Employee training and development are essential to have a forward-moving and modern workplace. Your employees aren’t going to be as engaged, productive, or innovative as they could be if they aren’t being developed along the way.
When you have a strong training and development program, it has many benefits. Your employees are going to be better equipped to do their jobs, they’re going to feel more confident in doing them, and they’re going to be happier because they’ll know their employer is willing to invest in them.
Despite the benefits of robust employee training and development, its importance is often overlooked.
The following are tips and things to know to create a modern and effective training and development program.
Use a Learning Management System
A learning management system is an excellent resource for businesses who want to add to or revamp their employee training and development. There are a wide variety of LMS platforms available for business use. For example, if you want an open-source LMS, Moodle has more than 140 million learners around the world, according to ethinkeducation.com.
Regardless of the specific platform you go with, moving to an LMS to provide employee training and development can have significant advantages for your business.
First, employees can learn and access information on their own time and in the ways they prefer.
A learning management system also tends to be significantly more affordable than in-person training, and you can measure your ROI with an LMS because you can test employees for the necessary skills and track their progress all within the platform.
Get Leaders Involved
It’s important to have buy-in at all levels to improve your training program. Along with helping foster and promote the program, by having managers and business leaders involved, you’ll have a better idea of what skills gaps and knowledge gaps exist so you can target your training to the organizational needs.
When managers are part of the training, they can also help employees apply what they learn to real-world situations.
With training and development, it’s important that it’s always delivered within a larger context. Employees need to know why they’re participating in training, why it’s relevant to their job and the business, and how it’s going to make things easier for them at work.
Make Sure Training Is Always Evolving
When you created employee training in the past, you could use it for years, and it would stay somewhat relevant.
That’s not the case anymore, and employers need to understand the brief shelf-life of training.
Training needs to evolve and keep up with the changing needs of the business and employees.
Along with this is the idea that training and development never end. Employees should always be participating in new training and development during their career.
Create a Structured Training Plan
Too often, businesses just wing it when it comes to employee training and development. It should be a core component of your business that’s strategic and structured like anything else.
A plan for training should include:
- Measurable objectives that you can use to determine the success and ROI of all employee training initiatives
- A budget that will include all training expenses outlined realistically
- An outline of the benefits training and development will bring to your organization, which will help in understanding ROI
- Marketing plans for training and development to get employees interested and engaged
Make Ongoing Learning Part of Your Company Culture
You need to reframe employee training and development and shift it from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.”
One way to make it clear that training is a pivotal part of your company objectives and your culture is to reward people for actively participating in training and development. As an example, when you’re making promoting decisions, link it to training and development and associated performance as a result of that training.
Another way to encourage training and weave it into culture is to have employees become the trainer. Once employees meet certain milestones, put them in charge of training other employees.
You can also award certificates or some other type of recognition when employees complete certain training. People like not only recognition but the feeling of accomplishing something.
Finally, don’t train employees in areas that are irrelevant or that aren’t needed. Training always needs to be purposeful. Otherwise, you’re going to turn employees off of training altogether, and that’s going to reduce their engagement. Make sure you can show a clear path from training to results, so employees don’t view your program as a waste of their time.