Many businesses see employee training programs as a big expense and avoid them in order to cut their costs. However, untrained employees lack the knowledge to approach their clients, manage their workflow and use company resources effectively. Consequently, both a company and its clients will suffer. Not to mention that the employees themselves won’t be motivated to do their best. According to some recent studies, more than 70% of employees reported that they had to switch to another company in order to advance their careers.
In order to prevent this from happening, you need to invest a great deal of time and effort in developing a profitable employee training program and implementing it with your overall business plan.
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Here is how.
Conduct a Training Needs Analysis
In order to choose a training program that benefits both your organization and your workforce, you first need to perform a training needs assessment. It comprises of several crucial steps, including identifying a clear business goal that the training needs to support, choosing the tasks the workers need to perform, as well as determining the training activities that will help them perform the tasks. Without such a solid initial plan, you will lose sight of what you’re actually trying to accomplish, waste both your time and resources and lose your employees’ trust.
Once you define your objectives precisely, you need to inform your employees about them and make sure that they fully understand the purpose of a particular course and their role in it. Point out what training and development opportunities you’re planning to offer and how this is going to influence their further career path.
Employ Different Training Methods
The people you want to train are adults and they share certain traits you need to have in mind. For example, they are self-directed, goal-oriented, have experience in the industry and, as such, they want to feel respected and require relevant training program. On the other hand, each of your employees is unique and has different educational background and learning styles. These are all factors you need to take into consideration when tailoring your training to their needs. In order to do so effectively, you should combine offline and online courses.
For example, in-person training programs are powerful, interactive and engaging. They provide your employees with the opportunity to take part in the learning process actively and get answers to their questions instantly. For example, you could organize financial modeling courses, human resources training, trade conferences, customer service training and other in-house seminars that would teach your employees about all aspects of the industry and, at the same time, help them work more productively in the future.
On the other hand, you should never underestimate the importance of online courses and e-learning platforms. Using what your employees already love about the virtual world, they offer highly personalized and fun experience. Apart from being cost-efficient, they are industry-relevant, adaptable to your employees’ needs. Namely, they allow them to set their own pace when learning. Most importantly, by transferring your training program to the digital landscape, you will manage to cater to both your in-house and remote workers.
Help them Learn at Their Own Pace
Not everyone learns at the same speed. So, instead of forcing them to keep pace with others and rush through some complex topics, you should let them review the information how they’d like. Additionally, you need to motivate them to think about what they’re doing, through a wide range of practical tasks. For example, after completing a training unit, a trainer could ask an individual to stop and share their input on a particular activity with other participants. This not only makes the course more engaging, but also helps you determine whether your employees properly processing what they’re learning.
Evaluate the Effectiveness of a Training Program
Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to deliver effective training that changes your employees’ perceptions of their job. In order to inspire them to really integrate their new skills into their day-to-day performance, you need to evaluate the effectiveness of training at several levels. Put simply, you need to assess their reaction to the course, their actual learning of the objectives and their post-training activities. For example, after a customer service course, you should determine whether your employees are applying new skills when addressing customers’ needs, as well as measure ROI at this particular stage.
What you can conclude from the previous examples is that, once offered a pathway to advancement, your employees will stay motivated, feel valuable and, above all, stay loyal to your company. Hopefully, the techniques listed above will help you make your training profitable, resulting in achieving your business goals effectively, satisfied employees and, of course, better ROI.