5 Guidelines for Training Employees

September 30, 2021
5 Guidelines for Training Employees

When training employees, it’s important to remember the big picture and end goals. Why? Because it’s easy to get lost in “just-in-case” training scenarios that can end up wasting a lot of time.

If you are able to cover a broad spectrum aspects that add up to your big picture, training your employees will be more effective. They will have learned the skills necessary to make decisions effectively on their own, and thus, there would be no reason for “just-in-case” training.

Similarly, it's important to remember that training is not about you.

It's about your employees.

I know this may sound ridiculous. But a lot of times, we see companies train on topics that they want to and not on what employees need.

If you want to train based on your employees' needs, consider the following:

  1. What sounds trendy may not be what your employees needs.
  2. Sometimes, you just need to go back to the basics.
  3. You may want to survey your team members on what they really want.

The goal for any leader is to ensure that employees are learning and growing. In order to do this, training must occur and it must be relevant. Otherwise, it's a big ol' waste of time and nobody leaves the event happy.

So, now that you understand some of the basis around training employees, let's get to the nitty gritty.

5 Guidelines for Training Employees

1. Be clear when stating desired outcomes and performance objectives

When employees know what the end result of a training should be, it’s easier for them to understand how to get there. They will know how each training is useful and how it adds up to completing an end goal.

Similarly, it creates context. Context is so important for success. If you tell your team that by the end of a training, they should have a sales process outlined, they will make sure they get there. This means, in the training, they can ask more guided questions and have conversations that are direct and focused.

It's easy for trainings to get off track, especially when they're done internally. Setting outcomes and objectives makes sure that everyone leaves ready for success.

2. Help employees understand behaviors through DISC

DISC assessments are a very helpful tool for managers and sales people.

The assessment not only shows how an individual employee behaves in certain situations, it shows how they can best interact with people of differing behavior profiles.

DISC creates a deeper understanding of the decisions an employee makes. This can help guide behavior in trainings because employees understand how they are inclined to act.

Similarly, it can help to inform management training. A lot of times, managers manage their sales reps how they would want to be. This, in fact, is not a best practice for managing. Instead, it's important to train your managers that different people need different things.

For example: giving feedback. People like to give and receive feedback in many different ways. For some people, they want to be told bluntly when they've done something incorrectly. For others, they want to be handheld through the process where they messed up.

Neither preference is more correct than the other, yet a lot of times, managers believe one is. This is why DISC assessments are so important for employing and training the best employees possible.

3. Don’t micromanage

One of the best ways to learn is through mistakes.

When training employees, take a more hands-off approach to enable this. If you don’t let your employees decide for themselves in trainings, how do you expect them to make decisions during real business hours?

According to the Association for Psychological Science, “encountering errors during training helps to prepare trainees for real-life situations as they are required to apply concepts learned in training.”

Additionally, no one likes to be micromanaged. If you are overbearing during training, your employees are less likely to have breakthroughs. They are also more likely to not enjoy the training at all!

4. Have employees solve problems together

At Criteria for Success, collaboration is the most important part of our sales trainings.


Not only does it improve communication skills between your employees, it teaches team-building skills.

Also, scientists state that watching others perform skills helps to learn faster. This is called behavioral role modeling.

Another reason is because collaboration empowers breakthroughs. Breakthroughs are the most important thing that comes out of any given sales training. Have your reps share best practices, success stories, or even failure stories!

This type of participation will create the type of environment to help employees solve problems together as well as learn and grow as a team!

5. Track best practices, processes, and everything else

Training doesn’t end after the event.

Make sure you organize all the material from the sales training in your Sales PlayBook!

This is a great way to ensure that your team will continue to use the tools they learned. As times goes on, you'll want to revisit old trainings to see if there's any room for new ideas.

In the end, training employees can overhaul the productivity and results of an organization, or it can fizzle out after a few weeks.

Utilize these guidelines to make sure you are making the most out of training your employees.

Do you have any other ideas on how to train employees? Let us know in the comments.

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1 Comment

  • Rachel - Reply

    Arianna, this is such an important reminder for managers to tighten up their employee training. Too often, employees leave training classes or workshops and feel like they wasted their time and learned nothing. This can be a huge problem for organizations if that is the case during every training. Your first tip rang truest for me, especially for those in sales, who often have ongoing sales training. Throughout our entire sales training program, we make sure our teammates understand the outcomes, objectives, and the end goal of every part of training. It helps the entire team agree on a baseline for training and performance and keeps us all accountable!

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