Training is the backbone of an organization’s success. Installing a concrete employee training program will provide any company with heightened standards as well as improved productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
Companies should never have training for the sake of having training, otherwise, it can result in a wasted effort as the employees never end up using what they learned in their jobs. Trainings should be deliberate and impactful with a specific purpose in mind. To have effective employee development plans and training programs, you must first have clearly defined company goals and identify which employees could fit those roles and benefit from the training.
Once your succession planning is in place, you can implement your training program as a part of each individual employee's pathway so that it is personalized to their needs and they can be more effective in their roles after the training. Doing so in this order will provide maximum results for employee training.
A good employee training program provides multiple benefits for both the organization and the employees. A clear understanding results in increased morale, company culture, productivity and less money/time wasted. So, before you implement your next employee training session, consider the following tips:
The first step to any successful employee engagement plan is to have clearly defined goals that are measurable. Define short and long-term company goals or objectives, and identify possible training to meet those goals. Examples may include increasing productivity, enhancing customer service or improving employee relations.
Dennis Vu CEO and Co-founder of Ringblaze feels the best way to implement an effective training program is to determine and set actionable goals. He states,
"Before you set out to find a program you can attend, find out exactly what skills your team is currently missing and how they can contribute to your overall company goals. Once you have that in writing, it’s time to research some training programs. Otherwise, just attending courses for the sake of attending will barely make any difference at all because neither you or the employees will see a purpose in attending"
Everyone knows that it is hard to be successful without knowing exactly what you’re trying to achieve! Knowing your goals will dictate how you approach program development. Ensure that the managers and the leaders are on board with it as they will likely be the ones that will implement the training program once it is established.
Once you have finalized the goals you want to hit with the employee training program, list out specific standards you want to attain to measure the effectiveness of the training program. Just like any other project in the company, a training program needs to account for the expenses and show a positive ROI for the company.
Engage your employees:
How well your employees engage with your training will determine how successful it will be. How well you engage employees as a manager will have a big effect on the acceptance of the training, but probably the biggest driver of this will be whether the training is effectively meeting their needs.
Quite simply, if your employees don’t think that your training is useful to them, it will be difficult to keep them engaged. You need to make sure that they feel like this program is adding value to their careers.
Assuming that your training is addressing a real employee need, there are additional measures you can take to further engage them and give them a more potent learning experience. Here are some examples:
Scenario-based learning is an employee training technique that engages employees by immersing them in a training experience that has been modeled on a real-life scenario, rather than a theoretical knowledge dump.
Pomodoro technique gives your employees small bite-sized information. It focuses on a specific topic and takes between 1 and 15 minutes to complete. This method gives employees a flexible way to access specific information and is especially useful for employees who lack time management skills or those who are in distracting environments.
Mobile-friendly e-learning events can be especially useful for employees who are on the move, remote employees or who don’t have 24-hour access to desktop computers.
Gamified learning experiences engage and boost employees’ intrinsic motivation levels through a variety of game mechanics including meaningfully applied levels, leaderboards, and badges.
Creating the most engaging learning experiences for your employees will enhance their learning experience and keep them engaged.
Get the timing right:
It’s important to provide training to employees in ways that will be most useful to them. It is crucial that the training method is convenient for the audience as ineffective training methods may become a time and resource drain on your employees. Effective training programs focus on quality over quantity, so make sure your training doesn't drag out too long or endlessly intrude on their personal time.Some companies are often guilty of cramming too much new information into a short time period. This might work for the short-term, but employees will need opportunities to actively use what they learn from the training in the workplace for it to be properly utilized over a long period of time.
Any time employees are growing their skillsets or taking part in a program, there is hesitation and sometimes even resistance. Give employees the time to adjust and practice their new skills, ask questions and voice their concerns. Offer plenty of encouragement while they get used to their new programs.
Sonya Schwartz founder of Her Norm suggests to,
"Provide the training right before the need for them to jump on that path so the information is retained as they use it. You also need to continually improve training. If you see have new ideas on how you can enhance the training, add them on. You can always adjust your training program, depending on what you think would work best for you and your workers."
In order to determine whether or not your training program is effective, a post-course evaluation is necessary. By measuring your goals before and after the training, you are making sure that your training program is delivering your desired results for both your company and your employees. This should take place a few months after implementing your employee training session, giving your employees the time and opportunity to adjust and implement their new skills.
Projects and Challenges are a great way to evaluate the effectiveness of training programs. Putting your employees on a project or challenge not only gives them a chance to apply the skills they learned, but also provides a good way to quantify the improvement of employee performance that your training was meant to provide. Your company will be able to immediately benefit from the employees' new proficiency.
The evaluation should measure how effectively employees are using their new skills and integrating them into their work. Think about having a professional come in to observe employees or having managers complete surveys about their employees’ application of the skills. Because the best training programs that keep their employees engaged aren’t static, make sure that yours is always evolving and improving over time.
Consider the following activities:
Online Quizzes - Test your employees' on the most important parts of their training! This is a convenient way for both employee and employer to quickly and easily measure how much was learned in the program. If the employee scores poorly, immediate action can be taken to better prepare the employee for their new responsibilities. Review online quiz results to see if particular questions are consistently answered incorrectly. If they are, maybe the questions are at fault, or maybe the content in the training is inadequate.
Give surveys to managers - Use surveys to see how they are feeling about your training methods. Opening communication with the people in charge of the employees undergoing training will allow you to get a clear feel for how the training was received. The manager is the one who is most qualified to say if the employees on their team are better able to complete their work or if more training is required in a certain area of the job.
Measure customer satisfaction - Are your employees better able to meet their needs after the training? Measuring satisfaction will determine if training is having the desired effects, whether it be in sales, customer interactions, client relations etc... Whoever is affected by the results of the training program will have excellent
Review your support requests - Support requests will allow you to focus on where the problems are at. If you see multiple questions in a specific area of your service or product, it will allow you to know where training could be created or improved on.
Refresher training- Shradha Kumari a Human Resource Manager for SurveySensum uses refresher training to keep their employees on their game. She says,
"This training program has become more popular in today’s world. This helps organizations to cope up with a dynamic environment. This training program is being designed in such a way that it helps to revive and refresh the knowledge of an individual. This basically updates the skills of the employees. This helps to avoid obsolescence of knowledge and skills."
Directly ask employees - Nothing beats going straight to the source, get feedback from employees about how the training has influenced them! This is a great way to build respect in the company and will play a big part in helping you make adjustments to your program if needed.
Findings from this kind of research will point you to where you can direct your next training efforts.
There’s much more to implementing an effective employee training program than playing a company training video or slapping together a quick slideshow. If done well, you can maximize your profits and develop your workforce to lead your organization. The best way to achieve results is to think carefully about what type of training your organization is going to provide, how they are going to deliver it, and how it can be evaluated in order to make the future of your company even better.
For more great ways to develop and train employees, check out what ProSky's software can do for you.