Employee training programs provide a positive impact not only to the individual staff but also to the overall growth of the company. When done correctly, these programs can help increase efficiency, productivity and even customer retention.
When trying to design a training course, there are different things to consider that can help this process become easier and more effective. Following these tips can help produce more engaging sessions that can deliver the company’s desired results.
Here are some essentials to keep in mind when setting up an employee training program.
Respond to Needs
An effective training program should be able to address and anticipate the needs of the company, the employees and even the customers. Always ask what the current problems, issues or gaps the company is facing. Speak to the employees, managers, and even clients or customers to identify what should be prioritized.
From there, explore different ways on how current processes can be improved and the best ways to implement such changes or upgrades. This practice can help in setting up training goals and outlining specific training topics.
Research has shown that employees who receive formalized training generate 218% more income than their untrained peers. This statistic shows how training can considerably influence an employee’s career growth.
When choosing the training topics, it’s important to focus on areas that can really maximize the employee’s potential. There is no point in training employees about subjects that they already know about or that they do not need. These trainings must be planned and designed to add value to the skill sets of the employees.
At the same time, if the course does not really help the company whether in the short-term or the long-term, then it should not be implemented. Always think about how it can also benefit the entire organization.
Use engaging training methods
There are different training methods that can be combined to guarantee a higher engagement rate. Depending on the training topic, trainers can use one or more of these methods. If a training course lasts several days, it is a good idea to combine training methods to keep employee engagement. Here are some of the popular training methods.
Traditional classroom style training is often used in a lot of training sessions. While others might think this is a boring method, this can now be supported by using multimedia tools such as videos, visuals, audio, and music. This style can also be combined with other training methods.
There are some topics where hands-on training is more effective. This is especially true in imparting practical knowledge especially in situations where they have to follow business-specific regulations.
For example, an e-commerce company who sells on Amazon would need to train their employees on how to adhere to Amazon’s packaging requirements. In this case, while verbal and written instructions can help, showing a new employee how to follow this step-by-step can make the process easier.
Role-playing can be effective in training employees on customer interaction. This method can help in showing the correct body language and other non-verbal cues in addition to practicing the sales script.
Role-playing can be really helpful in preparing employees who encounter customers on a day to day basis. This includes store staff, customer service executives, and telephone support employees.
Most companies use online training when the instructor is not available on location. But pre-recorded online training sessions can actually be helpful as an on-demand resource for employees who want to go back and review these topics.
Make the content comprehensive
An employee training program needs to impart complete information so that there will not be gaps in the learning process. This often happens when trainers try to shorten the sessions to keep it engaging, but in doing so, they also cut out important information.
These gaps can result in customer problems, confusions, and misuse of resources. For example, if an employee is being trained on how to properly use and troubleshoot an office machine like a printer, it will be challenging for the employee to understand the entire process without knowing the basics or the associated printer terminology.
To address this issue, provide written materials before or after the training session. This can support the session without taking more time than necessary.
Customize the learning process
There is no single template to follow when creating an employee training program. The training should be tailored and optimized in order for it to be efficient. It should also be able to adapt and adjust to the ever-changing business environment.
Here are the major factors that can affect how a training program can be customized:
- Company Goals – Assess the things the company wants to achieve after the training program is completed. These goals can considerably drive how a program is designed.
- Training Topic – Some topics are more effective when delivered in short sessions while other topics may be retained better when offered in a series of sessions.
- Trainees – Are the trainees familiar with the training topic or do they have zero knowledge about it? Do they all belong to one generation or are their ages mixed? These are just some considerations that can affect the content as well as the instruction style of training. For example, older employees might be slower in learning new digital techniques compared to millennials in the workplace. This means the style of training has to be adjusted based on who is participating in the program.
It is important to determine whether an employee training program is effective or not. This will help a company improve on future programs. There are two ways to measure the success of the training.
- Immediately after the training – A trainer can assess whether the trainees retained the information delivered by conducting written or practical tests. Letting the trainees know that they will be tested prior to the session will help in keeping them more attentive. However, avoid publishing test scores or failing employees because this may discourage learning. Trainers can also conduct surveys to get trainee feedback after the training session.
- 3, 6, or 12 months after training – This assessment focuses on how the training affected company results or work output. For example, if the training is related to customer experience, conducting a survey amongst the guests can help determine whether employees are applying the program learnings.
Training for Excellence
Building an excellent employee training program can be overwhelming. This endeavor can take a lot of time to revise and perfect. However, keeping these tips in mind can be helpful in making the process much easier.
Nathan Sharpe is the entrepreneur behind the business blog Biznas. He knows that you must wear many different hats for your business to be a success. He helps others achieve this success by sharing everything he knows on his blog, as well as any new lessons he learns along the way!