For any business, employees are the most valuable assets when it comes to executing the company mission and keeping things running. But even your best employees are only as good as the training they receive.
Employee training programs are essential for imparting new skills and polishing existing capabilities. Training programs can be conducted for a variety of reasons. You may be looking to help new recruits from staffing agencies acclimate to your business and integrate them into your team. Or perhaps it’s time to add to your team’s existing skill sets.
Either way, building an effective training program is important to maximize productivity and equip employees for success. There are several aspects to building an effective employee training program.
5 Steps to Building an Employee Training Program
- Outline a Rationale and Set Objectives
The first step to building an effective employee training program is to define your objectives and outline the rationale behind the program. Setting objectives is key to designing training activities and preparing materials that are suitable for the employees participating in the program.
Doing so also helps you define which kind of employee training program you’re establishing. This also largely depends on your business goals and the nature of your employees’ existing skill sets. Are you planning a skill development program for existing employees or will you be training new hires?
When building a training program for new recruits, it’s important to remember that successful participation will directly ensure seamless integration into the company. Setting objectives and sharing them also enables your employees to visualize themselves at the finish line.
- Define Suitable Training Methods for the Group
Next, you’ll need to decide on a suitable method of training. You can opt for any of these different kinds of training models:
- Hands-on Learning
This is a useful model for equipping employees with skills pertaining to machinery or procedures. Workshops and seminars are a great way to teach employees how to practice and hone skills in a real environment.
- Self-paced Model
These kinds of programs are usually online and available for employees to access and go through at their own pace. Participants must complete the online module by a set date while being evaluated through set intervals of the program.
- One-on-One Coaching
Employees can also benefit from dedicated one-on-one coaching where much can be learned by shadowing a more experienced team member. Additionally, one-on-one programs offer the opportunity for more personalized and specific feedback from one’s mentor.
- On-the-Job Training
Similar to hands-on learning, on the job training involves employees entering the fray and learning as they experience various aspects of their job. This kind of training may involve a supervisor monitoring the employee’s progress and guiding them across newer terrain.
- Lecture Model
These programs follow the classic classroom format with an instructor addressing a group of employees. Such a model is often implemented with the onboarding of new hires.
- Design and Distribute Training Materials
Training materials form an integral aspect of any effective training program, serving as a means of getting important information to employees. Often, workbooks or handouts may be distributed for employees to follow along with discussions or classes.
Infographics are also a great way to convey important information comprehensively. Self-paced programs might also make use of videos, websites, and online modules.
When designing training materials for your program, these must fill in the knowledge gaps of your employees and serve as a resource that covers new ground about their roles.
- Motivate Participants
Throughout the training program, your employees must be motivated to actively participate in activities and engage with the training materials. Encouraging participants to learn and grow will ensure the successful realization of your business goals. This can be achieved by inviting business motivational speakers to speak to your employees and harness the power of positive thinking.
Motivation can also come about by showing your employees what they have to gain through this training. A training program that offers higher qualification skills might mean better pay for your employees one day. By honing their abilities, participants can also gain more responsibility at work or enjoy an improved and diversified job profile.
- Evaluate the Success of Your Training Program
The final yet most crucial step of building a successful employee training program is to evaluate its success at every stage and to make revisions wherever needed. This can be done in a few ways, depending on the model of training implemented.
Some programs conduct a test to be taken by the participants after their training. This helps the training instructors and program designers to assess the degree to which certain concepts were grasped and understood by the employees.
In other cases, participants could be asked to take a survey and share their feedback across various parameters. By asking employees how they feel about their own progress and the effectiveness of the program, key improvements can be made to the training program for future candidates.
Include Your Employees
These 5 steps are an effective blueprint for building an effective employee training program. Additionally, involving your employees’ input is an often overlook aspect that could also have a large impact on the success of your training program.
Asking employees about the skills and areas of expertise they lack confidence in, is a great way to design a more effective program. Moreover, program builders can survey employees to understand their career goals and how they think they can achieve them. After all, who can deny the success of a training program that truly equips employees to see real growth in their careers?