In the fast-paced and ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace, one thing remains constant – the paramount importance of employee training. The phrase “knowledge is power” has never been more relevant than in today’s professional sphere, where organizations and their team members need to continuously adapt and upskill to stay competitive.
What is Employee Training?
Employee training (also known as “workplace training”) is a comprehensive process designed to equip employees with the necessary skills, knowledge, and competencies to effectively carry out their job responsibilities. It typically encompasses a broad spectrum, ranging from mastering the entirety of a role to honing specific tasks and aspects crucial to its fulfillment. The ultimate objective is to create a structured and informative learning experience that empowers team members to excel in their roles and contribute meaningfully to the organization’s goals.
At its core, training and development serve as a strategic investment in an organization’s human capital. Well-trained employees are better equipped to meet the evolving demands of their roles, adapt to changes in the industry, and contribute to the company’s growth.
History of Employee Training
The earliest forms of employee training can be traced back to antiquity and pre-industrial times. Apprenticeship and on-the-job training were the predominant methods – they revolved around learning by doing, with apprentices shadowing and emulating the tasks/ activities of the job under the mentorship of experienced individuals. These approaches still remain relevant today – particularly in professions and trades where hands-on experience is paramount.
The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries ushered in a new era of training needs. As machines and technologies replaced manual labor and crafts, the need for a more efficient and accelerated training process became evident. In response, the first documented factory schools emerged – one of which was established by Hoe and Company in 1872 to train machinists. These schools introduced a combination of classroom instruction and practical exercises, effectively teaching workers the skills and knowledge required for their jobs.
The 20th century witnessed significant developments in the field of workplace training, influenced by psychological, educational, and managerial perspectives. Notable pioneers include:
- Frederick Taylor introduced the concept of scientific management, with a focus on optimizing work processes and productivity.
- Charles R. Allen proposed the “Show, Tell, Do, and Check” method, an efficient training approach that involved escalating responsibility and feedback.
- John H. Patterson laid the groundwork for sales training by creating the NCR primer, a manual teaching sales and service techniques.
- J. L. Moreno designed role-playing techniques to practice interpersonal skills and behaviors.
The establishment of professional organizations like the American Society for Training and Development (now known as the Association for Talent Development) also played a vital role in shaping the field’s direction.
The World War I and World War II eras marked a crucial period in the history of employee training. The demand for defense workers and manufacturing surged, leading to the need for comprehensive training programs. Innovative methods emerged during this time, such as job instruction training, which systematized on-the-job training, and vestibule training, which blended classroom and on-the-job approaches in smaller, focused settings.
The 21st century has seen the emergence of various changes, driven by technology and changing workforce dynamics:
- Online training has become a mainstay, offering flexibility and convenience through digital platforms and tools.
- Gamification has infused training with elements of games to enhance engagement and motivation.
- Microlearning delivers content in bite-sized, easily digestible portions to cater to the short attention spans of modern learners.
- Social learning leverages the power of social networks to facilitate and enhance the training experience.
- Mobile learning capitalizes on the ubiquity of mobile devices, making learning accessible and flexible.
Purposes of Employee Training
Is employee training worth it? The benefits it offers go beyond the immediate acquisition of knowledge and skills, encompassing the broader spectrum of personal and professional growth.
- Increasing job satisfaction & retention
Employee training is a pivotal component of Human Resource Management (HRM), as it fosters an environment where people feel valued, supported, and engaged. Through training, employees gain a sense of recognition and investment from their employers, which, in turn, boosts job satisfaction and morale.
Research shows that those who receive training and development opportunities are more likely to stay with an organization for extended periods. For example, a Gallup survey found that 87% of employees consider development opportunities important to them, and companies that invest in training tend to enjoy higher employee engagement, increased productivity, and lower turnover rates. On the other hand, statistics also show that 22% of workers state that the lack of such opportunities is the factor that constitutes their decision to leave.
- Improving productivity & quality of work
Training empowers participants to learn new skills, update existing ones, and perform their job tasks more effectively. This results in increased productivity, higher work quality, and enhanced efficiency. Well-trained employees are better equipped to adapt to changing work environments and respond to evolving market demands.
- Enhancing creativity & motivation
Training goes beyond the transfer of technical skills; it also encourages people to explore their potential, generate new ideas, and achieve personal and professional goals. As employees acquire new knowledge and skills, they often become more motivated and creative in their work – which results in improved performance and job satisfaction.
- Reducing errors & costs
Effective workplace training plays a critical role in reducing errors, accidents, and associated costs. The reason is that it equips team members with the knowledge and skills to prevent or mitigate mistakes, injuries, and damages that could harm individuals, the organization, or its reputation.
- Improving safety & compliance
Training programs are essential for enhancing workplace safety. As employees learn about safety procedures, regulations, and practices, they are better equipped to avoid accidents and injuries. Additionally, compliance training also helps them adhere to legal requirements, protecting the organization from potential legal and financial consequences.
- Acquiring new knowledge and skills
In a rapidly evolving business landscape, training allows people to learn how to use new technologies, adapt to new processes, and stay at the forefront of industry developments. As such, they are empowered to respond swiftly to changing market demands and technological innovations.
- Preparing for career advancement & leadership roles
Training programs help employees prepare for higher-level positions and leadership responsibilities within the organization. They provide individuals with the skills and qualities required for effective leadership, including communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making. By offering these opportunities, organizations ensure a continuous pipeline of competent leaders who can guide the company into the future.
Read more: Mastering Talent Management – Strategies for Organizational Success
Why Companies Do Not Train Employees?
There are various reasons why many companies choose not to invest in training initiatives, despite the clear advantages offered to both employees and the organization:
- Cost & time concerns: Training is often perceived as a significant financial and time investment. As such, companies may be hesitant to allocate resources to training programs, for fear that it will divert valuable funds and time away from their core business activities. There is also a concern that the return on investment (ROI) might not be immediate or easily quantifiable.
- Lack of strategic priority: Some organizations do not view training as a strategic or competitive advantage. Instead, they see it as a mandatory compliance or regulatory requirement. In such cases, training is perceived as an obligation rather than a valuable tool for enhancing productivity, performance, creativity, motivation, and overall job satisfaction. Moreover, companies might overlook the potential benefits for their customers, such as improved service, product quality, and brand loyalty.
- Misassumptions & perceived irrelevance: A common misconception is that training programs do not deliver skills and knowledge that are directly applicable or transferable to specific job roles or industries. This belief is a reason why many companies doubt the effectiveness and practicality of training initiatives.
- Lack of skilled trainers: Developing and delivering effective training programs requires skilled individuals with expertise in the subject matter and instructional techniques. Some organizations may struggle to find or afford these skilled trainers.
- Fear of employee attrition: Another significant concern for companies is the fear that investing in employee training might encourage people to seek better job opportunities elsewhere. The perception is that once a person acquires new skills and knowledge, they may be more attractive to competitors or other businesses, potentially leading to increased turnover rates.
While the above-mentioned concerns are valid, they should be balanced against the long-term benefits of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Companies that overcome these obstacles often find that the returns on their training investments are well worth it.
When Should Employee Training Be Used?
- Onboarding new employees: When welcoming new members to the team, training is instrumental in helping them grasp the fundamentals of their roles – including their tasks, processes, organizational policies, and expectations. It also plays a crucial role in acclimating new hires to the company’s culture, values, and overarching goals. By providing a structured introduction, organizations set the stage for employee success from the outset.
- Skill & knowledge updates: For dynamic and evolving industries, employee training is indispensable for keeping the workforce up to date. Whether responding to changing market demands, emerging technological innovations, or evolving customer preferences, training ensures that team members possess the latest skills and knowledge required for their roles.
- Performance improvement: When people encounter challenges in meeting performance or productivity goals, training interventions often prove to be of help. Through targeted training, employees are better equipped to assess their strengths and weaknesses, receive constructive feedback, and acquire the necessary skills to boost their performance. Additionally, such programs also nurture creativity, motivation, and efficiency, empowering individuals to excel in their roles.
- Leadership development: As employees are promoted or preparing for higher-level responsibilities, leadership training becomes essential – so that they are equipped with the skills and qualities required to perform in such roles. Leadership training contributes to succession planning and ensures that the organization is well-prepared for workforce transitions.
- Legal & regulatory compliance: Training becomes a necessity when employees must adhere to legal or regulatory requirements in their roles. It ensures that they are well-versed in the laws, rules, and standards applicable to their job functions. This includes areas such as safety, ethics, and quality. Through compliance training, employees may better minimize errors, accidents, and damages that may have detrimental consequences for both themselves and the organization.
- Implementation of new technologies or processes: With the adoption of new technologies or procedures within the organization, training becomes imperative to facilitate a smooth transition. This ensures that employees can effectively and efficiently use the new systems and tools. For example, when launching a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, employees need to be trained on how to navigate the system, input and manage customer data, and leverage its capabilities to enhance customer interactions.
Who is Responsible for Employee Training?
There are two primary approaches to overseeing this function – either by the Human Resources (HR) department or by Operations. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and limitations.
Benefits of HR Supervision:
- Comprehensive oversight: HR departments typically have a broad and holistic view of the organization’s training needs and objectives. They can coordinate, plan, and monitor training programs to align with these overarching goals.
- Long-term perspective: HR often takes a medium- to long-term approach to training and development. This enables them to focus on strategic objectives like leadership development, organizational culture enhancement, and succession planning.
Drawbacks of HR Supervision:
- Lack of direct involvement: HR professionals may not be directly engaged in the core business activities and processes. Consequently, they might not fully grasp the most immediate or critical training requirements of employees and the organization.
- Resource limitations: HR may not always possess the specialized expertise or resources necessary to provide tailored, effective training for specific job roles or industries. In such cases, they might rely on external trainers or generic programs that might not fully meet the learners’ expectations.
Benefits of Operations Supervision:
- Alignment with business needs: Operations departments typically have a close and intimate understanding of the organization’s operational goals, challenges, and requirements. As such, they can design training content and methods to directly meet these specific needs.
- Short- to Medium-Term Focus: Operations often take a shorter- to medium-term view of training and development, concentrating on immediate and practical training objectives such as productivity enhancement, efficiency improvement, quality assurance, and safety measures.
Drawbacks of Operations Supervision:
- Limited holistic view: While Operations excels at addressing immediate needs, they may not possess a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s overall training requirements. Consequently, some critical aspects or areas of training and development could be overlooked.
- Resource & expertise challenges: Operations personnel normally do not possess the skills or time required to create, deliver, or assess effective and engaging training programs. As a result, they may resort to informal or ad hoc methods that lack consistency or standardization.
Limited holistic view
|Perspective||Medium- to long-term||
Short- to medium-term
|Resources||May be limited||May be limited|
Immediate and practical
|Drawbacks||Lack of direct involvement, resource limitations||
Resource and expertise challenges, limited holistic view
In light of these considerations, determining who should be responsible for employee training is not always straightforward and can vary based on numerous factors, including the organization’s size, structure, culture, and objectives, as well as the diversity and complexity of job roles and industries within the organization.
A viable solution may involve a collaborative approach in which HR and Operations share the responsibility and benefits of workplace training and development. By leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise, organizations can create a more well-rounded and effective training strategy that aligns with both immediate operational needs and long-term business goals.
Read more: HR Business Partner (HRBP) – Bridging HR & Business for Remarkable Results
Types of Employee Training
Below are a few common categories of workplace training – along with examples:
- Compliance training: Designed to ensure that team members adhere to legal and regulatory requirements relevant to their roles, such as safety, ethics, or quality.
- Diversity training: Aim to promote awareness, understanding, and respect for diversity within the workplace, including aspects such as culture, gender, race, and disability. Its aim is to foster inclusivity and a more tolerant and productive work environment.
- Customer service training: Focus on enhancing the skills and knowledge of employees who interact with customers – so as to bolster customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. Areas of emphasis may include communication, empathy, and problem-solving.
- Orientation training: Typically regarded as the most common type of employee training, it introduces new employees to the organization’s mission, vision, values, and goals. As such, orientation training is meant to help align them with the company’s culture, expectations, and policies.
- Onboarding training: Concentrate on instructing new team members in the basics of their roles, covering tasks, processes, policies, and expectations – so that they may quickly become effective and efficient in their positions.
- Product training: Educate employees about the features, benefits, and uses of the products or services they sell, support, or produce – which is crucial to boosting sales performance.
- Leadership training: Develop the essential skills and qualities needed for higher responsibilities within the organization, including communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making.
- Technical training: Enhance one’s technical skills and knowledge, covering software usage, machinery operation, and method application.
- Sales training: Concentrate on improving sales skills and techniques, encompassing prospecting, negotiating, closing, and upselling.
- Soft skill training: Focus on improving interpersonal and behavioral skills, including communication, teamwork, emotional intelligence, and time management. The end goal is to nurture personal/ professional development and improve work relationships.
- Career development training: Assist employees in preparing for new roles and responsibilities, including project management, public speaking, and negotiation.
- Safety training: Educate them on potential job-related hazards and risks, as well as prevention and safety procedures.
- Quality assurance (Q/A) training: Ensure that employees adhere to quality standards and procedures, guaranteeing the quality of their work, products, or services.
- Change training: Prepares employees for job-related changes, such as new processes, systems, or policies – so that they are better equipped to adapt to changes, overcome challenges, and embrace new opportunities.
- Collaborative training: Enhance collaboration and cooperation skills, including communication, teamwork, feedback, and conflict resolution.
- Resilience training: Strengthen employee resilience and coping skills (e.g. stress management, optimism, and self-care) in order to tackle job-related challenges, difficulties, and uncertainties more effectively.
Employee Training Methods
- Technology-based learning: Utilize digital platforms and tools to deliver learning content. E-learning offers numerous advantages – including flexibility, convenience, cost-effectiveness, and personalized learning experience.
- Simulators of realistic scenarios: Involve creating lifelike situations that mimic the actual work environment and tasks. Simulators are valuable for developing hands-on skills, gaining experience, and applying knowledge to real-world situations.
- On-the-job training (OJT): Encourage participants to learn by actively performing job tasks under the guidance of a more experienced colleague. OJT is effective for acquiring practical skills, receiving real-time feedback, and improving performance.
- Coaching & mentoring: Employ more experienced or skilled individuals to guide and support less experienced ones – by providing personalized attention, feedback, and valuable advice.
- Instructor-Led Training (ILT): Involve an instructor teaching a group of employees in a physical or virtual classroom setting. ILT is effective for conveying theoretical knowledge, providing feedback, and facilitating discussions.
- Online training: With this method, employees may complete online training at their own pace and schedule. As such, it presents a cost-effective solution – yet may be less suitable for more complex topics or skills.
- Blended learning: Blended learning merges ILT with online training; hence, it is a well-rounded approach that offers flexibility and convenience – while still maintaining the effectiveness of in-person instruction.
- Role-playing: Involve simulating realistic situations to practice interpersonal skills and behaviors. Role-playing is effective for developing communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.
- Films & videos: Utilize visual and auditory media to demonstrate concepts, processes, or skills.
- Case studies: Require employees to analyze and discuss real or hypothetical situations and problems related to their job or industry. As such, it provides a valuable opportunity for them to foster critical thinking, analytical, and decision-making skills.
Employee Training Topics
In terms of the type of training that HR should provide, there are a wide variety of topics – which essentially can be categorized into two fundamental groups: hard skills and soft skills.
- Computer: Training in computer skills can encompass a variety of areas, such as proficiency in using operating systems, software applications (e.g., Microsoft Office Suite), or industry-specific tools.
- Software: Employees may require training in specific software applications or platforms relevant to their roles, including customer relationship management (CRM) software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, programming languages, and data analytics tools.
- Technical: Technical training focuses on specialized competencies related to a particular industry or job, such as engineering skills, equipment operation, and technical troubleshooting.
- Language: Language training is a crucial requirement for multilingual or global organizations. This includes improving language proficiency for effective communication, translation, or language-specific industry terminology.
- Communication: Effective communication is a cornerstone of professional success. Training in communication skills may cover verbal and written communication, active listening, and interpersonal effectiveness.
- Teamwork: In collaborative work environments, teamwork training fosters effective collaboration, including team dynamics, conflict resolution, and decision-making within groups.
- Problem-solving: Problem-solving training equips employees with the ability to identify and address challenges, make informed decisions, and develop creative solutions.
- Critical thinking: Enhances employees’ capacity to analyze information, make logical judgments, and evaluate situations objectively.
- Leadership: Topics may include delegation, coaching, performance management, and team building.
- Time management: Time management training helps employees optimize their productivity by mastering time-efficient strategies, task prioritization, and goal setting.
- Organizational: Training in organizational skills assists individuals in efficiently managing tasks, responsibilities, and resources to meet goals and deadlines.
For each type of employee training mentioned above, here are examples of specific topics to consider:
- Onboarding: Providing a company overview, introducing company culture, explaining policies and procedures, clarifying job duties and responsibilities, and imparting safety training.
- Career development: Public speaking, negotiation, project management, time management, and organizational skills.
- Sales: Sales techniques, sales strategies, closing deals, and customer relationship management.
- Customer service: Customer service principles, handling customer complaints, and resolving customer issues.
- Technical: Operating machinery and equipment, troubleshooting technical problems, and performing maintenance procedures.
- Safety: Workplace safety procedures, emergency response, hazard identification & mitigation.
Key Points of Effective Employee Training
To ensure that workplace training is truly effective, one should ensure to include the following key points:
- Clear and specific goals
Training programs should be designed with well-defined and specific goals in mind. These objectives should outline what desired outcomes are expected, how they will be measured, and their relevance to the organization’s overall strategy. The general rule of thumb is to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound).
Example: In a customer service training program, a specific goal could be to increase the customer satisfaction score by 15% within the next six months.
- Alignment with organizational goals
Consider the company’s long-term strategies – so that training is relevant to the organizational needs and contributes to employees’ ability to achieve both their job-specific and team targets. For instance, if the organization’s goal is to expand into new markets, training initiatives can focus on developing international business acumen and cross-cultural communication skills among employees.
Training should be accessible to all employees, regardless of their location, role, or level. For this purpose, a company might offer a mix of in-person workshops and online modules, ensuring that those in different locations and with varying schedules are able to participate.
- Needs assessment
Employee training should be based on a thorough evaluation – so that all efforts may address the precise areas that require development. For example, before implementing a leadership development program, a needs assessment might reveal that the to-be managers lack specific skills in conflict resolution, time management, and decision-making. Based on this, the person in charge may design content to address these specific areas.
- Relevant, engaging content and methods
Effective training should make use of content and methods that are pertinent to both employees and the organization. This can include the use of case studies, simulations, role-playing exercises, and other interactive activities that make the experience enjoyable and motivating.
- Interactive activities
Aside, numerous activities should be included to keep employees motivated. This could involve discussions, group projects, peer learning, or other collaborative activities.
- Opportunities for practice
Practical exercises and real-world scenarios enable employees to solidify their learning and identify areas where further improvement is needed. For instance, in a software training program, participants should have the chance to practice using the new software with real data and scenarios to gain hands-on experience.
- Feedback and support
Regular constructive feedback helps employees track their progress and make necessary improvements. Additionally, ongoing support and resources allow them to overcome any challenges they may encounter during the learning process.
- Evaluation and improvement
Various methods and metrics, such as assessments, surveys, or observations, can be used to assess the training’s impact. The results obtained should be leveraged to figure out and implement changes or improvements where necessary.
6 Steps to Employee Training
Creating an effective employee training program involves a series of well-defined steps to ensure that it aligns with organizational objectives, meets employee needs, and produces tangible results. Here’s a more detailed look:
Assessing training needs and objectives
- Identify gaps in employee skills, knowledge, and performance. This process may involve employee surveys, one-on-one interviews, performance reviews, and discussions with managers and department heads.
- Define clear and specific learning objectives for the training program. As mentioned, these objectives should be measurable and aligned with the organization’s strategic goals.
Designing training content and methods
- Develop a curriculum that covers the identified training needs. Choose appropriate topics and materials, such as handouts, presentations, online resources, and activities. Ensure that the content is engaging and interactive.
- Select effective training methods – such as lectures, group discussions, case studies, role-playing exercises, and simulations – and make sure that they are tailored to the interests of both employees and the organization.
- Create a training plan that outlines the sequence of activities and the expected outcomes. This plan should take into account the specific needs and preferences of the target audience.
Developing materials and resources
- Create or gather the necessary training materials, including training manuals, slides, videos, e-learning modules, and any software or tools required.
- Develop handouts, visual aids, and supporting documents that enhance the learning experience. Ensure that these materials are clear, concise, and easily accessible to participants.
Implementing the program
- Execute the training program according to the developed plan. This includes delivering training sessions, workshops, or courses to employees, either in-person or through online platforms.
- Facilitate a supportive and engaging learning environment where participants can actively participate and learn from one another.
- Encourage feedback and questions during the training to ensure participants’ understanding and address any issues that may arise.
- Assess the impact of the training program through various methods, including pre- and post-training tests, surveys, and observations.
- Collect and analyze feedback from participants to gain insight into their training experience.
- Use data and feedback to gauge the success of the training and to list down any necessary adjustments or improvements.
- Regularly review the training program’s outcomes and its alignment with organizational objectives.
- Implement changes or improvements based on the evaluation results. This may involve revising the curriculum, updating training materials, or modifying training methods.
- Maintain an ongoing commitment to enhancing the training program to meet the evolving needs of the organization and its employees.
Employee Training Best Practices
- Use a variety of training methods and tools
Recognize that each individual has different learning styles and preferences. As such, consider utilizing a mix of training methods and tools to accommodate diverse needs and keep the learning experience engaging and fresh.
Methods may include lectures, demonstrations, simulations, case studies, role plays, games, mentoring, coaching, and e-learning. In terms of tools, one can make use of manuals, videos, podcasts, slides, quizzes, feedback forms, and digital platforms. Experiment with different combinations to find the most effective approach for your organization.
- Involve employees in the process
Engage employees in the journey by soliciting their input on the training needs assessment, learning objectives, and even the design of the program. When people have a say, they feel more invested in their own development and – as a result – are more likely to be motivated to learn.
- Provide feedback and reinforcement
Offer regular and constructive feedback to learners about their performance and progress during and after the training. Feedback helps participants understand where they excel and where improvement is needed.
Additionally, reinforce learning by recognizing and rewarding achievements. Recognition is crucial to boosting motivation and providing an incentive for continuous improvement.
- Create a supportive learning environment
Foster an environment where employees feel comfortable asking questions, sharing ideas, and engaging in discussions. Encourage open communication to facilitate a free exchange of knowledge.
From an organizational perspective, a culture of learning should constantly be promoted – by offering ample opportunities for training and development. Recognize and reward employees for their commitment to learning and their achievements in training programs.
- Follow up
Training efforts should never end when the program concludes. Instead, continue to support employees as they apply what they have learned in their roles. This can include additional coaching, mentoring, or resources.
Post-training follow-up helps ensure that new skills and knowledge are effectively integrated into the workplace and that any lingering questions or challenges are addressed promptly.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the training program
Regularly assess the outcomes and impact of your training initiatives to gauge their effectiveness. Evaluation provides valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the program and points toward areas for improvement.
Measure the return on investment (ROI) of your training program to justify the costs and demonstrate the benefits. Use a range of methods and tools, such as tests, surveys, interviews, observations, performance indicators, and analytics to gather data and feedback.
Here’s a specific how-to example:
Training Program: Customer Service Skills Enhancement
Objective: Improve customer satisfaction scores and increase first-call resolution rates among customer service representatives.
Pre-Training Assessment: Before the training program begins, conduct a baseline assessment of key performance indicators:
- Average customer satisfaction score: 75%
- First-call resolution rate: 60%
During Training Assessment: Throughout the training program, use various evaluation methods:
- Pre and post-training knowledge tests to measure improvements in product knowledge and communication skills.
- Regular feedback surveys from participants to gather their opinions on the training content, materials, and delivery.
Post-Training Assessment: After the training program is completed, assess the following:
- Average customer satisfaction score: Increased to 85%
- First-call resolution rate: Improved to 75%
Return on Investment (ROI) Calculation: Calculate the ROI of the training program:
- Calculate the total cost of the training program, including training materials, instructor fees, and employee time spent in training.
- Compare this cost to the increase in customer satisfaction scores and first-call resolution rates.
For example, if the training cost was $10,000, and the increase in customer satisfaction resulted in higher customer retention and increased sales worth $50,000, the ROI would be (50,000 – 10,000) / 10,000 = 400%.
Feedback and Improvement: Analyze input from participants, managers, and performance data to identify areas of strength and improvement. In this case, feedback might reveal that the training materials were highly effective, but more ongoing coaching and role-playing exercises could be beneficial for sustained improvement.
Long-Term Monitoring: Continue to monitor customer satisfaction scores and first-call resolution rates over several months to ensure that the improvements are sustained.
Employee Training Tactics
- Utilize technology: Technology makes learning more flexible, convenient, and personalized, allowing employees to progress at their own pace, time, and location. Offer online courses, video tutorials, podcasts, and interactive games that employees can access at their convenience.
- Pair high performers with new employees: Encourage knowledge sharing and foster a culture of collaboration by pairing experienced high-performing employees with new or less experienced team members. With the guidance of these mentors, new hires are better equipped to learn from the best.
- Make “boring” topics exciting: Inject excitement into seemingly dull or tedious training topics by employing strategies like humor, storytelling, quizzes, or rewards. By making the content engaging, you are more likely to capture participants’ attention, improve information retention, and enhance the overall learning experience.
- Take training out of the office: Break the monotony of the office environment by conducting training sessions in unique settings, such as parks, museums, or restaurants. This change of scenery stimulates people’s senses, fosters creativity, and provides a refreshing perspective on the training content.
- Recognize different learning styles: Acknowledge that people learn differently and cater to various learning styles and preferences, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Tailoring training to accommodate these differences enables employees to learn more effectively and fosters an inclusive approach that respects the diversity of your workforce.
- Use stories to convey value: Employ storytelling to illustrate the relevance and importance of training content. Real or hypothetical stories and scenarios help employees relate to the material, understand its significance, and apply it to their own situations – as a result, learning becomes much more relatable and memorable.
- Experiment with innovative formats: Expand your view of employee training by experimenting with options like microlearning (bite-sized lessons), gamification (using game elements for training), role-playing (simulating real scenarios), and case studies (analyzing real or hypothetical situations). These approaches cater to different learning styles and interests.
- Consider outsourcing: When in-house expertise is limited, or specialized training is required, there is the option of outsourcing your training needs to professional experts or consultants. These individuals possess the knowledge and experience to provide customized, effective training for your employees. Outsourcing can save you time and money while ensuring top-quality delivery.
How Long Should Employee Training Be?
The ideal duration of employee training can vary widely based on factors such as the type of training, its complexity, learner preferences, and available resources. Here are some guidelines for determining the appropriate length:
- Onboarding training: Onboarding training should provide new employees with a comprehensive understanding of the company’s culture, values, and their specific role. The length may range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the organization’s complexity and the role’s intricacy. It should strike a balance between conveying essential information and not overwhelming new hires.
- Skills training: The duration of skills training depends on the complexity of the skill being taught. Training on software or specific technical skills may last a few days to weeks – while mastering intricate manufacturing processes might take several months. Consider practical exercises and opportunities for hands-on experience for a more effective learning experience.
- Compliance training: Compliance training should be long enough to ensure that employees fully grasp and comply with all relevant laws and regulations. It may span from a few hours to a few days and typically includes assessments to evaluate comprehension. Frequent updates and refreshers may be necessary to keep up with evolving regulations.
- Leadership training: Leadership development is an ongoing process, and its duration can vary significantly. Many leadership development initiatives extend over several months or even years. The program’s length should align with organizational goals and the depth of leadership skills to be imparted.
- Career development training: The duration of career development training varies based on the specific skills or knowledge being taught. Short workshops on topics like public speaking may last a few days, while in-depth training, such as project management, can extend over several weeks or months. Modular training that allows employees to choose courses relevant to their career goals is a flexible approach worth considering.
Overall, when it comes to determining the length of workplace training, consider these critical factors:
- Complexity of material: Complex topics may require more training hours. Training sessions should provide comprehensive coverage without overwhelming participants.
- Learning styles: Consider the diverse learning styles of your employees. Some may prefer shorter, focused sessions, while others may benefit from longer, in-depth training.
- Budget and resources: Budget constraints and available resources influence the length of training programs. Balancing training effectiveness with costs is essential.
- Time constraints: Both employees and organizations may have time constraints. Ensure that training durations align with employees’ availability and business needs.
- Continuous learning: Recognize that learning doesn’t end with training. Ongoing development and refresher courses are often necessary to keep employees updated and skilled.
Employee Training Resources
Template & Checklist
- Learning Management Systems (LMS)
LMS platforms are comprehensive solutions for creating, managing, and delivering online training programs. Features include course authoring, content management, learner registration, progress tracking, assessment, feedback, reporting, and certification.
Examples: TalentLMS, iSpring Learn, Docebo, LearnUpon, Litmos (these are ideal for both large and small businesses)
- Learning Experience Platforms (LXP)
LXPs offer a personalized and social learning environment for employees, focusing on continuous skill development.
Their typical features include content curation, recommendation algorithms, gamification, collaboration, microlearning, and analytics.
Examples: Degreed, EdCast, Fuse, Valamis, Cornerstone.
- Video training tools
These tools enable the creation, editing, and sharing of video-based training content via features such as video recording, editing, annotation, captioning, transcription, hosting, streaming, and embedding.
Examples: Camtasia, Loom, Vidyard, Vimeo, YouTube.
- Microlearning platforms
Microlearning tools allow the creation and delivery of bite-sized training content that can be accessed anytime and anywhere. As such, they are ideal for busy employees who prefer short, focused learning modules.
Examples: EdApp, Grovo, Axonify, Qstream, OttoLearn.
- Project management & planning tools
These tools assist in planning, organizing, and monitoring training projects and activities. Thanks fo features such as task management, scheduling, collaboration, communication, file sharing, and reporting, they are really useful for managing training projects and tasks efficiently.
Examples: Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Monday, Wrike.
- Content creation tools
Designed to facilitate the design of various training materials (e.g. presentations, documents, infographics, quizzes, and surveys), content creation tools often come with features like templates, graphics, animations, interactivity, and export options.
Examples: PowerPoint, Google Slides, Canva, Piktochart, SurveyMonkey.
- Content management tools
Content management tools provide centralized and secure storage for training materials. With features like cloud storage, file management, search, access control, and integration, they ensure easy access to and organization of training content.
Examples: Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, Bit.ai.
- Communication tools
Communication tools enable real-time interaction between employees and trainers during or after training; hence, they help facilitate collaboration, discussions, and support
Examples: Slack, Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet.
- Social learning tools
These are tools that help create and maintain a collaborative learning community for employees and trainers. Their features typically include profiles, groups, forums, blogs, wikis, and integration with social media platforms.
Examples: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, Workplace.
- Training tracker
Employee training tracking software allows organizations to monitor and manage employees’ training progress. Features include assignment and tracking of training modules, so as to ensure compliance and professional development.
Examples: Homebase, Absorb, Litmos, Tovuti.
Employee Training Trends
Over the years, employee training has been evolving to meet the changing needs of organizations and learners. Several key trends are predicted to shape the landscape of training and development:
- Widespread prioritization of training: Organizations are increasingly recognizing the pivotal role training plays in their success. As such, many are investing more resources, time, and support for learning and development programs. Additionally, companies are integrating training into their core business strategy and culture to attract, retain, and develop talent.
- Experiential learning: Experiential learning focuses on hands-on experiences, moving away from passive learning approaches. Specifically, learners engage in practical activities, simulations, role-plays, and projects to apply their skills and knowledge. This enhances motivation, improves information retention, and boosts the transfer of learning to real-world situations.
- Training reinforcement: Preventing the “forgetting curve” is a critical concern; as a result, this has given rise to the emergence of training reinforcement – with which employees are provided with repeated exposure, practice, and feedback on training content and skills. Techniques such as spaced repetition, microlearning, gamification, and social learning may be used to consolidate and recall knowledge.
These trends reflect a shift toward more holistic and dynamic training approaches that not only equip employees with skills – but also ensure they can apply and retain their knowledge. Organizations are increasingly viewing training as a strategic investment rather than an isolated process.
How Can ITD World Help with Employee Training?
At ITD World, we take pride in being a renowned global leader in the realm of training and development solutions – with years of experience partnering with numerous multinational corporations worldwide. We offer a range of specialized training programs designed to elevate organizations to new heights. Our solutions are highly customizable to cater to the unique requirements of each business.
ITD World’s team of seasoned trainers and instructional designers are well-versed in creating high-quality training materials in various formats. Whether you prefer traditional instructor-led training (ILT), the flexibility of online training, or a combination of blended learning, we have just what you need!
Contact ITD World today for a FREE consultation on how we can help develop employee training courses for your organization!
Other resources you might be interested in:
- Learning & Development (L&D): Asset for Long-Term Growth
- Train the Trainer: Investing in Excellence
- Performance Coaching: Unlock People’s Greatness