In an effort to educate and develop employees, you’re probably using some form of corporate training. But not all corporate training is as effective as you think. Have you taken the time to evaluate the efficacy of your programs?
The Role of Corporate Training Programs
Successful organizations view their employees as living, breathing individuals that are either actively improving their knowledge and skillsets, or declining. There is no middle ground. In light of this, they use strategic corporate training initiatives and employee development programs to keep employees on track.
While corporate training requires a commitment of time, money, and energy from the employer, it almost always delivers a positive return on investment. Benefits include:
- Improved employee performance
- Greater employee satisfaction and morale
- Offsets weak links and problem areas
- Enhances productivity and quality standards
- Minimizes employee turnover
Corporate training isn’t something you conduct in a vacuum. To maximize the benefits, you must be willing to make a significant investment in both the onboarding of new employees and the growth and development of existing ones.
How to Evaluate and Improve Employee Training Programs
Most businesses already have some sort of employee training program in place. However, the majority of these programs are stale and ineffective. Here’s how you can quickly and thoroughly evaluate and improve your employee training programs for maximum efficacy.
1. Set Clear Goals
Before doing anything else, you need to set some clear and decisive goals for your corporate training program. This will provide you with objective marks to filter your decisions through.
2. Conduct an Employee Survey
“You don’t really know how your employee training programs are being received by employees until you take the time to gather feedback,” Drag’n Survey explains. “Ultimately, your program is only as successful as the value your employees extract from it.”
Conducting an anonymous survey or poll is a great way to quickly collect information without the fear of tainted feedback. The results may be vague and general, or they could be quite definitive. Regardless, the information will give you the ammunition needed to revise your current approach.
3. Speak to Past Employees
Anonymous surveys are great, but it’s also helpful to gather some of the clarifying details that come through one-on-one conversations.
When conducting exit interviews with departing employees, ask them for some insights into the training they received with the company. Since they no longer have any tie to the company, they may be more willing to open up.
4. Use Blended Learning
Successful organizations find that it’s best to use a blended learning approach that combines elements of instructor-led training (classroom education) with online learning. This hybrid approach appeals to a variety of learning styles and gives employees the opportunity to move at a pace that’s comfortable for them (while maintaining a degree of structure and discipline).
5. Give Employees Choices
While you have every right to require certain training programs for your employees, reconsider how you approach this topic. By creating two or three different training paths and giving employees a choice in which one they pursue, you cultivate a sense of independence and autonomy. As a result, your employees will find their experiences to be more fulfilling.
6. Consider On-the-Job Training
Research shows that 68 percent of employees prefer to learn on the job. So while classroom education has a role in employee development, you’ll generate better results if you find ways to train employees while they’re working. (You’ll also enjoy greater productivity and output.)
7. Measure the Results
If you followed the advice in the first tip and made clear goals before addressing your training program, then you should be able to periodically measure your results/progress.
“Numbers can’t measure all the benefits you get from training, but they can help you see if you’re headed in the right direction,” Jen Pilla Taylor writes for SignupGenius. “And if you can actually measure the progress you’re making, you’ll be 100 percent more likely to continue making employee training and development the priority it should be!”
Never Settle for Mediocre
Employee training isn’t something you should view as a box on a checklist. The mere fact that you have a training program doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an effective one. If you find that your employee development endeavors are low-yielding or mediocre, it’s important that you lean in and make some positive, proactive changes that will nudge your business forward.