Companies often try to fill vacant posts with people “inside” the organization, and their training managers are asked to impart training to staff members, in order to enable the employees to assume new responsibilities.
How can organizations provide effective training to support career progression? What does it take to ensure employees have the knowledge and skills to perform well in their new assignments? You need to follow a five step process.
- Identify the knowledge and skills needed for the new job
- Evaluate existing knowledge and skills and identify the “gaps”
- Prepare an effective training plan to impart knowledge and skills
- Deliver training and assess the knowledge and skills
- Assign new responsibilities and provide effective performance support
Let us now look at each step in detail.
1. Identify the knowledge and skills needed for the new job
This is the first and inarguably the most important step in the process of ensuring your training programs provide proactive support to the career progression of your staff members. You need to determine what the employee needs to perform effectively in a particular job. For instance, to succeed as a sales manager, an employee needs to have the following skills:
- Ability to motivate, coach, and get the best results from sales reps
- Knowledge of clients’ businesses and requirements
- Acumen to identify top performing sales talent and nurture it
- Time management skills
- Excellent communication skills
2. Evaluate existing knowledge and skills and identify the “gaps”
The next step in imparting training to facilitate career progression is conducting an assessment of the current knowledge and abilities of your employees. This will help you determine whether they have the ability to perform effectively in the new job, and if they don’t, identify the skills that need to be imparted before they can be assigned new responsibilities.
One of our clients in the laboratory equipment space wanted to promote its senior sales reps to sales managers. The client conducted a pre-training assessment to evaluate their knowledge and skills and realized it needed to impart people-management skills and develop their abilities to spot talent and nurture it.
3. Prepare an effective training plan to impart knowledge and skills
Once you identify the gaps in the knowledge and skills of your employees, you need to plan a training program to close the gaps. You need to focus on six key aspects when you come up with a training plan:
- Determining the objectives of your training program
- Listing the key topics that should be a part of the training program
- Coming up with a preliminary outline for each topic
- Identifying the required learning material, based on the preliminary outline
- Zeroing-in on the appropriate mode of training
- Deciding whether to develop the training material in-house or outsource it to a vendor
A good training plan helps you deliver the right training that will help build skills and competencies needed for the career progression of your staff members.
4. Deliver the training and assess knowledge and skills
It is now time to deliver the training to your employees to impart the necessary knowledge and skills to make a career move. Today, most organizations are using e-learning for training their workforce. The technology-enabled learning format is highly flexible and cost-effective. Furthermore, the online learning medium is instructor-independent, and this feature enables companies to ensure that the quality of the training program is consistent.
It’s advisable to use a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver training programs. An LMS helps you impart training in a cost-efficient manner, track learners’ scores, the time spent on each course, and more. You can also generate reports for analysis.
After delivering the training, you must evaluate the knowledge and skills of your employees to ensure they are “fully equipped” to take on new responsibilities. It is better to tie the evaluation to the objectives of your training program, to make it effective. Read more about aligning assessments with training objectives.
5. Assign new responsibilities and provide effective performance support
Once you determine that your employees have the knowledge and skills to perform their new roles effectively, assign the duties associated with the roles. You must ensure that employees are able to apply their learning effectively to their jobs.
Good performance support tools go a long way in ensuring your staff members discharge their duties efficiently. One of our clients in the auto component manufacturing space uses videos to help its employees use SAP effectively. The client has developed several videos, each describing the steps involved in performing a specific transaction. The initiative was a big success and helped employees make the best use of the enterprise software.
Proper training plays a key role in enabling employees perform new job duties well. Follow the steps listed above to impart high quality training to support the career moves of your workforce.