Effective employee training is crucial to the success of your business. In this article, you’ll learn how and why investing in comprehensive training programs can enhance productivity, engagement, and business growth.
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Investing in an employee training program has a direct effect on your bottom line.
Not only does it equip your staff with the skills they need to do their jobs properly, but it improves retention rates, motivates employees, gives your business a competitive edge, and helps create a unified and positive company culture.
In this article, we’re covering everything you need to know to develop an effective employee training program that works. We’ll go over the benefits, types of training, and tips and tricks to creating the best training program for your business.
Benefits of Employee Training
Employee training doesn’t come cheap. The average US company spends $1,286 on each employee for training every year. So, is it worth it?
The answer is a resounding yes. Investing in the development of an employee training program:
- Equips employees with necessary skills: Without proper training for employees, employees won’t have the skills needed to do their jobs. Therefore, a structured training program is essential for new hires.
- Fosters positive company culture: New employee training is the perfect opportunity to introduce your new recruits to the company culture and continue building upon an already positive work environment. And as it turns out, 56% of workers said that a good workplace culture was more important than salary for job satisfaction.
- Directly impacts your organization’s bottom line. Upskilling your employees has a direct positive effect on their productivity and the quality of their work. In turn, this enhances organizational processes and reduces the risk of mistakes happening, contributing to increased profits.
- Improves employee retention. Training and development matter to employees and influence their level of commitment to an organization. In a LinkedIn survey, 94% of employees said they would stay longer with an employer who invested in their training and development.
- Attracts top talent. Training is also an important factor for new employees and can give you a competitive edge when it comes to recruiting top talent. 80% of US employees say an employer’s professional development and training opportunities are important factors when accepting a new role.
- Helps you stay on top of technological developments. Business technology develops at breakneck speed. Organizations need employees who can work with new and changing technologies. Rather than replacing employees to address a skills shortage within an organization—the cost of which can run as high as $4000 per new hire—you can use training to upskill employees.
- Enhanced innovation and creativity: Training programs can help create a culture of innovation and creativity within a business. By providing employees with new perspectives, knowledge, and problem-solving techniques, training encourages them to think critically, generate innovative ideas, and contribute to the business’ growth.
Types of Employee Training
Before you develop employee training programs for your business, you’ll need to identify what types of training you’ll offer your employees.
The following are the primary types of training to consider:
- Orientation and onboarding training. Onboarding training is essential for any business and is used to familiarize new employees with their new jobs. The most effective way to onboard new employees is with an onboarding app, and it ensures that new hires have all the skills they need to do well in their roles. It also integrates them into the organization smoothly, which is important for employee retention and building a strong company culture for the long-term.
- Competency-based training. Competency training involves teaching a group of skills, abilities, knowledge, and behaviors such as strategic planning or managing resources effectively. Competency-based training can be used across teams requiring the same skills to perform their different roles.
- Skill set training. Skill set training is when you teach a specific set of skills employees need to do their jobs, for example, sales or marketing training. Management training is another example and is frequently used by businesses to identify and develop internal leadership potential. It ensures workers have the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to succeed as a manager.
- Skills-based training. Businesses will use skills-based training to teach employees a specific technical skill that they need to use immediately in their role, for example, learning a new software program or how to operate a new piece of machinery. It keeps employees’ skills up to date and in line with competitors.
- Soft skills training. If employees interact with customers on a regular basis, soft skills training can be useful. This type of training teaches interpersonal skills so workers know how to properly interact and communicate with coworkers and clients.
- Compliance training. Compliance training for employees may be mandated by law depending on your industry. It can include topics such as workplace health and safety, ethics, quality, diversity training, or the renewal of a professional license. It’s usually aimed at minimizing risk, regulating a profession, or providing a better workplace environment.
- Product or service training. This type of training explores the ins and outs of your product or service, helping your employees to fully understand it. It’s often prioritized for sales, customer services, or marketing teams so they can more effectively communicate the features and benefits of your product or service.
- Ongoing training and professional development. Ongoing training for employees provides long-time workers with skills to further develop their knowledge and capabilities. It keeps workers up to date on industry trends, technologies, and best practices. Professional development training also fosters employee engagement and satisfaction, leading to better employee happiness.
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Read our in-depth review of the 7 best employee training tracking software solutions.
Employee Training Tools and Methods
Your employee training methods are just as important as the training content itself. Based on your business, you may find that certain employee training tools are more effective than others. Or, you may find that a combination of different formats works best. You don’t have to just choose one—mix and match different types of training tools and methods to maximize the training impact.
💡 Pro Tip:
No matter what type of employee training tools you use, take advantage of microlearning to deliver the material.
Micolearning is the absolute best training method for the modern workforce. This training method presents new training topics in short modules, using a variety of formats. For example, you could present a 5-minute training video followed by a quick quiz on the topic, instead of a long, drawn-out session.
Why is it so effective? Because microlearning presents new information in bite-sized chunks, resulting in more engaging and effective training compared to more time-consuming delivery methods. It prevents employees from becoming bored and leads to higher knowledge retention than traditional methods.
Employee training apps
Mobile training apps like Connecteam are at the top of list of the best training methods for employees. With employee training materials available directly from their smartphones, employees can learn at their own pace and have access to all training materials whenever they need them.
The benefits of employee training apps include:
- Save you time and money. You don’t need to coordinate a time for everyone to attend a training session in person, and you don’t need to spend money to reserve a space. Instead, employees can access the material at their convenience directly from their phones.
- Reach all employees and guarantee consistency. You can train employees in multiple locations at various times without any additional cost. And because training materials are stored in the cloud, employee training apps help ensure training consistency amongst all your workers, despite their location.
- Store employee training materials in one place. Create knowledge bases and ensure that all training documents are accessible at any time.
- Digitally track and assess employee training. Employee training apps come with admin dashboards so managers track employee progress in real time.
- Streamlined communication. Managers can check in with employees at any time with in-app chat or create a group chat for all new hires to connect with each other.
- Faster and more efficient training. Employee training apps speed up the training process by centralizing and automating everything.
- Guarantees compliance. Digitizing the training process helps regulate your business and ensure compliance because all training records, certificates, and licenses are stored in the app. Therefore, if you ever need to prove anything, you have the information available.
🧠 Did You Know?
When employees complete online learning from their phones, it results in four times higher engagement rates and 50% better knowledge retention than other types of e-learning.
While in-person employee training is more difficult to organize, this type of training method may be necessary in certain situations. Also, federal and state regulations may require you to offer some of your training in person. Safety and security training, for example, typically requires some kind of in-person assessment. Plan your training strategy with this in mind.
In-person training can be held onsite at your organization or at an external location. This instructor-led training is conducted either by someone experienced within your organization or an external provider and can include workshops, seminars, role playing, or training days.
The downsides of in-person training are that it’s difficult to find a time that suits everyone and it can also be expensive once you factor in costs such as travel costs, venue hire, food for the day, and training costs.
Blended learning is a combination of both online and in-person training and offers more flexibility and cost savings, compared to in-person training. You can use blended learning as a permanent approach to training your employees, or use it short-term to help employees transition to online learning completely.
Peer training, or collaborative learning, involves employees learning from each other, such as through coaching or mentoring. Interactive training like this is an ideal way to share and build knowledge within your business.
While peer training often happens organically between employees, it can be useful to deliberately incorporate peer training withing your training program.
A practical approach to employee training, job rotation involves moving employees laterally between different tasks or roles to learn new knowledge and skills. As well as variety, job rotation also gives employees a better and broader understanding of the business.
However, it’s important to develop a job rotation strategy to ensure this type of training is beneficial rather than disruptive to employees and your business.
Individual or group training
The subject matter you’re covering may influence whether to train employees individually or as a team. While individual training can be tailored to suit an employee’s specific needs and gives them the flexibility to complete the training when convenient, group training may also serve as a good team-building opportunity, promoting collaboration.
Internal or outsourced
Internal training is preferable because it’s cheaper and allows you to customize your training program as needed so all your materials are specific to your business. You can also reuse the materials for future trainings, and update them as needed. The training is administered by your own staff, however, you can streamline the process and make it much easier to administer if you use a training app.
Alternatively, you can outsource your training, and can be very time consuming. However, this is incredibly costly and the training tends to follow a “one-size-fits-all” approach, so isn’t really customizable to your unique training needs. External companies facilitate outsourced training and requires a lot of logistics and planning to implement. You also need to find a day for all your staff to gather in one place, which can prove difficult. However, instructors will be experienced and knowledgeable and will provide their own materials.
7 Tips for Creating an Effective Employee Training Program
Let’s go over some key tips on how to create a training program for your employees:
Define training goals and objectives
Before deciding what training to offer your employees, it’s essential to identify what you want to achieve with it. Your training plan should support your business’ broader business strategy. For this reason, be sure to consult with other managers when designing an employee training program.
This helps you define the goals and objectives of your training program. Ask yourself questions such as:
- How is this training supporting our business goals?
- How will this training improve our retention rate?
- How will we ensure our training is engaging?
For example, if one of your business goals is to decrease labor costs, an aspect of your training could focus on training employees how to use a specific piece of machinery more efficiently.
Identify training needs with a training needs analysis
Once you’ve identified a key set of training objectives, conduct a training needs analysis to further narrow down what employees need to learn and how you’ll get there.
Speak with managers to collectively identify recurring knowledge gaps and key information and skills that your employees need to know. Keep in mind that each role in the company may have different employee training needs, so be sure to identify now just what workers need to know, but which ones specifically.
If your training needs are greater than your training budget, identify the most urgent areas to focus on and prioritize those first. For example, if you run a restaurant and you’ve noticed employees are not using the POS system correctly, resulting in too many kitchen errors, training your staff to use the software correctly should be at the top of your training priorities.
You might want to read our 10 Best Restaurant Training Courses review.
Collect employee feedback
It’s also a good idea to involve your current employees when creating a training program. Whether you are focusing on new employee training or creating a professional development program, your employees are the ones directly impacted by your training, so their input is valuable.
A survey app is an easy way to collect employee feedback. You can ask about their professional goals, knowledge gaps, and preferred learning styles. Include multiple choice and open-ended questions to get a combination of data you can analytically measure as well as direct employee feedback.
🧠 Did You Know?
Involving your employees in the process reinforces that you value their opinion—and employees are going to engage more with a program that’s directly there to benefit their professional development.
Tailor your training program
Training programs are not a one size fits all proposition. When building an employee training program, you should tailor both the type of training and the delivery method to suit the needs of your employees, their roles, and the organization. This helps employees develop the skills and abilities they need to do the job, while also supporting your business strategy.
For example, if you manage a contracting company and have teams working all over the city, scheduled onsite training might be too difficult to regularly coordinate. Consider creating a quick course on the topic at hand and delivering it to your workers through your employee training app. That way, they can access the course at any time, anywhere.
💡 Pro Tip:
When you’ve uploaded a training course, set a pop-up to appear the next time employees open the app. That way, you can announce the new course and be sure that all employees are aware of the training. Let them know the course topic and deadline, and you can even include a Read button they need to tap so you can know they’ve read the information.
This type of self-directed training puts employees in charge of their own learning. Of course, it’s important to be available for questions and feedback, which you can easily do with in-app chat. You should also create an online knowledge base where you can store all employee training manuals and materials so they’re always accessible.
However, hands-on training or practical skills training may be necessary for certain skills, like learning how to operate a new piece of machinery.
It’s impossible to know whether your training program is effective without measuring the results. There are several ways to measure the effectiveness of your employee training:
- Performance metrics: Track relevant performance indicators such as productivity, sales figures, customer satisfaction ratings, or error rates to identify improvements or changes following the training. Compare these metrics before and after the training to measure their impact.
- Employee surveys: Conduct employee surveys to gather feedback about the training program. Feedback can provide insights into the relevance, usefulness, and applicability of the training content, materials, and delivery methods.
- Pre- and post-training assessments: Administering assessments before and after the training helps determine the knowledge or skills employees gained. Then, you can compare the scores to measure training effectiveness.
In addition, it’s useful to measure your employees’ level of engagement with a training program. You can see how much time they’re spending on the training, if they’re asking questions, or providing any feedback. This is especially easy to do with an online training app, like Connecteam.
If you’re not seeing the results you wanted from your training program, it may be time to review and adjust it.
Review your training program often
Even effective training programs should be regularly reviewed and updated as needed. Your training program should be refreshed to accommodate any changes in your business, like workplace processes, technical skills, or changes in staff.
Fortunately, a cloud-based employee management app makes this incredibly easy because all your training courses and materials are stored online in one place.
Training should be ongoing
Successful training plans are a marathon, not a sprint. Delivering a one-day training seminar won’t achieve much. Instead, a training program needs to be ongoing and in-person events should be planned well in advance to encourage maximum attendance.
Offering a range of training opportunities throughout the year ensures your employees’ technical knowledge stays up to date and helps structure their professional development. It also helps the organization to optimize its training budget.
To learn more about creating a training program specifically for new employees, check out our article: 8 Tips To Training New Employees Effectively (From an HR Expert)
FAQs About Employee Training
Do employees want training?
Yes, employees want professional training and development opportunities to progress in the workplace. In a recent study, 49% of employees said they want to develop their skills but are unsure how to, and 52% said they need to learn new skills in the next 12 months.
Who is responsible for employee training?
Employee training is a team effort. To create and deliver structured training, businesses need cooperation and participation between all managers and departments. However, HR is typically responsible for the development and supervision of an employee training program. Larger businesses may have a dedicated Learning and Development team within their HR department, too.
What are the 5 most common types of employee training?
The 5 most common types of employee training are:
- Onboarding training: Orienting new employees to their roles
- Regulatory training: Mandatory training that all employees are required to complete, such as safety training or sexual harassment training
- Ad-hoc updates: Any message, skill, or new update that the company wants employees to understand and implement in their daily work.
- Ongoing training and development: Ongoing professional development, skill enhancement, and improvement.
- Soft skills: Skills that employees should have to increase their success on the job and a business’s bottom line, like sales training or customer service training.
A Successful Training Program Benefits Both Employees and Employers
If you don’t already have one, developing an employee training program should be at the top of your priority list. Effective training can boost your bottom line, improve your recruitment and retention rate, and help your organization adapt to any technological advancements in the workplace.
Now that you know your employees are hungry for training and development opportunities, follow our above tips to build a successful training program!