“There are only two ways in which a manager can impact an employee’s output: motivation and training. If you are not training then you are neglecting half the job.” – Andy Grove
The quote accurately describes the importance of training for companies. Whether the training is for new employees or existing staff on a new process/procedure, how the information is disseminated makes a world of difference. For the intricacies, niceties, and trivia – manuals, word based documents, and classroom training are the obvious choices. However, to get them up to speed on procedures, processes, and daily work flow they need something more. A visual representation of the expectations and deliverables will help them truly understand and follow. Experts say that at least 65% of people are visual learners! Amongst the visual tools available, flowcharts are simple, easy to prepare and use, and provide a clear visual of whatever is being conveyed. HR personnel can use flowcharts in preparing the training calendar for all staff members.
While preparing the training calendar, the creators must focus on conveying important information such as topics, dates, trainers, and more. A flowchart captures all this information using words and images, improving comprehension and raising the chances that training guidelines and decorum would be followed. Additionally, since the best flowcharts are those that fit in a page distribution to all relevant staff members, becomes a lot easier. The staff members could refer to this one pager at any time. Preparing the training calendar accurately and in a comprehensive manner is just one part of the training rigor. When properly executed, the programs in the calendar can help deliver an efficient and productive workforce. Further, this would lead to increased sales and profits, higher production, lower employee turnover rate, and ensure that your company produces leaders from within. The key words are “when properly executed” – training and development programs can go awry if not managed well. Placing all the information within the expanse of a flowchart can help to ensure that organizational resources are not wasted.
Creating a flowchart albeit a simple one can prove overwhelming, hence creators must be cautious while preparing the training calendar with a flowchart. It is important to think of the process and the contents from the perspective of the actual users, and especially those who may be new to the organization. While preparing the training calendar within a flowchart (just like any other process or program), make sure that certain steps are followed.
- Define the training needs and programs
A single flowchart would not be able to encompass every job role, every training need, and every person in the organization. Hence, it would make sense to break down each of these into smaller portions and then place these smaller portions within the expanse of the flowchart. For instance: a mid-level executive in the accounts department might need training on communication skills and another set of skills. At the same time, an employee from a different department might also need these set of training programs, but the timelines for training for this employee would be different. With so many variations, those in charge of preparing the training calendar, would find is easier to capture this information within a flowchart.
- Listing the Tasks
Creating a list of tasks that would need to be performed while and after preparing the training calendar, would help the creators to understand what needs to happen and when. For example: who would need to approve the training schedule of an employee? How many training programs has a particular employee attended in the past? All this information should be part of the preparation of the training calendar.
- Create a Draft Flowchart
Once all the information is gathered, it should be put into the flowchart, ensuring that the start and finish are clearly specified. This will be the basis of a well prepared and ready to execute training calendar
- Review and Enhance
Once the flowchart with the training calendar is prepared, the creator should take a break from it. Additionally, this can be shared with a few others for their review. Post their feedback and refreshed ‘pair of eyes’, the flowchart could be edited to add steps, refine the training steps, and remove unnecessary portions. Post these changes, review it again with the help of others. While preparing the training calendar, show it to someone who would be completely unfamiliar with the process and training procedure. This would help to know whether the employees would be able to understand the chart and the calendar.
- The Actual Design
When preparing the training calendar, it is necessary to have a comprehensive plan. This would include instruction and learning methodology, content – matter and flow, and other such components. These should be put together keeping the needs of those attending the programs, based on their job roles and performance on the job. There should be clear and reasonable objectives and training principles for the programs, including interactive sessions and time for questions and answers. All these parts/aspects of a training calendar can be prepared within a flowchart for a visual display of how the actual programs would appear.
While designing and preparing the training calendar within a flowchart, it is also important to include the persons who would conduct the various training programs. These persons should be experienced existing employees, who would be able to deliver the programs in a goal-oriented and self-motivated manner. The persons chosen to deliver the training programs must have pride in their industry knowledge, and be able to convey and instill this pride in those receiving the training.
When preparing the training calendar with the help of flowchart, remember to include assessment as well. Assessment would be from the trainees of the program and the trainers. This would help to implement improvements in the future. Gaining feedback is essential, and could be plugged in to a different flowchart for the management and trainers to come up with new and improved program versions. In addition, the flowchart should include a portion that assesses the behavior and performance of the trained employees after they report back to their respective jobs. The tenets of the training program should help to become more effective in their job.
With all the benefits defined for preparing the training calendar, it is important to note that flowcharts can be used for more than simply describing tasks and duties. They are also useful in outlining and defining employee benefits, decision making, organizational structure, and several other business processes. The great part of flowcharts is that they can be shared digitally and also printed and added to the folders handed out to the trainees. These printed pages can also be pinned up on boards in the hallways and cafeteria, where employees can read them. The flowcharts can also be saved on the intranet or the cloud, where the team responsible for training can access, update, and refresh them as required.
Creating training and development programs for employees is one of the pillars of any organization. It must be implemented with care and respect, but the training calendar must also be easily accessed and understood. With clear goals, responsibilities, and a vision – aptly conveyed through the visual tool of flowcharts, preparing the training calendar should be a breeze and deliver the expected results.