CEP Offers Tips to Reduce New Employee “Ramp-Up” Time. - Companies Ignore Hidden Costs of “Trial and Error” Training

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When companies consider the time and expense required to train new employees, they focus primarily on the development costs for training and the length of formal training time. The reality is that the expense doesn’t end there. Because many new hire programs don’t fully prepare a new employee, much of the learning takes place through trial and error after formal training ends. The real measure should be time to proficiency; that is, the time it takes a new employee to achieve 100% productivity at the standard of performance the organization expects. The release below explores how companies can guarantee 100% proficiency on the first day training ends, and thereby eliminate the costly learning curve.

Too often, organizations view the expense of new hire training as simply the cost of developing training, combined with the length of the program. However, the real costs lie in the length of time it takes for a new employee to reach 100% proficiency. If a company can reduce the learning curve, the company benefits in multiple ways:

· Improved productivity

· Reduced risk of costly errors

· Reduced risk of lost customers and lost sales

· Increased revenue generation

“When newly hired employees haven’t had the right kind of training—especially sufficient, job-relevant practice with feedback on all the critical components of their job, they end up learning through trial and error,” says Dr. Seth Leibler, CEO of The Center for Effective Performance (CEP). “That’s an expensive and highly risky way to learn.”

By applying the Criterion-Referenced Instruction (CRI) approach to new hire training, companies can guarantee that all new hires will be 100 percent proficient at the level of performance the company requires on the first day training ends. In every case, employees will be able to demonstrate mastery in the skills and knowledge the organization requires before leaving training.

These results differ sharply from what companies expect to achieve through the more conventional, academic approach to training. In conventional training, some individuals will eventually achieve proficiency; however, few will reach desired performance by training’s end. Most will require extended on-the-job learning, and there will likely be new hires that will never get to the required level of performance.

Dr. Leibler recommends the CRI approach because it is based on behavioral science research on how people learn, think, and remember. In addition, the approach considers all three factors required for performance: skills, motivation, and operational supports like tools, systems, and information. Research results clearly indicate that skills alone are not enough, and all three requirements for performance must be present.

Organizations who want to reduce ramp-up time should follow these key steps:

1. Clarify the explicit expectations for performance for the position. What does a performer need to do, and how well is he expected to do it in terms of accuracy, speed, etc. These expectations often remain in managers’ heads and can vary from one executive to the next.

2. Identify the detailed best practices for performing each job task. At the same time, consider what barriers the new employee might confront in performing the task -- are there motivational or operational obstacles that might get in the way of desired performance?

3. Make certain training maps directly to desired job performance. New hires should spend approximately 75% of training time actually practicing all the critical tasks they will be asked to perform, and be able to demonstrate the ability to meet all performance criteria before training ends.

4. Have new employees practice the job tasks in the most likely situations they will face on the job. For example, a new call center employee would practice customer calls with an abrupt or unfriendly customer. A new sales person would practice negotiating with a difficult customer. In each case, the new employee receives immediate feedback and coaching until he or she can meet required performance levels during training.

By applying the CRI approach to training new hires, organizations can drastically reduce ramp-up time compared to the more common academic approach to training. Whether the training is delivered in a classroom or on the job, new hires will demonstrate all the skills and knowledge to be 100% proficient on the first day training ends.

About CEP

The Center for Effective Performance (CEP) is the industry leader in advising organizations on how to turn their workforce into a competitive advantage. For nearly two decades, CEP has helped organizations profit from planned initiatives including sales performance improvement, customer service enhancement, best practices implementation, new systems implementations, and new product launches. For nearly two decades, CEP has helped companies solve performance problems, develop training guaranteed to work, implement best practices, and create performance improvement strategies that translate into improved financial results. As the world's leading practitioners of Dr. Robert Mager's research-based methodology, CEP delivers world-class, proven solutions that increase profitability and shareholder value.

For more information, go to http://www.cepworkforceperformance.com.

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This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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