Everything You Need to Know About Employee Training
What is Employee Training?
Employee training is defined as the efforts of a business to boost employee performance continually. A training program has very specific and measurable objectives, such as job training for a specific role. Some examples of various employee training programs include-
- Professional training
- Technical skill training
- Project management training
- Sexual harassment training
- Harassment training
- Management training
- Team-building training
- Safety training
- Human resource training
- Time management training
- Customer service training
1. Improved performance- Employee performance is increased with long term employee training programs. Safety training and harassment training will likely decrease events that necessitate human resource intervention such as sexual harassment cases and preventable accidents.
Confidence is increased when employee performance increases which also leads to more satisfied and engaged employees.
2. Skill development- Every employee has the ability to learn or further master their skill set. The skill gap is decreased with proper skill training which may include technical skill training and soft skill training programs.
By ensuring employees possess a wide variety of skills, each team member can fill in for another if need by, and team-building capabilities improve.
3. Boosted innovation- Creativity is expanded when employees participate in a training program sharpens their problem solving and decision-making skills. Employees who are trained continuously and long term will likely be on the cutting edge of developments within the industry.
4. Enhanced Reputation- Top talent employees seek out the business's who possess effective training programs. A world-class training program could make the difference between an effective employee joining your staff or another company.
Well trained employees become industry leaders and allow your company to emerge as a top industry competitor. Clients and customers also prefer to work with companies that have a good reputation and treat their employees well.
The Value Behind Training Employees
The time and financial investment a business puts toward training employees are well worth it. Employees will feel valued and important when their business invests in their long term training and development.
Happier employees will benefit both your overall company culture and work environment. Whether role-playing with a new employee or providing management training for an existing staff member, employee training will benefit your entire business bottom line.
Employees are less likely to participate in a training course or training program if they must pay independently. On the job training allows staff to improve their employee performance and best practice techniques.
Additionally, on the job training allows the opportunity for internal organization team-building training. Team-building training can increase team member engagement and collaboration skills.
Many training programs are mandatory for all employees including harassment training and safety training programs. Both your employees and clients will be much safer and decision-making capabilities improve when employees are given the proper training. A great business foundation will also further increase your opportunity for long term growth and business longevity.
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The Difference Between Employee Training and Employee Development
Employee training and employee development are terms that are often wrongly used interchangeably. However, both employee training and employee development are crucial aspects to ensuring the best employee performance possible.
Employee training has a short term focus with clear and measurable objectives focused on skills needed for job performance. Training typically has a specific objective such as understanding company policy or a new software product.
Employee development is much more long term with less focus on technical skill and more focus on independent employee growth. Employee development is concerned with future employee performance and long term best practice advancement.
A development program is more concerned with performance management over time and providing skills that can be used throughout an individual's career. Employee development programs in areas such as problem solving and communication have a 250% return on investment rate.
Unfortunately, many employers miss this crucial step because they prioritize employee development programs for their highest executives. In order for organizational growth to occur, employers must democratize their employee development program opportunities.
Employee training focuses on specific short term skill sets while employee development is concerned with long term transferable knowledge.
Job performance depends on employee training while business growth depends on employee development. When combined effective employee training and employee development can boost productivity, strengthen your brand, and produce long term growth.
Underlying Effects of Poor Employee Training
A great employee training can boost your bottom line and increase best practice techniques while poor employee training has major long term consequences. Inadequate training can bring down not only individual employee performance but your entire workforce productivity.
Consequences of improper employee training include-
1. Decreased development- It is costly to onboard top talent new employees, especially when you are unsure how you will retain them. To combat this risk, employers are increasingly looking for ways to provide management training in order to promote employees who are already retained by their business. Continual professional development occurs when employees are given professional training long term and skill training is highly invested in.
2. Risk mitigation- Safety training will help decrease workplace accidents and keep both employees and customers as safe as possible. Safety training is also a best practice for avoiding expensive fines or legal fees that you and your business could incur. Examples of issues that could have been avoided with proper safety training include OSHA violations or avoidance of a serious workplace accident.
Harassment training including sexual harassment training will decrease the need for both human resource intervention for workplace conflict and avoid costly lawsuits. Employee performance will benefit when employees have the information that they need to not only perform their role safely but also to interact respectfully with every team member on staff.
An investment in employee training is a direct investment in your company and can act as a sort of insurance against future accidents and workplace conflicts. Small businesses especially should focus on creating proper safety training and harassment training modules, as one mistake could cost a business owner their entire business.
How to Improve Employee Training
Thankfully there are many proactive steps that employers can take to improve their existing employee training and employee development programs. Key steps to acknowledge when creating or updating existing employee training and employee development programs include-
1. Get feedback- Employee feedback is crucial to improving employee development and employee training programs. Asking your employees what they want and need to work on can give you unique within organization insight that you cannot purchase or outsource.
Employee led training can also be invaluable as current employees will more likely know which training method will be most effective for every team member individually.
An employee-led training method can also increase team building and help employee collaboration. If your employee leads training exceptionally it is worthwhile to consider them for management training and long term employee development programs.
2. Compare with competition- Investigate what professional training and employee development program your competition has in place. If professionals from competing businesses are hesitant to share insider information that you can investigate what is offered through social media and independent research.
In addition, make sure to do research on the perception surrounding your employee development and employee training program by reviewing social media posts that may hold insight about customer service and satisfaction levels.
Finding your weak points will help you strengthen your programs and understand what within your employee development and employee training program needs to be updated.
3. Customize- Create an employee development and employee training program that aligns with your company's specific goals and mission statements.
Consider partnering with larger agencies who are specialists like OSHA for safety training or the Department of Justice for harassment training and discrimination training. Then, customize their programs into your specific business best practice techniques and long term objectives.
4. Make it long term- Both long term employee performance and professional development are increased by continual training and development programs. Frame your employee development and employee training program as an ongoing process.
Reward and congratulate employees who perform well in your employee development and employee training program. You can do this publicly through an announcement at a company event or privately by taking the time to personally thank them for their efforts.
Monetary incentives and special consideration during promotions will further communicate the emphasis your company places on employee development and training.
Employee engagement and employee performance are increased when employees feel noticed, validated, and appreciated for their effort in the workplace. Plus, other employees who see your admiration are likely to follow in their efficient coworker's footsteps!
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Top Employee Training Methods
A common misconception about employee development and employee training programs is that they are boring or nonessential. Your employee development and employee training program are as engaging, important, and creative as you make it. Top employee training methods include-
- Instructor-led training which creates great opportunities for specialist type employee training but is more costly than employee-led training.
- Blended learning including digital materials that are accessible at any time and any place. However, some employees may find it harder to focus and updates must be prioritized as a best practice to avoid outdated employee development and employee training program material.
- Role-playing training which provides a controlled environment with low risk for employees to practice their skill set. Although this training type is highly effective, it can be very time consuming and not applicable to less complex skill training programs.
- Lecture style training is widely perceived as the least effective training method with employees only retaining around 20% of lecture material and often feeling bored or unengaged.
- Management training can include problem-solving and decision making best practice techniques specific to managers. Investing in management training will help your managers to manage employees more efficiently.
- Case study reading training allows employees to independently research or do so in a team-building group setting. Case study material is great for specific subjects but more complex topics will likely necessitate much more training.
Characteristics of a Winning Employee Training Program
With so many different training program types to consider, it is helpful to understand what characteristics a leading employee training program possesses. Small business owners and larger corporate CEOs alike can learn a lot from successfully implemented employee training programs.
When developing your own unique employee training program strive to include as many of the below characteristics as possible-
- A strong program management leader to lead employee training. Responsible for internally marketing your campaign as well as developing it, this team member must have strong problem solving and communication skills.
- The most effective employee training program is one based on your business's unique needs and objectives. For example, if you are consistently receiving negative social media reviews consider customer service training modules. Your skill gap will lessen and your best practice will increase with need-based training.
- Develop measurable goals you hope to accomplish through the employee training program. Identifying benchmarks and periodic check-ins will help update and optimize your employee training program.
- Company leaders should support your employee training program and be ready to invest in it. A way to increase the likelihood of this is by creating a presentation that outlines what bottom-line productivity benefits they can expect to see both long term and short term.
- Make sure your employee training program is relevant to your employee's job responsibilities and applicable to your company objectives. Otherwise, you run the risk of decreased employee performance and long term retention.
- Build out an employee training program that has some flair and uniqueness. Creativity goes a long way in getting employee engagement levels up.
- Reinforce your program periodically by providing opportunities for employees to use their new skills and consistent check-ins.