No matter the business you are operating, organizations are legally required to provide their employees with proper training, induction, and development programs. The program should be created in a manner that is aligned with company objectives and needs.
Designing and implementing an employee training and development program that meets organizational goals should be built following a clear systematic process using digital tools.
This is especially important with the increasing need for remote workspace and the ability to deliver training online. In this guide, you will learn about employee training and development plan, their importance, and tips to help you design and implement them.
Overview of employee training and development program.
Employee training and development is a continuous process where organizations help their workers acquire new skills and knowledge to achieve optimum employee performance and attain their full potential.
Training and development are usually used synonymously, but the truth is that there is a lot of difference between the two.
Basically, training is a formal process where talent development experts help people improve their efficiency at work. On the other hand, development is the process of acquiring skills, knowledge, and attitude that are needed for a new set of responsibilities or directions in your career.
Training is the most common and specific form of development program known by many people. Others can include mentoring, coaching, self-directed learning, experiential learning, or formal learning.
Without wasting too much time on the terminologies, let's jump into the benefits of employee training and development program.
Common methods of employee training and development.
There are several training and development methods you choose to leverage in your organization, including
This is a form of training where an instructor teaches a live concept to trainees. It can occur either virtually or in person. This method is very effective, especially for complex courses or topics, because it allows employees to ask questions in real-time and get guidance from their seniors.
A notable downside you might experience with instructor-led training is that it is more costly and time-consuming than virtual options. However, it is worth adding to your training programs.
Don't disregard physical programs. Although online options are cost-effective, fast, attractive, and suitable for skill development, it is crucial to include in-person learning as an alternative, especially for the management and senior staff.
Coaching and mentoring are both aspects of one-on-one instructor-led hands-on training. The only notable difference is that coaching is done by a trained expert from outside the organization, while mentoring is done by a person within your company.
This form of delivering employee training and development program is perfect for sectors like sales and marketing, where employees are required to get hands-on training from an experienced professional.
Although the method can be time-consuming, on the flip side, it enables trainees to get individual attention and have all the practical questions answered.
This is a form of a structured learning experience or course that is delivered electronically. Online employee training has become more popular today because it allows people to learn at their own pace and time on any device.
E-learning solutions use online tests, videos, and gamified elements to engage and interact with learners and improve their knowledge retention. The most significant advantage of this employee training method is its ability to allow the training of large groups at relatively lower costs.
E-learning can be asynchronous and synchronous in nature. The asynchronous form is self-paced and often includes pre-recorded course content and videos, texts or visuals, simulations, games, knowledge quizzes, and other engagement methods.
Cross-training is the process of allowing workers to perform extra duties that are not within their standard job description and schedule. For example, an accountant can cross-training communication skills and a cashier to graphic design.
This approach benefits both the company and the employee. The worker becomes more valuable and has higher chances of advancing their careers while the organization builds a more effective and flexible workforce.
As the name suggests, this training method enables employees to gain new skills, knowledge, and competencies while doing the actual job. A great example of on-the-job training is a software solution provider training staff in the HR department on how to use their new talent management system.
This type of training is an example of a one-on-one learning system, so it is best to be applied when you got enough resources that can support the employee during the session. Techniques that can be applied include stretch assignments and shadowing.
Simulation is a teaching technique that allows trainees and students to learn a concept in real-life situations. It can also be defined as a role-playing approach where learners develop problem-solving abilities in an artificially created environment using VR and AR systems.
The simulation method uses simulation tools to model and create situations that portray actions and demonstrate how it affects various systems and how these platforms produce results and feedback.
Augmented reality devices and virtual reality headsets are currently available more than ever, and an increasing number of companies are adding them to their employee training and development program.
Although the cost of implementing simulation is relatively higher than e-learning, it is ideal for companies that want to scale their one-on-one training campaigns.
This is a training method that encompasses more than the training methods discussed above. Usually, blended learning includes a combination of e-learning and in-person instruction.
However, it can also mean a mix of formal and informal learning strategies, such as online resources, classroom instruction, and on-the-job training.
Blended learning is highly beneficial for employee development implementation that would want to improve their workforce efficiency by introducing a new technique like automation in their processes. This would call for the outsourcing of trained experts and the guidance of an experienced employee in the organization.
Benefits of training and development in your workplace.
Considering the rising number of working people who have little time to go to higher learning institutions to advance their careers, most companies are designing and implementing policies promoting employee productivity, responsibilities, satisfaction, and retention, together with other initiatives that keep employees engaged through consistent training and development.
The following are some of the benefits you should expect in your company if you set up a training and development program for your workers.
1. Employee retention.
Retaining employees is one of the tricky challenges facing employers and businesses. However, optimum employee retention can be realized through practical training and development. In real-life cases, training and induction have been critical factors in employment that it is usually used as a competitive edge when onboarding.
Providing career development opportunities helps employees build a sense of value in the organization and create loyalty, subsequently leading to increased employee retention rates and lower staff turnover.
2. Builds future leaders.
Identifying staff who have leadership skills is vital in establishing growth and evolution plans for your business. You can acquire new leadership talents through new hires or let your HR department to choose current ones for managerial positions.
According to the Society for Human Resources Management, employee training and development programs ensure your business is focused on delivering future organizational objectives by preparing and promoting new talents.
3. Empowers employees.
Empowered leaders within the workplace are more effective in influencing workers and attracting their trust. Consequently, employees will be valued and have a great sense of autonomy and confidence in the company.
The society for HR managers defines staff autonomy as the level where employees feel empowered, independent, and can make personal decisions about their work scope.
1. Improves employee engagement and teamwork.
Developing ways that can ensure consistent employee engagement can eliminate boredom in the workplace, which can lead to negative working habits and feelings of dissatisfaction.
Regular work training and development programs can reduce workplace idleness and help organizations do a consistent re-evaluation of their workforce skills and processes.
What's more, induction programs will influence a company culture by emphasizing on planning and force organizational analysis and planning because it requires employee reviews of the existing talent instead of depending on new recruits.
According to a study by Forbes about employee empowerment and engagement, workers who felt a low level of empowerment are primarily found in the low ranking of the 24th percentile as compared to those who felt hirer empowerment levels.
2. Builds workplace relationships.
Lastly, providing employees the opportunity to refine their skills, explore new topics, and expand their knowledge can help them form strong relationships with each other. During the program, workers will tackle various challenges together and depend on one another for training opportunities by consulting professionals in their areas of expertise.
Various research has shown that peer learning and collaboration is one of the effective ways to learn. Pooling strengths and collaborating not only lead to a well-knit workforce, but the bonds among your team also improve employee engagement and retention.
How to create a successful employee training and development program.
Creating successful training in an organization should follow clearly defined and data-backed steps that lead to the realization of your training goals. Check out the steps you can follow to create and implement an effective employee development program.
The primary step to creating a successful employee training program is to assess your training objective as an organization or department and identify what you want to achieve them successfully.
It is also vital to define key performance indicators (KPI), to help you specifically determine your organization’s strategic, operational, and financial achievements and how they compare with others in the same industry.
The following are some questions to guide you when assessing your needs;
Teach adults like adults.
According to the second question, it is important to know that employees are grown-ups with varying characteristics that can affect their learning under different conditions. When creating a training program, keep the following adult learning principles in mind;
These principles need to be aligned with the characteristics you identified when assessing your training needs. You can then envision how these features can guide you in designing a training program.
Develop learning objectives.
Identify what you expect your workforce to achieve and be able to apply after completing the program. This can be a skill, knowledge, or just relevant proficiency. And they form your learning objectives.
After identifying these goals, you can start creating content that supports every step towards achieving each objective. Keep these contents focused on your vision and varied ways of testing employee retention abilities of what you are training them.
Your objectives should also follow the SMART goal method, i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, to ensure your employees attains what is required within the set timelines.
Design training materials.
After gathering the information discussed above, start designing your training modules or materials. It is advised to have a fully formulated design layout ready before officially launching the program to ensure nothing is amiss in the last minutes.
While at it, ensure everything is focused on realizing employee needs instead of what is doable and easier for the trainer and specifically reaching your company training objectives. The following are extra tips to help you design training materials;
Develop training materials.
Use the training materials you designed to start composing your training materials. Based on your design, these materials may include;
Depending on the topics being taught, time, resources, and employee learning styles, you will realize you can create a mix of learning elements to make the program a success. And always remember to keep the learning objectives in mind while gathering training materials.
Conduct the training.
Ensure you tell your employees that there is an organized company training that they should attend, and reserve all the hurdle rooms and conferences and gather all the necessary requirements.
For instance, the training can be a lunch and learn session. If that is the case, let lunch be served first, and attendees settle in before starting the lesson. However, regardless of the method or a combination of any that you choose to use, let it be known to your employees firsthand.
Ensure everyone selected for the course knows clearly what is expected of them and what they need to do to complete the training. Please give them an idea beforehand of how you will identify what they have learned at the end of the training.
Evaluate the employee training and development program.
Once you have applied all the methods of employee training and finished the program, you would want to assess if you meet your objectives. In simple terms, you need to evaluate the success of the training.
The following are some of the metrics you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of the program:
Things that make an employee training and development program successful.
The success of any training and development program in an organization depends on whether the goals and objectives are met within the predetermined deadlines. However, there are many other factors that can make or break your employee training campaigns, including;
Although this post might be long and have a lot of things to take in, there is one way you can start from, and that is through knowledge sharing. Allow your employees to share knowledge with each other to avoid cases where people are waiting for somebody to handle a complex task.
However, if you need to start with providing employee training, follow the steps discussed in this article to the latter. All you need to do is to identify the training needs and objectives, inform your employees, design training materials, conduct the training based on the age groups, and evaluate the program results.