5 Steps to Developing an Effective Employee Training Program

Employee training benefits your company in multiple ways. It helps your business grow faster, boosts employee performance, and gives you a competitive advantage. Most importantly, by providing employees with learning and career advancement opportunities, you will enhance their satisfaction and retain them.

Here is how to build an employee training program that works.

  1. Determine Training Needs

To develop a training plan, you need to identify your employees’ training needs and learning opportunities. That way, you will determine what kind of training is appropriate for your organization. 

If your business operates in a regulated industry, you could focus on relevant courses to ensure that everyone in the team can meet compliance requirements. 

You could train your HR team on providing employee benefits.

Or, maybe you want to help your managers strengthen their leadership skills

Talk to your employees and managers. Consult other businesses in your industry to seek inspiration. Try to identify any areas of your business that are not as efficient as expected. 

  1. Set Clear Objectives

After identifying your training needs, you should align them with clear training objectives. Only by setting clear expectations will you be able to measure training program performance.

First, outline your main training objective. Then, break it down into more specific targets and goals. For example, that could be a skill an employee should learn or a goal they will achieve after the course. 

Each goal should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound. 

For example, say the number of workplace injuries has grown over the past few months. In that case, your overall goal is promoting employee safety. Your specific goal could be: By learning the principles of first aid and practicing on Prestan manikins, employees will learn to respond to a health emergency and reduce injuries by 15%.

  1. Build a Thorough Training Strategy

Your training plan should include learning theories, content, materials, feedback, support, and instructional design. Training delivery methods should also be strategic. When creating the program, pay attention to employee learning styles and level of training.

Ask employees for feedback. You can even pilot your training program and gather feedback before the official, company-wide launch.

  1. Develop Employee Training Initiatives

Now that you have clear goals and expectations, it is time to implement your course. That is when you need to decide how and where your training program will be delivered.

For example, will you invest in internal or outsourced courses? The first option adapts to your company’s specific needs, but it requires larger investments and logistical preparations. Outsourced training is more cost-effective since it is coordinated externally.

Or, will you host online or on-premise training? Online courses are more flexible since employees can learn anytime and anywhere, via multiple devices. It is especially important to teams working remotely due to Coronavirus. 

At this stage, you should also schedule training activities and organize resources, such as facilities, equipment, learning materials, etc.

  1. Seek Feedback from all Stakeholders

To get the most out of your training program, you need to eliminate the guesswork from the process. The course should be continuously monitored and tracked. Since you have set clear objectives and key performance indicators, you can determine whether training has met them. 

Seek feedback from all stakeholders. That way, you will assess the effectiveness of the program, instructors, and skill acquisition levels. That way, you can identify any gaps and weaknesses in the program and reduce them in the future. 

Now, here is how to collect feedback from employees, managers, and instructors:

  • Evaluate the test scores.
  • Develop anonymous surveys for employees to find whether they consider the course relevant and useful. Ask them to assess the instructor and the training program quality. Ask them about any problematic areas, such as boring lessons or confusing exercises. 
  • Talk to instructors. Ask them to evaluate your staff. They can also analyze the course as a whole and suggest improvements. 
  • Sit down with your managers and ask them to assess employees’ post-training skills. Can they implement their new skills and knowledge in everyday workplace scenarios?

Over to You

Planning, designing, and analyzing an employee training program can seem like a daunting task. That is why you need to have a clear strategy and plan your every move. 

Do not forget to talk to your employees. They are central figures in your workplace training strategy.

Have you ever built an employee training program? How did it benefit your business? How did you measure its success?

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