4. Show Them Around: It is important to have your trainee comfortable with their surroundings. Even if the trainee already works at your current job location, show them areas in which they may not be familiar with. There may be new areas that they need to be aware of in order to successfully carry out your job.
  5. Practice, Practice, Practice: Your job may very well be a multiple step process. Start at the first step, have them practice the ideas and motions behind that step. Make sure that the trainee fully grasps the idea, before moving onto the next task.
  6. Checklist: A checklist never hurts. Providing a list of what you generally do during the day will allow them to make sure each task is completed, and nothing gets forgotten. This list may generalise across the work week, or break tasks down into specific days. For example, maybe you check inventory on Tuesdays, while you place orders on Thursday.
  7. Be Approachable: If your trainee has any questions, make sure that you're there to help them. Be approachable. The last thing you want is your trainee not understanding something, but not knowing how to approach you.

How to NOT Train Someone for Your Position 

There are a few things to keep in mind regarding the wrong ways to train someone. 

  1. Unprepared: If you are unprepared, how can you expect your trainee to learn? If you have not brought the proper resources and information, the training session will be a waste.
  2. Don't Be a Bore: If you are extremely boring within your approach, you may not reach your trainee. Make your training session fun, and interesting. 
  3. Flood Them With Information: Throwing all the information at them will just overwhelm them. Important details may get lost within all the material. Break it down into smaller portions, and emphasise the key points. 
  4. Expect Other Employees to Train: Do not leave your training responsibilities up to someone else. They may miss important points, or simply not have enough knowledge. 

It is important to approach your trainee with respect, and a high level of understanding. Remember that they're not as familiar with your position. You may know it inside and out, but this is a new experience for them. Be patient and thorough. Work with the trainee to figure out a system that works well for both parties. 

Photo credit: Flickr 

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