Maximizing Employee Training and Development

Maximizing Employee Training and Development

Business needs change in the blink of an eye. Competition increases, gets more complex through both technological advances and regulations, and certainly the last two years haven’t helped anything. All this means a constant need for the most talented, knowledgeable workforce possible. Companies have employee populations that are multi-generational, location independent and not as company loyal as they used to be. This has placed a premium on retention of valued employees and one of the keys to that is continued training and development.

Training and development programs in this new business environment must take on a broader role in an organization. Creating a comprehensive strategy that will keep the company competitive and the employees on top of their game is one of the best business decisions an organization can make.

But how does a company go about getting a training and development company moving and what should the end goals be? Whether a company outsources the training or decides to do it inhouse, there are several items to consider and benefits to garner.

The training and learning function of a company has five key goals:

  • Attract and retain talent

    Because employees don’t stay at one company forever anymore, they want to know that when they join a company their skills won’t stagnate on outdated technology. An organization that is willing to invest in its people will be rewarded with loyalty and increased engagement. Employees regularly list “opportunities for training and learning” as one of the main reasons for joining a company. And a lack of these will be a reason that an employee will leave.

  • Development of Capabilities

    It will always be true that it’s easier to grow talent than to find it. Your existing workforce is the best source when knew knowledge is needed for the ever-changing business landscape. The knowledge base becomes obsolete more and more rapidly these days and constant investment is required. And it’s not just the technology and other hard skills. Companies that consistently rate as high performers are those that are creating the next generation of leaders. Soft skill training should be an equally important part of the strategic plan.

  • Build an Employer Brand

    A company’s brand is one of its most valuable assets. It tells the story about an organization’s overall financial health, market success and position in the industry. A company’s commitment to training and development can brand it as an “employer of choice” which will further augment its reputation. With the increasingly mobile workforce, employers must compete in every way for the available talent pool.

  • Engage and Motivate Employees

    Happy employees are more likely to work harder. The best way to engage employees is to give them opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Learning leads to happiness. See the beginning of this paragraph! When employees are challenged by the chance to learn new skills and utilize that knowledge on the job, they are more excited about their work and will be more loyal to the organization that provided those opportunities.

How then can effective Employee Training and Development be delivered? There are many ways that work with today’s more remote workforce as well as those that bring people together in a more collaborative space.

  • Instructor-led traditional classroom training
  • Technology-driven virtual classrooms - enable employees to train from anywhere but live with an instructor
  • E-Learning - Flexible employee training which they can do on their own time with videos, text or audio lessons that can be accessed from anywhere
  • Mobile learning - learning through a mobile application
  • Blended learning - a hybrid of some or all of the models listed above

And what should be in an Employee Training and Development Program? If the company is starting from square one, consider these guidelines:

  1. Target Soft Skills - This was identified as a key training target in 2021 and is expected to be so for the foreseeable future. Developing critical thinking, communication and interpersonal skills will continue to be essential.
  2. Personalize Employee Development - As long as the unemployment rate stays low, employees are going to need to feel valued and appreciated. This will go a long way toward filling that need. Whether it’s in the specific field of work or a plan working toward a promotion, find a way to personalize training as much as possible.
  3. Emphasize Digital Learning - This is of course in response to COVID and the workforce moving more remote. It reduces the resistance to learning if staff knows they won’t be stuck in a windowless conference room for days or even better if they have control over when and where they do the training.
  4. Create a Training and Development Plan - It won’t work just to throw a catalog at the company and call it good. Successful training and development require planning and careful decision-making to maximize money, time and resources to get the most out of it. Then the company and the employees see the benefits more clearly. these future leaders.

Closing skills gaps, staying competitive, attracting great talent, motivating employees…companies have so many excellent reasons to have a fantastic employee training and development program. Go get yours started today!