The employees you hire are arguably one of the greatest investments you’ll make for your company. It can cost a lot of money to onboard and take on a new employee, let alone the cost of high turnover. So why wouldn't you want to invest in their success? It’s proven, developing your employees is the key to retention. Providing your employees with proper training not only is important for your company, it’s important for their career. It’s a win-win.
Training employees isn’t a one-size-fits all; there’s no one simple answer in how to build out the perfect training program, but there are certainly a few things consistently present in the most successful ones. Here are some components to consider while you’re developing the framework for your training:
Identify Program Management
An effective training program will need one person tasked to be the champion, or program manager. This person is responsible for planning and executing all training initiatives within your organization, or even in a specific department. Ideally, this person is inherently open-minded, motivated, and invested in developing employee’s education and skillset. They are committed to learning and constantly working to improve their own skills and competencies.
Conduct a Needs Assessment
A good place to start is understanding the training needs of your company. The program manager can take point on this but shouldn’t be the only person involved. Items to be assessed can include identifying who needs training and what skills and topics are essential for an employee to be successful. At the end of the assessment you should have a list of “training needs,” or any gaps between current performance and required performance.
Align with Company Initiatives
Once you have your needs identified, be sure they are aligned with your organization’s initiatives. The program manager should build out the training curriculum to address problems in the company and support their mission and/or business goals. Employees will be more likely to retain training information if it is supported by their managers and they can see the correlation to how it makes an impact on the business. It fills the work with a sense of purpose.
Set Personal Goals and Metrics
It can be difficult to quantify the outcome of employee training, but setting individual goals makes it a little more tangible and easier to see. Goals can be used as check-points throughout the training process to evaluate where a person is at and identify where potentially more training is needed. This is where some customization can come into play. Where one person may grasp a concept very quickly, another person may require additional support. Reviewing progress on a set schedule will allow you to shift your strategy as needed.
Other factors to consider...
Leadership buy-in – Your training should be embraced from everyone at the company; leadership support will drive home the importance of the program.
Relevancy – Be sure you are delivering information that is applicable and timely to help with daily duties, expand employee’s minds, and include quick takeaways that can be immediately applied.
Post-training – Many organizations spend a lot of time and resources in initial training, only to discover it’s not being put to good use. Be sure to include training reinforcement, or continuous education, to help employees retain information and enforce particular skills in everyday work.
Employee training is designed to equip your employees with the skills and knowledge needed to become better professionals in their own careers. But it ultimately benefits your business more than any other party.