If planned and implemented thoughtfully, employee training programs can play a big role in defining the overall success of an organization. Apart from improving employee engagement and retention, it can also enhance the efficiency and productivity of your organization.
In this blog, we are going to discuss important factors you need to consider when planning an employee training program, along with the expert tips to help you design a successful training program.
Related Read: How to Choose the Right Employee Training Software
Factors to Consider While Planning an Employee Training Program
When you are putting together an employee training program, you need to take into account multiple things that may affect the decisions you make.
Here are some of the important factors that will help you determine how you need to put together your training session for maximum effectiveness –
- Size of The Learning Group
Large group training can unnecessarily drag things for long, thus reducing the effectiveness and reception of the content among the employees. It is, therefore, better to divide the employees into small learning groups.
This is something that is often ignored in the organizational training plans, leading to failures. It is best to avoid generalized training modules.
To ensure higher employee engagement and participation, compartmentalize your employee learning groups as per their individual specializations or by what they are learning with regards to their specific job roles.
- Employee Engagement
Traditional classroom methods of learning aren’t very effective and are often too dull to retain the attention of employees. It is, therefore best to find ways to make the training or content engaging through various gamification methods or targeted microlearning formats.
Such types of hands-on learning, through unconventional yet engaging means, are more likely to give better training results.
Also Read: 5 Employee Training Management Software that You Must Consider
Tips to Creating an Effective Employee Training Strategy
An effective employee training program is generally a result of following a systematic process.
If you do not wish to make your training initiatives to be one-off events which fail to meet your organizational objectives, here are five necessary steps to create effective employee training programs that help you drive positive business results –
1. Thoroughly Assess Your Specific Training Needs
To develop an effective training program, the first step is to assess your specific employee training needs and identify where the gaps are.
Capturing a clear set of training needs helps you both prioritize your training objectives and establish what to use as a marker of success for your employee training initiatives.
In some cases, these employee training needs may already be established in your organization’s HR or individual development plans. But if you’re building the training program from scratch, you’ll need to conduct multiple training needs assessments.
2. Set Clear Organizational Training Objectives
Once employee training needs are identified, they must be aligned with organizational initiatives. The employee training and development plan that you build should specify clear learning objectives that aim to strengthen weak areas. It should have a detailed analysis of problem areas and how your training program will address each one of those.
Further, it should also describe in detail what the programs will entail. For instance, the mode of classes offered – on-site or online learning sessions, awards or certifications trainees will get post completion of the training and the process of measuring the results.
The objective of the process is to bridge the gap that exists between current and desired performance through the development of a robust training program.
3. Use Interactive & Engaging Training Methods
When it comes to training methods, there are a number of options available that can be combined to ensure a higher employee engagement rate. Depending on the context and specific training topic, trainers can blend one or more of these methods.
If your training program is designed to last several days, it is always recommended to combine training methods to keep the employee engaged throughout the session.
Among some of the popular training methods are –
- Traditional Classroom Training
Traditional classroom-style training is one of the most common methods for imparting training in organizations. Although it is typically considered as a boring methodology to train employees, if supported by various multimedia tools such as audios and videos or used in combination with other training methods, it can bring positive results.
- Online Training
Most organizations nowadays use online training methodology where the trainer/instructor need not be physically present on location. It can be conducted via pre-recorded online training sessions and can be used by employees as an on-demand resource for learning/reviewing specific topics.
- Interactive Training Methods
There are multiple ways that you can break up training sessions and keep your employees attentive, these could include –
a. Case studies
Case studies are a great way to get employees engaged in analyzing real work-related situations. It allows them to learn how to handle similar situations and see how different elements of a job work in tandem to create solutions.
Role-plays and act-out situations allow employees to learn how to handle various situations before they actually face them on the job and help to develop interpersonal skills such as customer interaction and supervising.
c. Small group discussions
Breaking the training batch down into small groups and giving them work situations to discuss or solve is a great way to engage and help them learn from each other.
Brief quizzes at regular intervals on information presented help employees stay engaged and motivated throughout the training.
4. Plan a Proper Training Schedule
The importance of planning a regular training schedule that fulfills employee training needs within a specified time-frame is immense.
Since it will be a challenging task to train all current employees at the same time, make sure to plan it wisely during non-business hours or slow business periods to avoid unnecessary work disruptions.
One of the important things to keep in mind is that the training schedule you make should factor in the time your employees would need to take away from work, ensuring that they aren’t left too exhausted during training, and there is enough gap between training sessions.
5. Track & Improve
Employee learning and development programs evolve and improve continually. This makes it essential to watch how employees access and interact with your training, along with evaluating its overall effectiveness.
You can do this using the following activities –
- Measure employee satisfaction to know if the training has the desired effects
- Make sure to review online quiz results as they help you see if particular questions are answered incorrectly over and over again. If this is the case, you need to revisit the content and the questions to check their accuracy
- Consistently review support requests to check the areas where training could be improved
- Keep a tab on important numbers such as the number of users, devices used, time of the day, employees, and more
You can also ask employees the following questions to gauge the effectiveness of your training programs –
- What new skills did they learn from the program?
- What did they like about the program, and what should be improved (e.g., content instructor, methodology)?
- How will they apply this knowledge on the job?
Implementing an effective and purposeful employee training program is much more than just putting together a few slides on your company’s portal. If done the right way, it has the power to maximize your revenues and build a motivated workforce capable of delighting customers.
Following the above tips helps you make your training program much more effective, which then translates to better ROI, motivated employees, and greater success in achieving your business goals.
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