You’re a business owner, so you understand the importance of thoroughly training your staff. You might think you have all the training programs you need: You train staff about industry knowledge, business operations, software programs, customer service, and technical skills.
What more could there be? Since there’s such a heavy focus on technology these days, it’s easy to neglect the basics. Here are four types of training every business owner should include in the onboarding process, and revisit with long-time staff.
- Training for powerful, effective communication
Communication is essential to maintain a functional business, especially with remote workers. Training your staff to communicate requires more than holding a meeting to set expectations, though. Communication is a skill that needs to be developed through real-world experience.
Send your people to outside training courses in your region, or large conferences in major cities. Keep your staff actively engaged in developing and practicing communication skills. Those will be at the front of their mind, ready for use.
- Training in use of a company vehicle
Employees who drive company vehicles are a liability to your company every time they hit the road. One mistake could cost you thousands of dollars and increase your insurance rates. One mistake could also cost an employee his or her life.
If your employees have to drive to do business, provide a company vehicle so they’re always fully insured. If your employees drive their own car with lapsed insurance, you could end up having to sell your business to pay for damages. You can be held responsible for any accidents and damage regardless of fault.
Train for safety regardless of driving record
Remember, just because someone has a clean driving record, that doesn’t mean he has perfect driving habits. Workers are also not immune to the mistakes of other drivers.
You need to train your employees to use company vehicles more carefully than they would their own cars. In the case of an accident, they might think getting fired is the worst that could happen.
But traffic accident statistics don’t agree. Every small vehicle is at risk for collision with a large commercial truck due to a trucks’ numerous and large blind spots.
Even when it’s not their fault, your employees’ safety is at risk
Drivers who suffer serious or fatal injuries are the occupants of automobiles, not commercial trucks.
“As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,852 people were killed in collisions involving large trucks in 2015. In two-vehicle collisions that involve a large truck and a car, 97 percent of those who died were occupants of the passenger vehicles. Occupants of smaller vehicles are vulnerable in any crash involving an 18-wheeler.”
Train your employees to identify and stay out of a truck’s blind spots, even if it means missing an exit. Remind them of the basic rules for driving safely around trucks and buses. Make sure they understand their safety is your top priority.
- Continual food safety training in the food service industry
Today, most states require all food service employees to pass a food safety quiz online, but that doesn’t mean they understand food safety. Many employees pass these tests, yet cause cross-contamination on a daily basis.
They’ll prepare sandwiches and operate the oven multiple times without changing gloves. Or they won’t change gloves after touching an allergen such as nuts or soy. They mistakenly think of gloves as protection for their hands, not for the food.
When employees understand the basics of food safety, they won’t make the mistake with gloves. They’ll regard gloves as an extension of their own hands. They’ll understand that gloves transfer contamination to whatever they touch.
- Hands-on experience with a fire extinguisher
Although not required by OSHA, providing hands-on training for your staff to learn how to use a fire extinguisher is a good idea. Once an employee goes through the motions of removing the pin and engaging the extinguisher, he or she will be quicker to jump into action in case of a real fire.
You don’t have to come up with the training on your own. OSHA provides a free training video for using portable fire extinguishers.
The more training you provide for your staff, the better. It’s a big responsibility to run a business, and it’s unwise to expect your staff to come fully trained on their own.