Businesses, the world over, recognized the importance of training, and have therefore started investing in training activities. However, most of them are not properly tailored to business needs and employee roles, without second thoughts on Return on Investment (ROI). Then, how can they become winning training programs? As a training manager, you want to simplify the process of developing best training programs. Well, we simplified the procedure to ensure your employee training is a smashing success in nine easy ways.
1. Identify Training Needs
An in-depth training needs analysis is inevitable for making your employee training a success. Training needs are the gaps between the current/actual performance and the required/expected performance. Identifying the right topics and who needs to be trained will simplify your efforts in making the training a success.
Here are some ways to identify training needs:
- Research on employee performance history, present conditions at the workplace, and set the direction for future.
- Conduct interviews, surveys, observations, customer feedback, performance appraisals, tests, focus groups, document reviews, and more.
For example, if you have unhappy customers, your training need is a customer service program and the audience is your customer support teams and the sales force.
2. Get Management Buy-In
An important aspect for making your employee training a success is to get management buy-in and decision makers’ approval across the organization. When leaders extend their wholehearted support to the training programs, it’s easy for employees to own them. When training becomes the firm’s official/formal program, it makes employees accountable and compels them to take the training programs seriously.
Explaining how training can increase and support the business is helpful to get management buy-in. Estimating Return on Investment (ROI) also helps get the needed approvals from decision makers.
3. Align Training with Business Goals
Always connect your training goals to your business goals, to make your training a success. When training is aligned to the higher level business strategy, it turns out to be an investment to your business and customers. This helps your employees clearly understand why they have to go through the training. When your leaders and employees know the purpose of training, the impact will be higher.
4. Customize Training
One size doesn’t fit all; similarly, one broad training program doesn’t satisfy all employees. You can’t train your service technicians and engineers the same way. Therefore, it’s better to match your training to the specific roles of your individual employees. Customizing your online learning courses to employees’ roles and responsibilities will improve their performance.
5. Choose a Suitable Format for Training
Your business’ varied needs demand suitable formats for training. When you have a business that is spread across the globe and have employees working in various geo-locations, regular classroom training won’t work. Leveraging technology will help to cater to a wider audience.
- If you want the format to be synchronous, virtual instructor-led training (VILT) will can come to your rescue.
- If the topics are easy to understand, asynchronous/online learning is helpful.
- If you want to train your sales reps who are on-the-go most of the time, mobile learning modules would come in handy for them.
- Designing microlearning modules and videos that can be accessible on mobile devices are the best fitting for blue-collared workers to deliver safety training.
So choose the relevant format for training, based on your business needs and challenges to make your employee training a success.
6. Involve Employees in Selecting Areas/Topics for Training
Employees know their work challenges better than anyone else, so asking for the areas they need training on will help them better. Taking employee nominations and suggestions makes your training efforts fruitful. In this way, you can easily get the buy-in of employees for training programs. Involving them in the decision making process brings a sense of ownership and belongingness in your employees. This will make your training a success.
7. Take Feedback
Developing winning training programs is not one-way-traffic. Sometimes, your training resources can be outdated and not relevant for present work day situations. That’s why you have to take the feedback of your employees on the training programs you conduct.
Taking feedback helps:
- Avoid training on familiar topics and aiming your training at the wrong audience
- Spend your training budget more wisely
- Improve the quality of your training programs
You can use polls, surveys, or feedback forms to get feedback from your employees on learning and training activities, to improve and make them more engaging in the future.
8. Measure the Training Impact
Business leaders always measure the success of training programs in terms of Return on Investment (ROI). Conducting assessments after each training program helps to know how much your employees learned and applied on-the-job.
Measuring the learning intervention with a controlled group against a group that didn’t experience the intervention would be the ideal way to understand the training impact. If the learning intervention yields positive results, extending it across the company is beneficial for the business.
9. Refresh Training with Reinforcement
Hermann Ebbinghaus’s theory of the forgetting curve says, learners’ retention declines over a period of time. You also need to consider that learning is not a one-time event, but a continuous process. So, successful a training intervention will have refresher sessions and follow ups to retain the learning in the long-term and translate that to work.
Training programs are evolving as workplaces are becoming more complex and diverse, but these elements are consistent in the winning training programs. Obviously, successful training programs improve the bottom line performance and the ROI of your organization.