Employee training is essential in many ways. It helps improve employee engagement and increase retention. It can also increase the efficiency and productivity of your organisation if done right.
However, it’s important to remember that proper employee training doesn’t just happen. It needs to be effective. It needs to be modern and be able to serve your purpose. In other words, your employee training should be personalised. So, let’s take a look at what employee training is and how you can prepare an effective strategy for employee training.
What Is a Training Strategy?
A training strategy is built to achieve an educational goal in an organisation. For example, teaching employees new skills or updating them based on new protocols in the company.
Creating training strategies involves preparing your staff with an advanced skill set and providing trained staff for your organisation. So, it’s beneficial for the employees and employers equally.
Importance of Employee Training:
- Employee behavioural training can help you enhance the working standard of your organisation. It will improve the respect between employees and will tend to create a friendly environment at your workplace.
- Your employees should be able to lead and follow with the same efficiency. There are leadership trainings which can improve the leadership quality of your employees.
- Peer training is used to give your employees a hands-on experience of new expertise.
- It can teach you about every relationship you’ll have during your employment; client to the client relationship, a service provider to service recipient, employee to employee, upper management to lower management, etc.
Steps to Create an Effective Employee Training Strategy:
Step 1: Perform a Training Needs Assessment
First of all, we need to determine every aspect of the training. For example, if an organisation wants its workers to be more efficient. So, before rushing into a decision of creating training material and strategy, we need to assess the situation carefully.
We need to use the ADDIE model to do the assessment. ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. Seems simple enough? Let’s break it down.
You need to identify a fundamental and clear business goal for the training supports. Don’t provide training when it’s not clear why you’re doing it or if it doesn’t directly support your business goals. For example, your business goal can be teaching employees a new skill, which is a part of growing your business.
Now that you’ve established your goal, ask yourself what your employees need to do for the company to reach the goal. You need to identify the gap between what your workers were able to do in the past and what they can do now. Workers should be able to perform the tasks for which they were skilled during the training.
Now you know what your workers need to do. So, you need to identify different training activities that will help the employees grasp new skill sets. It can consist of a small introduction to the skill, a quick overview of the processing and demonstration with hands-on practice of the tasks they have to perform on the job.
Determine the characteristics of your workers and try to provide the training accordingly. It’s not always possible to offer individual training. So, identify their traits as a group. Some might be good with IT-based practices, some with hardware. You need to recognise that and accordingly design an employee training plan. It’s a more complicated thing to create a single training that fits all people’s needs. So, try to incorporate a bit of all the aspects into practice. It will help you reach all your customers.
Step 2: Carry out a SWOT Analysis to Identify Skill Gaps
SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. It is also known as SLOT analysis with liabilities coming in the place of weaknesses.
So, let’s break down the process of a SWOT analysis.
You have to first identify the strengths of your organisation over your competitors. You need to improve the skill set of your employees in that area so that you can be far ahead of the competition.
You need to find the weaknesses or liabilities of your company. You need to work a lot on those areas so that you can improve yourself.
You need to take hold of every opportunity that comes by you. Market trends and gaps are always present. You need to identify them and improve the competency of your employees accordingly.
Many external factors can threaten your business. So, you need to ensure that your organisation is ready for any threat that comes your way.
Identifying these factors and being ready for the future will improve your efficiency and productivity.
Step 3: Prepare a Learning Objective
Before you begin any training program, you need to prepare a training objective.
Learning objectives are the list of things that employees should able to perform after they undergo the training. They are like the final marks to which your practice should be objected. You need to have training objectives because you need to have a motive for the training. If the training has no motive, it is of no use. There can be many objectives for training.
The objectives can be according to the knowledge, skills or attitude.
Making them SMART is one of the objectives.
A proper training program should have a four-part objective. It includes the employee who is performing the task, the skill set that an employee must have after completing the task, the conditions in which the employees will perform the job, and it should include the degree to which employees can perform the task.
Step 4: Design Training Material
It’s essential to have some training material before you rush into developing the training process. Following are a few points you should bear in mind while creating training material.
- The material should always focus on the learning needs of your employees.
- Always create your training content in a way that it directly relates to your learning objectives.
- Include as much hands-on practice as you can.
- Break your training material into small parts that can be easily understood.
- The content in the training material should be in an orderly manner.
- Try to interact with the potential learners as much as you can. Try to make them a part of the training.
- Try to include real-life examples in your training. It will increase people’s interest.
Step 5: Implement the Training
Every preparation until now only involved designing. Now you are going to carry out the actual training. There are a few steps to this process as well.
Inform your employees that a training is taking place. It may seem obvious, but you have to make sure that your employees will attend the meeting.
You can use a Learning Management System (LMS) to keep track of the training. It can assign, deliver, track and report the progress of the ongoing exercise. If you’re using an LMS, it is easier for employees as well. They can log in and see what is going on.
You have to inform the workers’ supervisors, arrange rooms for training, buy any necessary supplies, work on the scheduling the training and perhaps provide food and drinks.
During the actual training, you first need to realise that an exercise can be implemented in many ways. You need to recognise your needs and accordingly carry out the training. It can be in an open field or a closed room. You need to have an interactive environment and keep everyone interested in the practice from the start to the very end.
There are many useful websites and books available on this topic, which can help you manage this kind of training.
Step 6: Evaluation of the Training
So, you’re done with training. Everything went smoothly, you pat yourself on the back and you think it’s over. But it is not. You need to evaluate the outcomes of the training. There are a few parameters on which you can judge the success rate of the training.
The most important parameter is your employees’ reaction to the training. You need to assess feedback from your employees after the training ends. You either hand out a printed survey or some websites on the internet have free tools to carry out these surveys.
There is a chance that employees loved the training. But still, you need to assess them based on the gap between their previous and improvised skill set. This can be done using simple tests, job situations of hands-on exercises.
So, there are your answers to every question regarding the training strategy. Is employee training necessary for your workplace? It most certainly is. While it will not solve all your problems, it will develop a skill set in your employees so that they can tackle any issue that may arise in the organisation.
If you follow all the steps listed above, your training program will be more effective. It will finally result in good ROI, happier employees, and achieving your business goals.
About the Author
Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Cinergix, the team behind the development of Creately. She is an avid reader, an experienced writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.