Dedicating the necessary time and resources to provide employees with continuous training will not only enhance their skill set, but it will add a competitive edge to your business. According to ManpowerGroup, companies that form a strategic, long-term and collaborative training plan endorsed by educators, government agencies and the business community will have a distinct competitive advantage over competitors.
Consider the following tips to establish successful training options that will develop highly-skilled, well-trained employees:
1. Set Goals
Before sending employees to a training seminar, define what it is that you hope to achieve and take the time to explore what resources will be most effective. Set goals with employees ahead of time; that way, they know exactly what their learning objectives are before attending a session. This will encourage them to be engaged and to take the opportunity seriously. Create a training log that employees can fill in as they complete trainings, with a goal of reaching a minimum number of hours and learning objectives by the end of the year.
2. Add Variety
When looking for the training method that will best reach your goal, you may find that a non-traditional approach will yield the best results. Here are a few ideas:
Entrepreneur Walt Disney once stated, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” Providing employees with relevant books, videos and books on tape is a great alternative to enhance your employee’s knowledge without adding something extra to their calendar. Encourage this option by rewarding employees who write a one-page summary highlighting what they learned from the book and how they intend on applying the new knowledge to their personal and professional life.
Take this idea a step further and organize a book club. Employees can meet over lunch or outside of work to discuss and gain a deeper understanding of the content. This increases the value of the reading and allows employees to get to know one another on a more personal level.
In 2011, technology based training increased to 37.3% of total formal training compared to 29.1% in 2010. Utilizing Web 2.0 and social media as outlets for training makes development opportunities flexible options for employees with access via the web or mobile device. Examples of online resources include discussion boards, podcasts and other e-learning tools such as eBooks or audio files.
Create a job shadow program for employees to experience an average day for a co-worker. This provides employees with the opportunity to learn new skills and processes while becoming well-rounded and ultimately more in tune to how the rest of the organization functions.
3. Ask for Feedback
After an employee participates in training, ask for their feedback. Find out what they liked and disliked about the training, what they learned and what they would like to learn in the future. Use their feedback to find opportunities for further trainings that will meet their needs and interests.
SHRM: Training Seen as Boost to Businesses’ Competitiveness
SHRM: Seven Trends Expected to Influence Training in 2013
Entrepreneur: Diversify Your Training Strategies
HR Communication: Get Managers Actively Involved in Staff Training