Importance of an employee training & development programs are on the rise. In fact, 69 percent of learning and development professionals say it’s the top priority at their organization. But developing talent is easier said than done. Your program must equip employees with the necessary skills while demonstrating business value and a measurable return on investment (ROI).
Here’s how to build an effective employee training and development program that accomplishes your organizational goals.
What Is Employee Training & Development?
Employee training and development is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of industries, skill sets and training. It includes the hard, technical skills needed to perform specific tasks such as administering a SQL database infrastructure or deploying a Microsoft Exchange Server.
Talent development also includes softer skills, such as personal development or leadership skills that focus on employee growth and performance, from making decisions under pressure to constructive conflict management.
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What Makes an Effective Employee Training & Development Program?
Successful employee training and development programs go beyond the standard new hire orientation. They aren’t sporadic courses that employees occasionally take as needed. It’s taking a strategic, organized, systematic approach to training that aligns individual growth with business goals.
According to LinkedIn’s 2017 Workplace Learning Report, the primary objectives of training are the following:
- Develop managers and leaders
- Help employees develop technical skills
- Train all employees globally in one cohesive way
- Support career development for employees
The benefits of continued education compound with time. It’s through long-term employee training and development programs that companies reap the most significant return.
Three Benefits of Employee Training and Development
Training employees is a win-win for both employees and the organizations they work for. Here are 3 benefits of employee training and development.
- Boost Employee Retention. Recruiting and onboarding talent takes significant time and money. Losing employees costs even more. The cost of employee turnover (hiring, onboarding, training, ramp up time, etc.) ranges from tens of thousands to double their salary — and that figure increases depending on experience and seniority. Introducing an employee training and development program helps you cultivate, retain and attract top talent, reducing turnover and hiring costs. When team members feel your company is investing in their careers, they are more likely to stay.
- Develop a Strong Leadership Pipeline. Training and developing talent also touches senior leadership. Effective leadership is a major concern for organizations. In the 2016 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report, 89 percent of executives rated the need to strengthen, re-engineer and improve organizational leadership as an important priority (and more than half said their organizations weren’t ready to meet current leadership needs). Training helps grow employees from within and develop strong future leaders who are invested in the company. It nurtures succession pipelines so that companies can cultivate and promote exceptional talent from within the organization.
- Increase Productivity. Learning new technology and skills sparks innovation and new ideas. Although spending varies by industry, across the board, high-performing companies spend more on training. Training can also help employees perform their current jobs more efficiently, improving productivity and performance.
Five Steps How to Set Up a Results-Driven Employee Training & Development Program
Effective training programs are difficult to implement. You may already have a training program in place but aren’t seeing results. Common training challenges include (a) engaging employees, (b) delivering consistent training, (c) tracking skills and ROI, and (d) quantifying training effectiveness.
Here’s 5 steps how to set up a results-driven employee training and development program in your organization.
- Identify Skill Gaps — most training requests start with a problem. Maybe it’s a process that needs to be improved. Maybe a new manager is struggling to handle conflicts within his/her team. To implement a successful training and development program, identify organizational and employee training needs. What are the pain points? What’s lacking? What can be improved? What’s the business impact? The best training programs address current processes and issues and also anticipate for future company needs. Your employees are your best source of information when it comes to identifying training and performance gaps. They have firsthand knowledge of the work, processes, procedures and issues involved and can provide valuable feedback and ideas you hadn’t considered. Seek input from your team before documenting training goals.
- Select the Right Training Methods - When rolling out an employee training program, the subject matter isn’t the only item to consider. The training method — the mode in which employees learn — also affects their retention and ability to implement those newfound skills. Budget, location, the number of students, the type of training and your goals all impact the learning method you choose. Here are some popular training methods to evaluate:
- Traditional Instructor-led training (ILT): Instructor-led training is one of the most popular and effective learning styles.
- Online LIVE (OLL) classes: Instructors hold classes live online in a virtual classroom. Students can easily interact with their instructor and others.
- Onsite Training (OST) classes: On-site courses bring our instructors to your location. This is ideal for large group training focused on a single topic. The private classes may also include labs and are planned around your schedule.
- Mentored Learning: Focused learning combined with, one-on-one mentoring offering you the flexibility to work around your schedule.
- Online On Demand courses: Pre-recorded classes, lessons and quizzes let you go at your own pace.
- Learning-as-a-Service: This new training method combines online training, mentored learning and on-demand resources to equip staff with the tools and guidance to address new challenges as they arise.
- Online ANYTIME (OLA): Online ANYTIME is an interactive online environment without the instructor. It is up to the student to drive the pace and direction of these courses based on his or her interest and skills gap.
- Measure the Results. The best way to demonstrate the value of an employee training and development program is to show training ROI. Once you’ve determined the goals and training method, take measurements before and after training sessions. Did the course improve efficiency? Reduce the need to hire new employees? Determining training ROI demonstrates the value and business impact of training. Learn how to measure training ROI here.
- Follow-Through on Action Items. The success of your training program hinges on the debrief. After every training session, make sure employees take time to process what they’ve learned. What are the takeaways? What questions do they have? What are the action items they’re going to implement as a result? This step ensures employees follow through and apply what they’ve learned.
- Make Training a Part of Company Culture. Employee training and development programs go further than offering a few classes — you should weave it into your company culture. Involve every level in the organization — from coordinators to upper management. Document training opportunities in the employee handbook, make it a company value and encourage employees to speak up when they find new educational opportunities.
Employee Training & Development Program with New Horizons Praha
The complexity involved in rolling out an employee training program can prevent managers from pursuing learning opportunities for their teams. As the world’s largest independent IT training company, New Horizons offers custom corporate training programs and course to fit every business need, from executive training to advanced technical skills. Whether you’re looking to add a few classes to your current training repertoire or build a training program from scratch, we can help you find the right courses and training methods to achieve your organizational goals.
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(source: adapted from www.newhorizons.com blog)