Employee training and development is becoming a top priority for many organizations. The corporate world is led by digital transformation and under such a climate, the way the employees do their job is continuously changing.
It demands an employee to be dynamic, and adaptive to their job. What might have been relevant a year ago may not be relevant now. Hiring the right candidate could be a costly affair for an organization but training and developing your existing employees is not.
Moreover, employees these days refrain from switching jobs so long as the company proactively trains them and pushes them for a challenging role.
Since training and development is beneficial for both parties it makes sense for businesses to enable an environment of employee training and development. It will not only add to growth of your employees but also the growth of the organization.
What is Employee Training and Development?
Employee training and development is a method used by companies to increase efficiency, productivity, and performance of the employee by enhancing the knowledge and skills.
More and more companies are taking note of the importance of training and development and have begun investing in it. It not only inspires your employees to be better at their job but also helps you create a quality workforce.
Most of the time the term training is used as the synonym of the term development and vice-versa but in reality, they are two different terms.
Employee Training is:
- A process to enhance the technical skill of the employee.
- To help improve employee’s knowledge for a specific job and task.
- A short-term process to gain immediate results.
Employee Development is:
- A process to enhance soft skills like leadership, attitude, communication, and thought process.
- A tool to help employees get a broad-perspective for their future growth.
- A long-term process to make the workforce future proof and create a way for continuous growth for both organizations and employees.
The employee development plan is designed beforehand by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the employees and it is then aligned with the business goals of the company. Employee training then acts as a catalyst that helps the organization to realize its development strategy.
In this blog, we will discuss why it is important and how an organization can go about designing a program.
Why Employee Training and Development is Important?
Here are the benefits of employee training and development:
- Helps Acknowledge Weaknesses:- Organizations usually check flaws in their existing training and development programs before designing the new one. It helps to plan the employee training program in a better manner when these are acknowledged.
- Increases Employee Engagement:- When a company provides job-specific training and career development skills, the employees tend to focus more on their job to utilize the acquired skills.
- Improves Employee Performance:- The performance of the employee increases by leaps and bounds when they are trained properly in line with the development plan. They start to enjoy their job and feel more confident than ever which plays a vital role to boost the performance of the employee.
- Drives Job Satisfaction:- Once the performance is increased, the employee starts to achieve their goal efficiently. Further, they feel good to be part of a company that enables growth by providing them with the necessary skills. All this amounts to employee satisfaction.
- Builds Loyalty, and Motivation:- By providing the necessary training and growth opportunities, the association between employee and organization turns into loyalty. Moreover, it motivates the employee to learn more and excel in their job.
- Boosts Creativity:- If the employees are trained regularly, they get to a state where the can use their skills to innovate and bring creativity to their job. Such traits usually benefit the organization to optimize the process and to overcome any existing hurdles.
- Helps Overcome Skills Gap:- As technology and business ecosystems are changing regularly, training your employees will help you to overcome skill gaps and help you get better results out of the existing employees. It is better than hiring new employees as hiring is a costly-affair.
- Gives an Edge over Competition:- Having an effective training program not only helps you to empower your existing workforce but also creates an opportunity to get top talent from your competitors.
- Nurtures Transformative Culture:- When knowledge is shared in an organized manner and employees help each other excel, it creates a culture of sharing, camaraderie, and collaboration. During the whole development process, employees get an opportunity to learn about their company’s culture in a detailed manner.
- Increases Profits:- The main objective of training and development is to boost profits. Once employees become effective, productive, loyal, creative, and satisfied, it positively impact profits automatically and the company can witness Return on their investment.
How to Design an Effective Employee Training and Development Program?
Creating a training and development strategy should not just include some kind of training but it must be stitched together by analyzing the organization’s requirements and employees’ needs.
Here is how you can design your development program:
A. Properly Define Goals
Before picking any training method, the Learning and Development team needs to understand the goals of the organization and the department for which they are preparing the training and development program.
They also need to recognize the subsequent milestones leading towards the main goals. All this will help them to create a training program properly by keeping the goals of the organization, respective departments, and employees in mind.
B. Set the Right Expectations
It is important to have the management’s buy in on the impact of the development program. Ensure that they understand why it is necessary and how it will improve their business as they will want to measure the ROI out of such initiatives.
Secondly, you must inform the employees about the type of training they would receive and ask for their feedback to match their hopes. It will ensure a higher engagement rate with the training and development program.
Even though employees love to acquire new skills, it is good to inform them in advance, to set the right expectations.
C. Recognize Gaps
There could be numerous types of gaps whose analysis is essential for the success of your training and development program.
The gaps could be in:
- Current training methods
- Existing training process
- Capabilities of team leaders and managers to recognize the requirement of their team or department
- Outdated performance analysis metrics
- Skill level of employees
To know where the gap is you must ask the right questions such as:
- Where are the employees struggling?
- What can be improved?
- What skills of employees can help the company grow?
- How the business will be affected?
The best training program addresses the gaps, incorporates the things that worked in the past, and eliminate those that didn’t. Further, they must consult the employees to know what they feel about the current training methods and process to improve on them.
Doing so helps you analyze the gap and overcome it.
D. Evaluate the Business Impact
Evaluate how your business will look once the training and development program is successfully done. Some things to understand are- What success looks like for your organization and what type of metrics are necessary to gauge the impact of your training initiatives.
You have to also decide how often you will update your training content and on what basis. Whether you would like to check the impact within a test group before scaling or want to roll-out across the organization.
All these questions will have a different answer at a different point in time and it is necessary to evaluate your initiatives continuously to find the right answers to improve overall business value.
E. Select the Correct Training Methods
Creating a valuable employee training and development program is not limited to the type of knowledge and skills that your organization might plan to impart but it is also about using the right training methods that would help you achieve your goals.
Multiple factors should be considered while selecting training methods, like:
- The location of the training
- The resources required to use the training methodology effectively
- If the training is self-paced or not
- Types of training methods required
- The primary training method and the secondary
- How long a training method will take to achieve the goals mentioned in the development program via the preferred training methods
The above factors will give you a perspective to pick the better training methods out of the mix mentioned below:
- Classroom training
- Online training
- On-demand training
- Simulation-led training
- In-app training
- Blended learning
It is also important to keep in mind that all employees are different and each one of them will learn efficiently using some different training methods. So it will be wise to incorporate a set of 3 or 4 training formats that could complement one another.
F. Measure and improve
Once the above-mentioned pointers are set, it is time to start measuring the impact of your training and development program.
You can do it by interviewing your employees and managers or by using application analytics tools like Apty which helps you understand where the users are facing trouble within the application.
By using such tools you can analyze the ROI of your training, as you will be able to analyze the user’s interaction with your software post the training session.
All this data will help you to draw insights that will pave the path for improvement.
G. Give Continuous Support
You need to constantly support your employees – no doubt. But providing them on-demand support could be difficult and, in such cases, you can use the in-app guidance tool that sits right inside your software.
It provides users with a help-deck within the software that contains all the relevant resources that your employee might need to excel in their job.
Support reinforces training and creates a sense of satisfaction among your employees.
Just do it!
The whole process could look overwhelming but once you start working towards creating an effective employee training and development program then things start to fall in place.
Ultimately you have to take charge and follow the guidelines. Employee development depends on the training and growth opportunities you provide.
It is always important to keep the interest of your employees in mind while designing a program to get mutually benefitted.