How to Build an Employee Training Program

How to Build an Employee Training Program

As we have established in the previous employee training programs blog post, employees are the number one resource that any business has available to them. Of course, as with all things, employees will need a level of training and development if they are to be able to reach their full potential. For successful organizations, this training will start as early as day one.

During the onboarding process an employee will gain information that will help to shape his or her career with their new company. However, the training should never ever stop there. It is vitally important that an effective training program be implemented.

This blog post will show you how to build an employee training program for employee success in the workplace.

Identifying Training Requirements

Before a training plan can be close to being an effective one it is important to have a strong grasp on just why any kind of training is needed. The key message here is that you should never embark on trying to organize training without understanding the following:

  • Who is it that needs to be trained?
  • Where should the training be focused?
  • What specifics do you need to teach for your employees to be most productive?

The first thing that needs to be examined is the current status of the business. You will have a clear vision of where to go next by taking an in-depth look at what your company does best and what you feel it can improve upon.

Too many businesses jump in without taking the time to analyze where their current position is and where they are trying to get to. Following this course of action will generally lead to less than satisfactory results. Very often these results will have a detrimental effect on employee morale and ultimately output.

Hopefully you will now be in a position to measure the effectiveness of your training program against a set of benchmarks.

Something that should also be considered at this point is whether or not your business is financially committed to meeting the training requirements. Of course, even the most robust of programs will struggle if the answer to the last question is a negative.

Choosing the Right Candidates

Unless you are going to schedule widespread training, there will be a requirement to pick certain individuals to receive the training. It is therefore important to choose the people that you believe will benefit most from the training schedule or program. Employee motivation should be a strong consideration in this area.

It should be remembered that employees that fail their training programs will represent a large waste of money for your organization. Any kind of serious training program will come with its own costs. As a result of this, it is important to pick the very best candidates for your sessions.

Delivery Time

This is the element in which you will decide on where your training program should take place. The choices for this are very simple and consist of:

  • “On the job” training
  • “Off the job” training

There are benefits for both of these different delivery methods. Below we will take a more in-depth look at what each one has to offer.

“On the Job” Training

This method relies on training people as they go about their normal everyday roles. One of the main benefits to this methodology is that an employer will not lose productivity from their team members for a period of time.

The down-side to “on the job” training is that there are the normal everyday “distractions” that can make learning difficult. This type of training is perhaps more suited to job instruction training, rather than the development of a number of new skills.

“Off the Job” Training

Taking the employee away from their normal routine can offer huge benefits when it comes to training. The frustrations and day-to-day bustle of the working environment can be completely forgotten about, allowing the individual to reap the full rewards of the training program. Most employees who attend specific off the job training tend to feel more valued, as they recognize the investment that is being placed in them.

Of course, it should also be remembered that you will need to organize staff coverage while your people are undergoing training — the needs of the business will not simply stop while training is happening. In addition to this, off the job training will likely be more expensive than the in-house variant.

It is important to understand how the different delivery methods will affect the training that is being received. While “on the job” will be cheaper, it is unlikely to be able to cover the detail that some of the more formal outside sessions can.

Role Playing

Irrespective of the method of delivery that is chosen, role playing can be a super effective way to help deliver new methods. It is usual for an element of resistance to this type of training, as employees can sometimes feel uncomfortable “performing” in front of their peers. When this happens it is vital to choose people who can demonstrate how easy it is to role play.

The overwhelming benefit to this type of training is that people can develop and hone new skills in a friendly environment. It is good practice to explain to employees that if they can cope with a role play situation when everyone knows what they should or shouldn’t be saying, it will be so much easier for them in the real life environment.

Evaluation Period

This is that part that many training programs can fall down on — they simply don’t go back and check to confirm what was actually learned. Without doing this it will signal to the employee that your organization wasn’t all that serious about training after all.

At the end of the training session, employees should be given a debrief critique. Elements that should always be included are as follows:

  • Understanding what the participants have learned
  • Review or rating of the course
  • Follow up actions — “action plan”

Perhaps the most important area here will be the action plan that employees should complete.

The best training programs will allow employees to pick two, three, or even four areas that they feel they can implement into their normal working routines. These will be things that they have learned from the recent training. An action plan will dramatically increase the “buy in” from the people that have been trained. They will return to work knowing that they have committed to adopting key areas. These should be reviewed and signed off by their direct manager. This will help to cement the learning process.

As an employer, you should be looking for detailed actions that they will be able to complete. There should be specific information relating to just how they will succeed, any help that they might need, and also when they expect to become proficient in this new action.

This completed document can be referred to during any reviews. By carrying out this method, the full benefits of your training program be realized.

The Wrap up

Effective training of employees is vital in the competitiveness of today’s business environments. As an employer, you have a duty to ensure that your teams have the best tools available to complete their tasks. If you’re able, consider implementing more employee training programs to give your organization the best possible chance to succeed — the ideas covered in this how to build an employee training program blog post is just a starting point!

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