Do you take a sharp look at your employee training and development every year?
You should, because it’s important to the success of any organization. Without one, you could be looking at a mess that blows budgets and skews projects.
If you invest in the growth and skill development of your workers, you can improve productivity, improve employee satisfaction, and ultimately achieve your business goals.
To make your planning go more smoothly, we put together what to put into your employee training and development plan and gave some examples you can follow.
In this article, we’re going to discuss:
- Assessing Training Needs
- Setting Clear Objectives
- Designing Engaging Training Programs
- Providing Ongoing Support and Resources
- Evaluating and Measuring Effectiveness
1. Assessing Training Needs
Your first step of creating a training and development plan is to evaluate the specific needs of your employees and the organization as a whole. This can be done through surveys, performance evaluations, and feedback sessions.
Asking questions is always the best place to start any training project. A useful process for this is a “training needs analysis” or “assessment.” A training needs analysis is a tool that helps trainers plan for effective training programs. It includes information about the audience, content, delivery methods, and other factors that will affect how well the training works.
If you’re wondering where to start with the questions, check out 20 Questions To Ask When Conducting a Training Needs Analysis.
Here are a few to begin with:
- On a scale of one to 10, how do you feel about your skill level related to your job?
- Why did you give yourself that score?
- Do you feel that you can handle your current scope of work?
You can customize your plan to respond to specific needs if you have a good understanding of the areas where employees may need additional training or development. This will help you make sure that the training is relevant and impactful, leading to improved performance and growth.
Additionally, assessing the training needs of the organization as a whole can help identify any skills gaps or areas where the company may need to invest in training to stay competitive in the market. Taking the time to assess training needs upfront will set the foundation for a successful employee training and development plan.
2. Setting Clear Objectives
Now that you’ve identified training needs, you can turn your energy to setting clear and measurable objectives for the training program. These goals should match up with the overall goals of your organization.
These objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). (Read more about SMART goals.)
Here’s what that might look like for a tobacco cessation program:
“Over the next year, reduce the community’s smoking rate by 10% through a smoking cessation training program for our outreach team.”
Specific: The goal clearly states the desired result: reduce the community’s smoking rate.
Measurable: The goal is quantifiable; it specifies a 10% reduction in the smoking rate. You can measure this through surveys, data analysis, or public health reports.
Achievable: The goal is realistic and attainable given the resources, time frame, and the capacity to implement a smoking cessation training program.
Relevant: The goal is directly related to public health efforts and aligns with the organization’s mission to improve community health by reducing smoking rates.
Time-bound: The goal has a time frame of one year, providing a clear deadline for achieving the 10% reduction.
As a bonus, if you clearly define what you want to gain through the training program, you can track progress and evaluate its success.
Additionally, setting clear goals helps to communicate expectations to staff and provides them with a clear understanding of what they need to accomplish. This clarity can motivate employees and increase their engagement in the training process.
3. Design Engaging Employee Training and Development Programs
Armed with tight goals, you can move on to the design of your employee training and development project. You may design it yourself, or you may hire a company like Talance to help.
Either way, the training programs should be designed in a way that is engaging and interactive for the learners.
Interactive doesn’t mean a PDF document.
This can include a mix of classroom training, online courses, workshops, and on-the-job training. Here are some different kinds of content we use in courses.
A strategy that incorporates different types of training methods can help keep employees engaged and interested in the learning process.
Here’s a list of 10 ways you can make the training more enjoyable and effective:
- Quizzes and knowledge-checks
- Group discussions
- Visually appealing graphics
- Microlearning modules
- Game-like elements like points and challenges
- Real-life scenarios
- Immediate feedback
This method also helps you deal with different learning preferences and needs of your employees. What works for one person might not work for another.
4. Providing Ongoing Support and Resources
Your initial training shouldn’t be the end of your training. Provide ongoing support and resources to employees to reinforce the learning and help them apply it in their day-to-day work.
Support and resources can look however it makes the most sense for your team. That will depend on the nature of the training. It could be mentoring, coaching, or access to additional training. Here are some helpful ways you could offer more support to your team:
- FAQ Section: A frequently asked questions section that addresses common queries, like a knowledgebase
- Video Tutorials: Short walkthroughs of tricky tasks
- Monthly Webinars: Monthly conversations with the bigger team to reinforce learning
- Discussion Forums: Online forum where everyone can discuss among themselves
Add to that anything that includes access to books or articles or general resources that will help your team keep learning.
5. Evaluating and Measuring Effectiveness of the Training Program
This list started with advice to do an evaluation, and that’s a good way to end it too. Think about regularly evaluating and measuring the effectiveness of your training efforts.
This can be done through feedback surveys, performance evaluations, or other performance indicators, such as test scores. This will help you understand how well your course is doing. Then you can make updates based on the results to keep improving.
Check out this guide to learner assessment to pick up ideas on how to measure success of a program.
Start the Employee Training and Development Process Today
An easy way to set up your employee training and development process is to contact us for a free consultation. We can help you understand the best ways to gather needs, set objectives, design engaging training programs, provide ongoing support and resources, and evaluate and measure the effectiveness of your plan.
Be strategic about how you train, and you and your staff will all benefit.
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