Key Ways to Make Employee Training Effective
by Mashum Mollah Management 15 December 2018
If you’re a business owner or HR manager with big goals for your organization and team in 2019, you must keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to achieve everything you want to if you don’t invest in your workers. They need to be up-to-date, highly-skilled and experienced in all sorts of areas, from customer service and sales through to working as a team, administration, productivity and the like.
To get the best out of your team, it’s wise to continually train them on a variety of topics and in different types of “soft” skills, such as communication, leadership, time management, organization, negotiation, etc.
However, to ensure you don’t waste any of your valuable resources, like time, money and energy on training that isn’t effective, you need to be smart and strategic with the programs you offer. Read on for some key ways you can help to make employee training more effective in the new year — and beyond.
Know What You’re Trying to Achieve:
For starters, don’t begin any staff training until you’re clear on what it is you’re actually trying to achieve. While of course, you want to educate workers, you need to understand more specific needs and goals than that. You likely won’t have unlimited time or funds to use on the training, so you need to ensure you get the best return on investment possible.
To get bang for your buck, determine how you want the training to benefit both the employees and your organization. Consider what has worked (and not worked) in past training and what new skills gaps have arisen since that time.
Think about short-term goals, mid-range goals, and long-term goals, too. For instance, you may want people to pick up new communication skills, learn about current trends, develop as leaders, come together as a team or do something else entirely.
Get Assistance From Professionals:
You may not have a huge budget to use to pay for outsourced expertise, but often, the money is much better spent for this than trying to do things yourself — especially if you don’t have the right skills. Doing a bad job of training can waste resources and even teach workers negative things.
There are lots of qualified, experienced experts available who you can approach to run HR training seminars, conferences, workshops, online courses and the like. Alternatively, you might decide to hire guest speakers to come in to talk on particular topics and/or inspire your team.
When choosing trainers or speakers, make sure you do your research and compare options thoroughly. Then, you will find the best fit for your needs.
Cover Both In-Person and Online Training:
Another tip is to remember you have both in-person and online training solutions at your disposal. It’s a good idea not just to choose one or the other but to run programs across both types. This helps to get the best results. For instance, through in-person training, employees can ask experts questions on the spot, directly, which helps with understanding and retention.
As for online learning, this is helpful because it allows team members to complete courses at their own pace. They don’t get rushed through topics and can instead review information multiple times and process what they’ve learned. By connecting the dots between the theory being taught and how it can be used in the workplace, they will grow.
Online training is flexible, too, so people can study when they’re feeling most focused and energized. Plus, the information doesn’t usually expire, so people can review it often and get a refresher whenever they need it.
Ensure Training Is Hands-On and Has Meaning:
Allow people to use and experiment with their new skills as they go through a training program, so they can apply things ASAP and see the practical outcomes. Doing this helps workers to learn from their mistakes, build confidence in their abilities and really get the most from their training. It speeds up the overall learning process, too.
In addition, look for ways to give the training meaning. That is, show the context for the learnings. Have trainers and speakers explain why and how the new information or skills will be necessary for particular jobs and for the company to move forward.
When people see a real link between what they’re being presented with and practical applications, they connect with it and remember it for much longer. This also improves motivation levels to complete the training.