Informal Workplace Training Improves Productivity

By Nora Caterino

Peer mentoring in the workplace can provide some of the most time effective and cost effective training and is available to any business anywhere. This informal form of teaching work skills across the staff can be invaluable when an employee must be out due to illness, vacation or on temporary duty elsewhere. No business can do without the functions performed by each employee for more than a day.

Informal training in the workplace can prevent the impacts from late products and deliveries because more than one employee will know how to perform each process required by the business. Any employee that does not have a backup for their function becomes a single-point failure and therefore a weak spot in the organization of any business or corporate structure.

Peer Training Improves Workplace Communication

Peer training also creates effective workplace communication because team members that might not have worked closely together in the past will have the opportunity to bond while learning each other’s jobs. Job shadowing, as this type of informal process training is called, allows people to learn other types of jobs they might like to become involved in for their future without leaving your organization.

By using peer mentoring in the workplace, a company can remove the threat of process failure should one employee that is a subject matter expert on an important process leave the business through finding another job or retirement. Peers can often train employees much more effectively using informal methods than classroom training can provide. This is largely because performing work hands-on with a partner develops a full understanding of each step and why it is important.

Formal training is expensive while informal training is highly cost-effective. Of course, some new processes and procedures do require formal training, but many of the work flows in your business can be taught to other employees informally and provide insurance that products can be delivered on-time even during peak periods or absences.

Peer mentoring in the workplace grows employees from within to fill future job openings. By keeping loyal team members, you don’t have to worry about training and you’ll already know the quality of the employee’s work. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

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