How to Develop Effective Training Programs for Employees
Every company has their goals and objectives to achieve at least every quarter of the year. This will help them achieve their target for the success of their business. Of course, in order for a company to operative effectively, they need skilled employees and workers who will work hand-in-hand in reaching the company’s goals.
According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), small to medium-sized enterprises are composed of less than 250 employees while large enterprises can go up to more than 250 employees.
Basically, it is important that all of these employees are productive and efficient to achieve the company objectives. Thus, companies are required to perform consistent training and development programs to address the weaknesses of employees, improve their performance and achieve consistency in company operations.
The percentage of businesses investing in tech-based learning has moved up to 20 per cent, not far off the 25 per cent figure for employee engagement. Time spent investing in business-wide tech-based learning has jumped from 10 per cent to 25 per cent in the same period.
Meanwhile, investment in digital-based learning projects has decreased from 18 per cent to 10 per cent. Digital tools provide a broad ecosystem of investment in employee development that may in the past have been limited and, for many people, relegated to the back-of-mind at work. Technology has been used to digitise and improve the skills training, development and productivity of employees.
For example, virtual learning tools (such as Spruce) have been used to deliver online training courses to business and private individuals. Individuals are then able to benefit from a fully immersive learning experience, enhanced by video chat and live demo access. These types of tools have both human and computer limitations and can not be customised to individual needs. So this is the limitation of tech-based learning.
The most significant remaining problem with IT-based training is the issue of automation, which is the efficiency by which business requires a more flexible approach to employee development. Ensuring we have access to these tools to learn from also means that professionals who previously would have invested on a project-based approach to learning are being afforded the opportunity to enjoy an online experience.
This means a greater investment in professional development can be delivered through our digital tools. As a result, employee engagement will always be important but investments in new digital learning tools are opening up a new market for professional development. That said, technology is also changing how professionals spend their time. We are in the dawn of the internet of things, and this is a place to which employee engagement could be brought.
This is something a business needs to consider. It is also crucial that technology enables all the resources to be at an individual’s disposal as much as possible. For example, voice recognition and machine learning tools can make working a bit more enjoyable and efficient for workers.
We are currently seeing productivity improvements and turnover decline, which together are a good start in the right direction, but it is important to recognise that all the initiatives in the world will fail if we do not have good accountability for these results.
If an employee feels burdened with time-consuming tasks, its likely that they will spend less time engaging with their workplace. This, in turn, will lead to productivity losing out as well. To better see where we are at today, think of the informal exchanges with colleagues; it is easy to live vicariously through our interactions with colleagues.
That can be one of the most valuable skills that an individual possesses. Having an understanding of how their colleagues think and reason and how their thinking systems relate to the outcomes achieved by others, in most cases, will come out trumps on the day. Engagement and skills building are vital to good health and productivity. However, the business attitude to employee development has traditionally been slow to change, and it is something that needs to change if the business benefits from it.
How to Develop Effective Training Programs?
The first step is to identify the problems. As an employer, you have to understand the circumstances that are affecting your employees. Some factors may be affecting the productivity and efficiency of your employees. It may be caused by certain stressors – work environment, colleagues and company rules, among others.
According to National Business Research Institute, Inc. (NBRI), the most common problems of “low-output” workers are their fellow employees, their boss and the company tools and equipment that are not helpful in employee productivity.
Create Goals and Objectives
Use these problems to create your goals and objectives. The problems will tell you what areas should be worked and improved. Your objectives should have the expected output by the end of the program. Of course, you want your employees to learn new things and improve their productivity.
Apart from the problems, consider the needs of your company. Is your company doing well? Is it ahead of other competitions? Is it efficient and productive in serving clients or consumer? The answers to these questions will help you draft the objectives of your training programs.
Develop Training Resources
Of course, training your employees need engaging materials to provide them the best experience. Avoid conducting a training with a speaker talking about a lot of things. Make it fun and interactive.
In crafting training resources, you can make use of the available technology to create cost-effective training programs. Technologies can help you combine content, develop visuals and build courses.
You can also take advantage of generic industry resources that can be downloaded online or are provided by training organizations. This includes books, manuals, online videos, guides, manuals and more.
Get Employees’ Voice
Part of developing your training program is to hear the voice of your employees. Know about their insights and thoughts about their work, the training, and their productivity. Get in touch with their problems in life, what’s keeping them from becoming effective enough and what are the possible things that can help them improve their work performance. By getting their voice, you can have diverse ideas which can definitely help you achieve your company goals.
Make it a Routine
Effective training entails consistency. Most companies conduct training once a year, which is not very healthy. Training should be done monthly or quarterly to refresh the employees about their roles and responsibilities and to constantly remind them about the company goals.
Basically, an ideal company training lasts for two to three days, depending on the programs. If you are consistent with providing training to your employees, then they will be consistent on becoming committed to ongoing learning.
Conduct Post-Training Evaluation
Lastly, know the results of your training. Remember, you created goals and objectives. It is time for you to assess and evaluate if those goals and objectives are met. Conduct evaluation tests to your employees which allow them to rate the training program. In line with this is a comment or feedback section that gathers their insights about the program and what areas should be improved.
What are the Ways to Train Employees Effectively?
One of the steps of developing effective training programs is to look for the most suitable resources that can help your employees learn in a fun and interactive way.
A classroom training is one of the most popular training techniques. Usually, it involves trainers or speakers discussing training programs with the use of PowerPoint presentation, video presentations or story-telling techniques. This method is cost-effective, personal and detailed. However, it lacks fun and interactivity.
Interactive methods are means of letting your employees engage with each other to develop their teamwork skills. It includes quizzes, small group discussions, case studies, active summaries, role-playing sessions, and demonstrations, among others. It is also cost-effective, interactive and more enjoyable. However, it may be time-consuming.
Hands-on training provides employees the opportunity to have an experience of the work. It can be done through cross-training, demonstrations, coaching, apprenticeships, drills, and simulations, among others. This method allows employees and new trainees to realize the skills and know about new procedures and techniques. However, it can be expensive and it is only limited to few trainees.
With the rise of technology, computer-based training is now widely used in most companies. It exposes trainees to multimedia presentations that enhance their learning capability. The most popular now is the use of virtual reality (VR) which immerses trainees in a different learning experience. They involve various forms of simulations to provide hands-on experience for trainees. The major advantage of computer-based training is that it can be customized. It provides better interactivity for employees to have greater comprehension and retention of the topic. However, these programs require that your trainees should be computer-literate.
Online learning is the digital form of classroom training. It uses web-based training, video conferencing, webinars, collaborative document preparation, emails, online modules and other digital platforms that allow trainees to learn about specific skills.
According to a 2015 study from the Harvard Business School, employees who are given time to stop and reflect on their performance help them realize their weaknesses and work on improving them to strengths. Employees should be given the opportunity to develop their own strategies and techniques in making their outputs better.