The most valuable asset to any business is its employees, which is why proper training should be viewed as a key investment. Training programs focusing on the professional development of your employees have a direct impact on productivity and staff retention. Retaining staff is more cost-effective than hiring new staff, so training also impacts your bottom line.
Here are four proven tips for building a more effective training program:
1. Think of training as a long-term investment
According to Gallup, replacing an employee costs around 150% of their annual salary. It takes a long time to get new employees up to speed, and you need to take care of all the contractual and legal requirements involved in taking on new hires. Well-trained staff are much more likely to stay in the company for longer, saving you all the hassle of replacing employees.
Many business leaders still consider training to be an expense rather than an investment. But the truth is, investing in your people can add enormous and lasting value to the business, too. Training sharpens existing capabilities and expands skill sets, enabling staff to become more efficient and innovate for the company.
2. Promote a company-wide culture of learning
In today’s constantly changing business environment, if a business isn’t learning, it’s falling behind. A company-wide learning environment that involves everyone, no matter their roles and responsibilities, promotes a culture of learning and innovation. It makes your employees more adaptable to change.
These days, being able to adapt quickly is important because no one wants to be passed up for promotions or worse, be replaced by newbies or by machines. By promoting a dynamic and constantly evolving learning process, you’ll be able to help your employees remain valuable.
More than this, training also helps staff remain engaged in their jobs. Have staff work with their managers to set professional goals, then implement a training program to fulfill these goals. The prospect of continuous professional growth will give employees greater reason to stay with your company.
3. Implement the right tools for feedback
Simply handing new hires a ring binder full of training materials isn’t going to do the job. Staff training should be a group effort that emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and feedback.
Training is very much a two-way thing, and even seasoned employees should be learning continually. Gathering feedback regularly will help you quickly identify what’s working and what still needs improvement. Moreover, your training materials and processes must not be set in stone — these should be constantly refined based on ongoing testing and regular feedback.
4. Offer a wide range of learning tools
Not everyone learns at the same pace or by using the same means. Some people still prefer to read from a book, while many others find videos more engaging. Most people would also agree that a more hands-on approach to training with practical experiments and labs are also highly effective. Sometimes, training works better in a group environment too.
It’s important that you offer your employees the widest possible range of training materials and methods, so they can learn in the way that best suits them. Everyone has a different style of learning, which is why you need to think about personal goals as well as professional ones. You can go even further by offering customizable career paths to help your employees chart their future in your company.
On a final note, make sure your training program is engaging. Employee training should never make people feel like they’re back in school. Use tactics like gamification and tangible rewards to make it fun, addictive, and ultimately, rewarding on a personal and a professional level.
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