Investing in Employee Training
“If employers want highly talented, educated and skilled employees, then the answer is quite simple: we have to create them.”
That’s from Stephen Maclaren, Head of Regional Sales Employee Benefits at Al Futtaim Willis.
He’s right, no doubt, but the question remains: where do you start?
You’ll need dedication, commitment, and an effective employee training program to build a strong workforce. Without the latter, workers can’t pinpoint their weaknesses or get better at what they do.
A company’s growth depends on its employees' abilities to learn new skills, adopt positive behaviors, and retain knowledge. Successful employee training programs can cover all three pain points at once.
What is employee training?
It’s the process of improving an employee’s skills in the workplace. Training programs help staff develop skills and improve performance in their current (or even future) roles.
Employee training is a systematic process that considers the unique learning styles of different workers. Quantifying the outcome of various training programs is difficult, but it’s a lot easier when program managers are able to identify the needs of their employees and align them with organizational goals.
Retaining top talent is becoming an increasingly competitive endeavor for businesses. Employees are constantly looking for bigger, better, and more lucrative opportunities to expand their skill sets and grow as professionals. An engaging staff training program can help you retain the right people and boost your bottom line.
“As companies grow and the war for talent intensifies, it is increasingly important that training and development programs are not only competitive, but are supporting the organization on its defined strategic path.”
China Gorman, CEO of Great Places to Work
What are the different types of employee training?
Both online and in-person training programs are pretty mainstream these days. The former obviates the need for travel, which is an important factor when considering off-site (or even local) employees. But there’s great value in interaction, and in-person training fosters much more of it.
The ideal training solution blends several types of training into one. With that being said, here are 5 different types of employee training that can be conducted online or in-person.
Orientation is a crucial stage of the employee journey. It’s a formal introduction for new-hires to your company. All departments hold orientations. Without them, new employees can feel alienated and uncomfortable.
Orientations are typically managed by HR. Some common topics of discussion include corporate culture, company history and values, team introductions, required paperwork, job overviews, safety procedures, benefits, and corporate policies.
Onboarding is specific to departments and lasts longer than orientation (up to several weeks or months). The goal is to educate employees and reach department-specific goals as quickly as possible.
Onboarding sessions are prepared by departmental leaders. An effective onboarding training program creates more free time for leadership; most answers to questions that employees ask are available within the training itself.
3. Technical skills development
Technical skills refer to the skills needed to perform a specialized duty. They’re practical and relate to more mathematical tasks like IT, coding, and programming. An employee’s technical skills can always be improved.
Without technical skills, employees can’t do their jobs correctly on a practical level. And that could be a big, big problem.
4. Soft skills development
Soft skills are a complex mix of people, social, and communication skills. Unlike technical skills, they’re less specialized and more aligned with the personality and disposition of an employee.
How employees act around their peers is equally as important as their technical competencies. Soft skills empower staff to work effectively and in tandem with others. In fact, research shows that soft skills development actually increases ROI.
Both new and existing employees can benefit from soft skills training. Topics of discussion can include communication skills, problem-solving skills, presentation skills, leadership skills, time management, teamwork, and emotional intelligence.
5. Product and services training
Product training can help new hires learn the ins and outs of your services. Existing employees can receive helpful refreshers on both current and upcoming products, too.
What are the steps to developing an effective employee training program?
1. Set a goal
What problem is your training program trying to solve? Take a long, hard look at all productivity and efficiency-related operations supporting your company. If one’s lagging, determine whether your workforce has the technical or soft skills needed to fix it.
2. Help those who actually need it
Work with program managers to identify employees who could benefit most from training. Support workers by monitoring their performance, responding to blips, and promptly addressing any questions or concerns they have.
3. Use employee training software
Employee training software enables companies to create interactive training modules, safely distribute them to employees, and track performance. Pick one that works best for your business.
4. Stick to a schedule
Create a schedule that facilitates proper resource and manpower allocation. Squeeze too many people into one program and you’ll risk depleting other teams. Worse yet, you could lose productivity.
5. Be candid and sincere
Your program’s success hinges on how engaged your employees are. Tell them exactly what they’ll learn, why they’re learning it, how the process will work, and how it will benefit them and the organization.
6. Follow up
Training software can bridge knowledge gaps and provide instant feedback after the training is over. You’ll know which topics and learning methods employees found most useful. Ask for direct feedback to gauge your program’s effectiveness and inform its direction into the future.
Read our white paper, “Digital Solutions for Employee Training and Development,”
for more tips like these.
Create training & education materials with Joomag
Training materials facilitate the learning process and lie at the heart of every staff training and development program. They’re important, and that’s why Joomag’s all-in-one-platform lets businesses create their very own training materials with ease.
Choose a template, or upload a PDF file. Then add interactive elements—including videos, photo galleries, audio, hotspots and plugins—to engage employees. Create compelling training manuals, employee guides, and whatever else you can think of!