5 Tips for Employee Training Programs That Will Boost Your Business

Many people got used to the idea that employees today are massively disloyal to employers, and don’t care about their jobs. While the workforce is definitely becoming more and more flexible and demanding, it turns out that as a rule of thumb, most professionals today tend to connect a lot to their professional activity and see jobs as a core component of their identity. 

So thinking that all modern employees are disloyal and fickle is a mistake. But for example, millennials definitely have much more independenсy and courage than the baby boomer generation and are quicker to drop a workplace where they don’t see advancement opportunities, feel underestimated, or lack the tools and tech they need to perform at their maximum capacity. What’s common between all generations of employees though is that they expect and demand to get trained and grow professionally, otherwise morale and motivation drops.

As rough as it may sound, 82.39% of employees say a lack of progression would influence the decision to leave their jobs. By progression, they mean comfortable conditions, up-to-date tools, smart workflows automation, optimal communication channels, and, naturally, constant professional development including employee training.

As much as 40% of employees who receive poor or very little on-the-job training will leave within their first year of employment. And whenever employees leave, it costs you big time.

Luckily, there is good news as well, because this rule works in both directions.

In fact, as many as 36% of Gen Z, 25% of Millennials, 20% of Gen X, and 21% of Baby Boomers view investment in employee training as a top factor when considering a new job, and 94 percent of all employees would stay with a company longer if offered an investment in training, according to the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2020 report.

Most employees rank professional development and training as “the most important workplace policy,” and the numbers prove that point: companies rated highly on employee training saw a 53% lower turnover (LinkedIn)

So in 2020, when finding and hiring a good employee takes so much effort, you can not afford to lose a top recruit. That means you should have a solid employee retention strategy in place, and one of the most effective and proven ways to keep and promote talent within the company is developing a robust employee training program, and using a dedicated training software app to do it in a handy, modern standard.

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1. Create Flexible Mobile Training Programs that Work for Your Employees

“There’s a phrase that I’ve heard over and over again… Being listened to feels so much like being loved, you can hardly tell the difference. And when an employee feels listened to or invested in, they are more loyal to the organization, because they feel that somebody cares about them”, Rachel Tuller, CEO and business coach at Vistage, told Russell Sarder, CEO of Learning, in this video:

How can your training programs show employees that you care about their welfare?

By giving them as much flexibility as you can.

 80% of modern employees say that, when faced with two similar employment offers, they would turn down the one that didn’t offer “flexible working” – flexible work schedules, remote work, reduced meetings, communication over instant messaging (IM), and better balancing high-demand periods of work.

To get Gen Zers and other flexibility-hungry employees engaged from day one – and to attract top talent – consider offering comprehensive mobile-first training programs whenever possible. 

Times have changed and lengthy spreadsheets, PDFs, or even presentations are not good enough: younger audiences just don’t have time and patience for it. They need the information to be fed to them in familiar, visual, bite-sized, easy to digest mobile-friendly form. Mobile apps and software like Connecteam is the new standard for employee training.

By getting access to the training materials from their own personal devices, employees will be able to get training whenever and wherever they’re comfortable doing so, at their own pace, with the limitations you’ll set.

In addition, you experience the following with employee training programs:

  • Save time and money as no employees need to be scheduled training at different times and dates every time a new hire is added to the team.
  • Guarantee informational consistency across the entire organization so you know that everyone received the same information and training.
  • Train multiple locations at various times without any additional costs.
  • Digitally track and assess training completion because sign up sheets are outdated training methods.
  • Employees have direct access to information so you can reduce uncertainty, misinformation, and error.

According to Brainscape, “the average American adult looks at their phone 100-200 times per day, and spends only 1-6 minutes at a time inside a particular app.” Therefore, Brainscape recommends you stick to 1-6 minute training sessions as well. It also recommends keeping training apps searchable, so employees can always refer back to the material later.

employee training app

Photo by Pew Nguyen from Pexels

2. Define Training Goals and Objectives

When creating a training program for employees, it’s very important to set up goals and objectives, ones that genuinely matter and go beyond the standard. “Organizations must ask themselves what business impact they’re hoping to achieve through training,” said Shelley Osborne, who is Udemy’s Head of Learning and Development. “By evaluating what’s happening within the business and identifying opportunities for improvement, creating the right training initiatives will not only satisfy employees but will also impact the bottom line.”

And make sure to add time frames and benchmarks.

“While some organizations may use a broad metric like increased productivity as a benchmark, others may take a more tactical approach and recognize a very specific solution in response to a certain need. An example of this would be for a small business that’s growing very rapidly to deploy interview training as a way to ensure its entire team is aligned and scaling.”

 

3. Make Your Employee Training Programs Data-Centric

Brainscape points out another great benefit of mobile training apps – you can collect a whole lot more data, then use it to improve your training programs and make them more accurate to your business and employee needs.

Knowing exactly who is using your mobile training products, when they are using them, and how much they are using them can help you continually optimize your delivery and communicate clear results to your overlords. Solid user analytics can also be easily aligned to other employee performance indicators to show strong correlations of mobile training participation with team member success”, emphasizes Brainscape.

But don’t just rely on data you get from your analytics. Be proactive about getting employee feedback, and treating repeating issues in your optimization efforts.

mobile training software

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexels

Depending on your situation and the amount of continuous training required for your employees, consider looking for a solution in which your company app allows you to study each employee and personalize training sessions to their preferences and changing needs for more personal and valuable employee experience.

“While organizations may occasionally have to mandate specific training for certain reasons, one of our core principles when it comes to learning and development is that employees are in the driver’s seat. We’re proponents of the ‘pull’ learning model and believe that to create a lasting impact, employees must feel driven to seek training and learning as opposed to feeling forced to invest their time. For training to be successful, the real focus should be on whether employees are performing better at their jobs, and attendance shouldn’t be used as a metric to shame employees into learning. At the end of the day, by making learning personalized and relevant, business leaders can foster employees that are better at their jobs and more engaged as a result.” – Shelley Osborne

 

4. Create Custom Employee Training Programs for Different Roles

Chances are, you have people in your company who don’t have all the knowledge and skills they need to have in order to drive your company forward. Or maybe they’re making hundreds of dollars worth of mistakes, like this new ice cream parlor employee:

As a manager, the easy thing to do, especially nowadays, is to fire them and find someone who already has the knowledge and skills their position requires, but on average, that means you’ll be paying a lot more money. Not to mention that it lacks long term vision. At some point, you’ll need to sit down, flip open your laptop, and start typing down a training program that will grow with your business. Otherwise, you’re doomed to repeat your hiring mistakes.

According to FosterEDU, “The Society for Human Research Management estimates that the cost of directly replacing an employee can run as high as 50 to 60 percent of their annual salary, and total associated costs of turnover can rise to 90 to 200 percent.” For example, according to the Association for Talent Development’s 2014 State of the Industry Report, the turnover cost of replacing a human resources manager can be $133,000. In comparison, the average annual cost of training and developing a new employee is $1,208, so developing a robust employee training program is well worth the investment.

If you think saving training time will balance the scale and make the expense worth your while, think again. FosterEDU reports that “the time spent training a new employee is a fraction of the time lost during the overall turnover and hiring process.”

In other words, the best financial move is to invest in your current employees and use the “internal hiring” strategy, since there is a proven 41% longer employee tenure at companies with high internal hiring compared to those with low internal hiring.

If you want to do it effectively, sit down with your managerial leaders and analyze what skills and knowledge every position in their departments requires in order to optimize performance.

Ask them to review each employee’s performance. Guide them to pay attention to repetitive gaps across the department, but also to individual challenges.

employee training mobile app

Photo by Kevin Ku from Pexels

Turn to the employees themselves, conduct an employee survey and ask for their feedback. Ask what’s missing to help them succeed in their current position, and what they think they’ll need in order to advance in the company.

In addition, talk to customers, providers, and partners, or anyone else who’s in constant professional touch with your team, and see what they think is missing.

Then, sit down with your managers, or get a professional consultant, and develop training programs that will close the knowledge and skills gap for every department.

Repeat the process to create training programs for your managers. Don’t assume that higher-level employees already know everything.

 

5. Incorporate MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in Your Employee Training Programs

We’ve established that training employees makes more financial sense than hiring new ones. That doesn’t mean it’s free – especially if you’re outsourcing your entire training program.

A great way to be cost-efficient is to turn to MOOCs. A MOOC is a massive open online course, which can be taught to many people at the same time, or at different times, without exorbitant costs or much work. The course materials can be consumed anytime, anywhere, so they’re perfect for employees’ desires for more flexibility.

After you analyze employee and business needs based on the guidelines we set above, go online, and start searching.

Some of the world’s leading universities – like Yale, Harvard, and MIT – offer courses completely for free (click the university names to go to their free courses).

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But there are other sources – very cost-effective sources – that specialize in training professional employees. Lynda.com, for example, is an online training program owned by the professional social network LinkedIn, which offers a wealth of practical training courses by industry experts in an abundance of topics.

The added benefit of providing MOOCs?

It puts some of the training responsibility on the employees, something Atti Riazi, CIO of the United Nations, believes is important. “It is the employees’ responsibility to develop themselves, and it is the organization’s responsibility to support that development”.

Save Big by Ensuring Your Employee Training Programs are Effective

When training fails the cost for the company can average around $13,500 per employee (for companies with 1,000 employees and above). Don’t let that happen to you. Follow the tips above, engage employees, get the results you need from your training programs, and grow your business. Your employees are your most valuable asset and a well-trained employee is guaranteed to perform better, make your customers happier, and help your business grow.

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