staff training program

9 Tips to Build Your First Employee Training Program

Given the rising popularity and implementation of workplace inclusion, equality and professional development opportunities, finding ways to promote employee retention can be a challenge. Employee training programs can bring a new perspective to your company, whether you operate as a small startup or a large international entity.

However, finding the perfect balance between employee on-boarding and maintaining the current level of performance and output can be tricky. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several tips which can help you and your Human Resources (HR) department develop a prototype employee training program.

This program can then be used to iterate new versions based on different departments and specific job description needs down the line.

Avoid bulk training programs

Bulk or group training rarely works, especially in niche industries. Imagine training copywriters, graphic designers or content editors in groups of half a dozen employees.

In essence, this would create a school-like environment where someone would always stand out and the rest of the group would take the path of least resistance. To avoid this, focus on individualization and specific job descriptions should be a priority. Consult your department leads about their personal employee preferences and expectations and build your way forward from there.

Roadmap your processes

In order to make your employee training program as easy to implement as possible, you should create a roadmap for each on-boarding phase. Imagine a customer journey roadmap with a focus on employee training which would end with a fully capable and reliable employee and you will not be far off the mark.

Start with basic company orientation, internal culture and work habits and segment each part of the program into increasingly more complex stages. Relying on roadmaps such as these will also ensure that employee training can be done by departments in tandem, as well as allow easier tracking and evaluation.

Actionable milestones & outcomes

In terms of tracking, you should always rely on actionable Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and avoid abstract goals as much as possible. For example, “better communication” isn’t a viable goal for employee training. However, “presented X number of reports” or “cold contacted Y potential stakeholders” is.

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Again, it is good practice to work with heads of your departments about what type of goals and achievements they would consider viable for training programs. Make sure that these goals are preceded by complementary instructions, mentor oversight and assistance in case a new employee requires any of it.

Pair mentors with employees

At most, you should allocate two employees per mentor in your company. Anyone with several years of professional experience can be considered a mentor in terms of employee training program implementation.

Each mentor will then be in charge of introducing employees to new processes, communication procedures, departmental collaboration and other critical operations. Working in three-person teams will ensure that employees get the most out of their on-boarding process while the mentors carefully evaluate their performance and steer them accordingly.

Develop a feedback culture

Feedback can be both a positive and a negative in terms of employee training – it depends on how you implement it. Senior staff members who are in charge of employee training supervision should be instructed to offer constructive, actionable feedback to their trainees throughout the program.

Likewise, trainees should be told to take note of how their mentors share feedback and to start sharing their own feedback with others around them. This will promote respectful and articulated conversations between your employees, not to mention the positive effects it will have on your overall culture over time.

Weekly & monthly reports

When it comes to getting your trainees up to speed, reports could be a useful addition to their employee training program schedule. This is a useful technique both for existing employees and those who are a part of the training program.

Both mentors and trainees should write weekly and monthly reports about their activities, share thoughts about one another with the HR department and all in all get used to writing official corporate documents.

Make sure to outline which categories of performance and review are important in each report in order to “train” (pun intended) your staff members to formulate and articulate their thoughts into professional lingo.

employee training program

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Delegate responsibility (in moderation)

The best way to engage employees during the employee training program is to delegate important tasks to them. These tasks can be anything from Business2Business (B2B) communication, weekly briefing agenda writing or team building activity organization.

Create a set of tasks which will affect daily operations and projects in substantial ways. Instruct your senior employees to pay close attention to the work done by employees in training and to assess their performance before submitting the work officially. This will create a sense of responsibility with junior employees early on, as well as affect their employment retention in a positive way.

Promote exemplary individuals

Performance recognition plays a huge role in the overall perception of employees in training about your company. Just because they are in the employee training program doesn’t mean that they are less capable or resourceful than your senior employees.

You can create blog posts or printed office materials with exemplary performances highlighted in a positive light. The individuals in question will be more engaged and productive as a result of their reward for productivity, which will also affect others on your staff to work harder and find themselves on the “employee/trainee of the week/month” materials.

Employee training program iteration

Lastly, you can always build on the foundations you set with your initial training program. The feedback, reviews and criticism you receive about the project’s roadmap, results and resource cost should be taken into serious consideration.

Make sure to reevaluate your employee training program after each successful cycle and implement any new features or upgrades for next time. That way, your HR department will be able to craft an employee training program unique to your company’s needs, internal culture and reputation.

In Summary

Creating your own employee training program takes patience and careful consideration of each included step. As we’ve mentioned previously, this type of program serves to increase your company’s performance, professional conduct and culture across all departments.

Make sure to consult each department head about their thoughts, suggestions and expectations from the program before you create it.

Start from the bottom and think of all the benefits this type of program would bring to your company and future recruitment cycles. Once you understand the true value behind such programs, you should be able to outline the roadmap for your employee training program quickly and easily.

 

About the Author

Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She is practicing regularly while reviewing new translation services at Pick Writers and constantly contributing to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. You can find her on Facebook.