Every good business owner knows: staying relevant and efficient means employee training. Employees come and go, standards and processes change and develop, and you need training to keep everything up to date and running at peak efficiency.
But what makes for good training, and what are some of the more granular benefits of training your employees? Let’s take a closer look about how employee training can improve your workplace, and what elements you’ll need to make the most of that training.
Benefits of Employee Training
Improves knowledge and skills. This is the most straightforward (and unarguably most important) benefit of training: keeping your employees current on whatever they need to know most — regulations, procedures, technical skills, and more.
Shows employees they are valued. Taking the time to make sure your employees are informed and practiced on the skills they need to do their job well makes them feel like they’re a part of the team, and it will reduce stress if employees know what’s expected of them.
Helps with the efficiency of performance management. The happier and more well-trained employees are, the better the relationships between employees and managers are likely to be. This, in turn, increases the efficiency of performance management and makes for a better workplace for everyone.
More uniformity of processes. Rigorous employee training can tighten up existing processes and make them more consistent with each other, which means fewer errors, faster completion times, and less time lost to sloppy processes.
Reduced supervision. A well-trained employee isn’t going to need as much hands-on supervision, because they won’t be referring to management with as many questions or clarifications. This frees up more time for managers.
Prepares employees for more responsibility / promotion. One of the major reasons to train employees is to prepare them to move up the ladder. Having the knowledge and skills they need to fill management positions as they open up is much less intensive than trying to add a new hire from outside. If you want to think ahead, you might even take on a chief learning officer to really maximize the training your employees receive.
Increased productivity. Put together, these elements add up to more productivity for the business across the board. This isn’t just wishful thinking, either — the data backs this up. According to a survey, companies that offer well-developed training programs have seen their profits go up by as much as 24%.
Elements of Effective Training
So now that we’ve established just what a quality training program can do for your business, let’s talk a little about how to make the most of that training. For a program to be at its most effective, there are some elements and strategies employers should use.
Microlearning. One of the basic elements of training is keeping peoples’ attention, and the average person’s attention span is only eight seconds. Delivering training content in short, specific, easily digestible bursts is one way to make sure the message gets across.
Multimedia Content. Nobody relishes the idea of a huge binder full of text to read when it comes to training materials. Modern training methods should take advantage of the technology available — video, interactive content, audio such as podcasts, and lots of eye-catching visuals are key.
Mobile Learning. With the changes brought to the workplace by the coronavirus pandemic and the increasing adoption of mobile technology, fewer and fewer people are working from their office desks. Optimally, a training program should be accessible on the go, from mobile devices, laptops, or wherever they can be accessed. This makes life easier for everyone, as there’s no need to schedule training sessions or seminars where everyone has to be in the same place at the same time. Employees can train at their own pace (within reason) and the entire process is simpler and less stressful.
Pre- and Post-Training Assessments. One of the cornerstones of success in any business: metrics. You can’t know how well your training is going unless you have hard data on the subject, and pre- and post-training assessments is the easiest way to get that information. By reviewing, asking open-ended questions, and doing task and skill-based assessments, you can determine how well your training is being retained by employees and give you an idea of what employees still need to be taught.
Learning Paths. Career development is important to many workers, especially younger employees. If you want to truly make the most of your training program, the program should give those employees an opportunity to further their careers. Integrating defined learning paths into your program will give these motivated employees a road to development and promotion, which in turn will raise employee satisfaction and increase your retention rates. LMS software can be used effectively here to create multiple learning paths customized for the needs of your business.