How to Train Your Employees Effectively
Learning to train your employees effectively is key for the success of any company. Lack of sufficient training at the beginning of the employee lifecycle can lead to massive employee turnover in the first several months. In fact, 20% of workers in the U.S leave their job within 45 days of hire! Training during an employee’s tenure (upskilling and reskilling) is critical in this digital age. A study by Gartner revealed that 64% of managers don't think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs. Furthermore, 70% of employees say they haven't even mastered the skills they need for their jobs today!
In this article, we provide some tips to create better and more effective training programs.
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so that they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson
1) Establish training procedures beforehand
Training employees can be a long process; organizations must have an established plan which include the topics that will be discussed/taught, the expectations of the training, follow-up training (if applicable), etc. It can also be important to assess the trainee’s skill level before the training starts to be able to track metrics and the effectiveness of the training program.
Training programs are important during all stages of the employee lifecycle. For example, its incredible important in the onboarding process; TinyPulse reports that 91% of employees stick around for at least a year when organizations have efficient onboarding processes and 69% of them stick around for at least three years when companies have well-structured onboarding programs! Creating, providing, and updating training programs may seem like a big investment, but it makes a difference in the employee experience and their productivity.
Typical questions that your organization should think about before implementing a training session:
What skills do they need to have before starting?
What main takeaways do we want the employees to have after training?
How will be determine the effectiveness of the course? How will we track performance before and after?
2) Build in regular check-ins
Managers should have an understanding regarding their team's training needs. Managers should be meeting with their employees on a frequent basis to ensure that their teams have the skills to perform their job effectively. For example, if a manager is training a sales team on lead generation, managers need to outline that employees need skills like solid communication, social selling, etc. When a manager can identify and bridge skill gaps early-on, employees become more productive and self-efficient. To put it simply, the more skills that an employee has, the less managers will need to check (or redo) their work.
3) Tie training/skill development to advancement and promotional opportunities
Today, younger generations are starting to populate the workforce and getting hungry for career opportunities and the idea of possible promotions; 64% of generation Z cited “opportunity for career growth” as a top career priority. However, the majority of employees don't think they have mastered the skills that are needed in their job today. Understanding the competencies that they need to master in their current position and what skills they need to develop to 'move up the corporate ladder' or to move to a different position in the company can help motivate and retain employees.
4) Customize training needs for your organization
Often times, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to training. Organizations should consider customizing their training programs to fit their company culture. For example, some organizations may contemplate breaking the training into smaller sessions that span multiple days because blocking off half-a-day or a whole day for training just isn't feasible in their organization. Other organizations may find it easier to have a one-day affair. If organizations choose to implement a one-day training, following up through reviews and continuous feedback is critical with the amount of information they will be loaded with. Ensure to include interactive sessions while training, whether it be spanned over a few days or in a singular day. Interactive sessions will help trainees retain information and learn to apply their knowledge in the appropriate situation.
5) Train for culture, not just skills
While we have referred to skill/competency training in the previous points, we also want to highlight training for culture. Corporate culture is incredibly important. According to an onboarding new employees study conducted by TalentLMS, 61% of new hires receive zero training on company values, mission, and culture. Educate the trainees on company beliefs and explain the company values and why they were set for this organization. For more information on company culture, make sure to listen to our podcast episode on crafting company values!
Training employees remotely can be challenging due to the lack of face-to-face interaction and the amount of information that you are able to provide trainees with. This does not mean that it’s impossible. Remote work is gaining immense attraction, especially with new generations coming into the workplace. Due to popularity, more than 47% of employers are allowing their employees to work from home. There are steps that organizations should take to ensure that their training programs are just as effective remotely as they are in person.
Organizations need to have the right technology in place and ensure it is accessible for all trainees. Consistently check in with trainees to ensure they are understanding the content and that the expectations of the training are clear. After the training, follow-up with employees. Organizations should make sure that training is relevant. Ask employees for feedback!
Let us know what your organization does to create a good employee experience during training sessions!