Feeling stuck and uninspired with your business’ current employee training program? We’re discussing why employee training should be part of your standard business operations — and we’re giving you tips on how you can improve your employee training program to make it more effective, engaging, and informative for your staff.
What is an employee training program?
Employee training is a tactic many businesses use to onboard new employees to introduce them to company policies, industry practices, and job expectations. Employee training programs can also be used throughout employment as a continuing education strategy to ensure staff members are aware of company and industry updates — and as a way to reconnect after initial onboarding!
Employee training programs can range from single day events to week-long programs — depending on how comprehensive they are. They can also include team bonding events and learning activities to make it more engaging.
Why is employee training important?
After you’ve hired a few standout employees, it can be tempting to go into “set it and forget it” mode and trust your staff to function in their roles on their own with little to no interruption from you. But the truth is, your employees expect and deserve to go through regular training programs.
Here are a few of the benefits:
- Increased job satisfaction
- Increased employee motivation
- Improved productivity
- Refined skills
- Better communication
- Team bonding
- Industry knowledge
- Updated information
- Uniform company expectations
- Professional development
Is employee training necessary for every industry?
Absolutely. No matter what industry you work in, you’ll always want your staff to be performing at their best — and be up to date on all of the latest industry amendments and best practices. If you work in a heavily regulated, niche industry, like property management, you’ll need to be even more diligent about hosting employee training events.
Why should you revamp your employee training program?
Creating and testing an employee training program is no simple task. So, after you’ve come up with a program you’re happy with, it’s tempting to just leave it as it is. But if you don’t reevaluate your process and make occasional updates, your program can quickly become irrelevant among changing industry standards and trends. Plus, you should always be working to make your business better, right? If that’s not enough to convince you to revisit that dusty employee manual and implement some serious changes, here are a few other benefits on why you should revamp your employee training program.
Benefit #1: Keeps employees excited and engaged
Nobody likes a boring presentation-style training session. It’s over-done, oftentimes it’s ineffective, and it doesn’t represent your company’s unique culture.
“By creating a program that’s interactive and informative, you can capture employees’ attention and even use it as a recruiting advantage when it comes time to hire new staff.” - Pro tip from Jeff Arnett, CEO of Arnett Credentials
Benefit #2: Promotes cross-department training
Employee training programs that include brainstorming sessions, workshops, and presentations with other departments tend to be more comprehensive and effective. How does this translate to your employees? More knowledge, interest, and understanding across the board — it’s a win-win for everyone!
Benefit #3: Encourages collaboration and communication
Employee training programs shouldn’t be all information sessions and training videos. Revamping your training guide to include some room for breakout discussions, ice breakers, and brainstorming can help set the tone for collaboration during the training and throughout day-to-day operations. As they say, “two brains are better than one.”
“Consider incorporating collaborative activities to help establish team bonding early on which can improve job satisfaction and internal communication.” - Pro tip from Brian Kelley VP of BCCU
Benefit #4: Improves employee retention rate
In a recent national study of over 400 employees, 70% of participants indicated that job training and development impacted their decision to stay at their job. The study participants cited a lack of professional development and appropriate training as reasons they’d leave their current job.
How to revamp your employee training
Now that we know what employee training programs are, and why it’s important to update them, let’s talk about how you can revamp your own employee training program!
1. Try hands-on training tactics
There’s a limit on what you can learn when you’re just talking conceptually. Try and find ways you can work in some hands-on activities so you can give your staff some real-life training that they can apply to their daily responsibilities. For example, if you’re training a team of phone operators, run a practice customer service call activity where you ask questions that they can expect to encounter on the job, or have new trainees shadow someone with more experience for the day.
2. Times are changing — talk about technology
Practically all business management nowadays can be done online — and that’s also true for employee training programs. That’s not to say your entire training program should be totally online, but it can help save on training costs and even enable you to hold remote training sessions for employees that aren’t in your main office. Training videos are a great way to give this strategy a try!
3. Create a mentorship program
Consider pairing up newer staff members with more senior staff as part of your training. This strategy can provide a variety of benefits to your training and for employees’ future development.
Some of the benefits include:
- Skill development
- Team building
- Improved efficiency
- Development of leadership skills
- More insight into progress
- Goal setting
- Improved staff retention
4. Stick to the manual
No, not everything has to be by the book — at least not all of the time. But when it comes to employee training, you’ll want to make sure your trainees have information to walk away with and reference as they adjust to their new position.
Following each training program you run, you should give your staff a way to look back at the information you presented. This can be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, training videos or recordings, or an old-fashioned employee manual will also do the trick!
Restructuring and improving your employee training program can translate into many benefits for your business and staff, including:
- Improved job satisfaction
- A clear outline of goals
- Setting expectations
- Creating a collaborative environment
Every company is different! Use these tips as a guideline to help you figure out what works for you and your business when you start the revamp process.