5 steps for better employee training

Businesses spend a lot of money training their employees. In fact, it’s estimated that companies spend over $130 billion every year on employee development.

But that makes sense. As Baby Boomers begin to retire, Millennials (now in their mid-thirties) are filling in higher level management positions. As Gen Z enters the workforce, companies are prioritizing budget dollars to fill talent gaps left by retiring employees.

Employee development doesn’t just benefit companies, though. Employees want to grow their skills and become more useful to their employer. This encourages employee retention and boosts the employee’s value to your organization.

Building better corporate development

Although companies spend a lot of money on employee training, it isn’t always relevant or useful from the employee’s perspective. Follow these strategies to design training that’s both relevant and efficient to grow internal talent.

  1. Audience research

    To design effective corporate training, you need to start with your employees’ needs. Leadership might not have the same insight as the people taking the training. As a result, you might create training that’s irrelevant or unhelpful to employees.

    Get to know your audience before you create a training program. Which employees will go through the training? How do they prefer to learn? What keeps them up at night? What do they want to know about their job?

    For example, if you’re training Millennials:

    • They prefer to learn in a digital environment.
    • A lack of experience in management keeps them up at night.
    • Millennials want a playbook for confident management.

    But don’t assume anything about your employees. Let them have a seat at the table when it’s time to design internal training.

  2. Make a plan

    Based on your employees’ needs, it’s time to create a plan.

    How can you marry employee needs with your organizational needs? For example, if you have a gap in management and Millennial employees want to learn how to be better managers, you have a natural fit.

    Look for skills gaps in your team. Is there a particular soft skill (leadership, communication) or hard skill (software, coding) that they need to move upwards in your company?

    Again, make sure employees have a voice. This ensures employees will apply the skills they learn in the course to their job, which is the purpose of training in the first place.

  3. Training method

    Now that you have an idea of your audience and course content, it’s time to determine how you’ll deliver the training.

    Classroom training is still popular, but it might not be the best solution for your employees. Classrooms are uncomfortable, inflexible, and take employees away from their work.

    It just isn’t conducive to learning, especially if you have employees under age 40. Plus, classroom learning incurs a lot of costs, including food, room reservations, instructors, and travel.

    Instead of opting for classroom learning, explore alternatives.

    Your employees want flexible, on-demand learning personalized to their interests. eLearning video courses are a great way to train employees. In fact, eLearning gets higher engagement and retention rates than classroom learning, and at just a fraction of the cost.

    Embrace technology for your training. We’re in the digital age; your employees don’t need to be in the same room to learn from each other.

  4. Integrate accountability

    The best trainings encourage employees to use what they’ve learned on the job. Build an accountability system to help employees retain what they’ve learned in the course.

    Whether it’s a short test, group discussion, or Slack channel, make sure employees think about the training long after it ends.

  5. Polish as you go

    No training is perfect. That’s why it’s important for companies to evaluate their programs. After all, the world is changing quickly. Today’s best practices could be obsolete in a year.

    Evaluate your eLearning content at the end of each year. Update any content that needs clarification.

    Ask your employees to give anonymous feedback about their training experience. Ask them about the content, course pacing, course format, the instructor, and how they applied the knowledge to their everyday jobs. Use this feedback to see what’s working with your employees and where you need to make a change.

The bottom line

Although it costs money to develop your employees, it’s cash well-spent. Embrace better training practices to protect your budget, fill talent gaps, and increase employee happiness.

But we know how busy you are. Let Ninja Tropic’s eLearning experts take it from here. Let’s talk about your corporate development in a free brainstorming session. Get in touch with us here.

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