A Guide To Developing A Training Program
While developing a training program can be challenging for many businesses, it’s also a core element for ongoing success. That’s because development of training programs can improve employee performance by strengthening both their general and job-specific professional skills.
When corporate training is planned for and carried out correctly, it can become a foundation for success by increasing production and profits. Whether you want to keep your staff up to date with new product knowledge or expand their work protocols with the current trends, you’re going to need to do more than simply offering your staff leaflets of information.
Ultimately, the process of framework development for the most effective training programs require a strategic approach in order to really set your company apart from the rest. It needs to be planned out systematically with a process of easy steps.
What is employee training and development?
It doesn’t matter how talented your staff are, there’s always room for them to become better. Which is why many employers search for new ways they can strengthen their team, such as through employee training and development.
From group training seminars, to learning hands-on skills for equipment, and ongoing coaching for long-term professional training development, there are a wide variety of programs available that can help you build a highly skilled workforce.
Educational training and development programs are usually designed using eLearning content to ensure employees are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills training required to do their job professionally.
That’s because when a company is continuously focused on improving their team training and performance, it strengthens the foundation for employees performing during onboarding and really sets you apart from the competition. With that in mind, here is a guide for creating an effective employee training and development planning.
Survey your employees
If you really want the best chance of creating a successful training program, you should start by asking your employees for their input.
Your staff has firsthand experience involved with all aspects of processes and procedures, which means they’ll be the most accurate source of information collected regarding workflows that need improving or problems that should be eliminated.
By incorporating your employees when documenting your training goals, they will be able to identify performance gaps and provide other valuable feedback regarding procedures.
Not only will current and long-term employees know if anything needs to be changed, but they may also offer training ideas that hadn’t been previously considered.
No matter what happens, they will always appreciate being included in the development stage, which will usually see them being more accepting when the training starts. This kind of partnership is critical for success above all else, as well as for employee development overall.
While talking with regular employees helps with understanding, it’s also just as important to engage with managers and decision-makers. That’s because when you’re designing your training curriculum, they’ll want to provide their own input regarding performance expectations from their perspective.
Plus, once managers are on board and aware of the upcoming training, they’ll be able to allocate time for employees to attend training sessions and create study schedules.
Identify your training needs
The next step when developing an education program is to identify why the training is needed, especially when you’re developing a training program from scratch.
In many cases, training requests are necessary due to a workflow problem or maybe a process which needs improvement. Some companies develop employee training programs in preparation for the future as it helps them understand the latest technologies in order to refresh workforces and enter new markets.
With a training needs assessment beforehand, you’ll know which ones will have the most impact on your bottom line, which allows you to prioritise what your employees should be taught first. You’ll also create a clear baseline for you to measure training results, while reducing the chance of mistakes while increasing the possibility of success.
So, you should always take the time to develop a clear understanding of the parameters by conducting evaluations to assess workflows and adequately define the requirements. Training needs are generally found within the gaps between current skill competencies and what employee executions are required to be.
By analyzing and prioritizing these gaps between existing and preferred performance, they can be easily turned into objectives within the training program development. Because correct identification of training needs, topics, and skills beforehand is generally at the very core of any effective program development.
How to align training needs with goals?
Once training needs have been identified, they must be aligned with the goals of your company. Understanding how the training will successfully impact organisational initiatives is critical during the early stages as management needs to see the purpose.
That’s because for an employee training program to be considered truly successful, it’s important for it to further the larger goals of the company as a whole. So, determine how the training needs of your company can be aligned with your goals.
You should also define company goals that are both long- and short-term before identifying what possible training can be done to ensure they are met. Remember too that simply teaching your employees something because it’s good for them to learn new things is not enough, as it is highly unlikely to justify budget approval from management.
That being said, you should still be aware of employee interests when you’re setting goals. But the priority should be identifying how developing your training program will help adult learners meet these targets.
How to develop learning objectives?
When you are developing a training program for development of your employees, it’s critical to list out all of your achievable learning objectives before you begin. A learning objective is something that your workers must comprehend once they have completed the training module.
These objectives can be workflow procedures they must follow, attitudes they need to have, rules they need to follow, skills they need to perform, or a subject you need them to have a solid understanding of.
Learning objectives need to be specific, relevant, and measurable, with a realistic timeframe for when they should be competent with it. These learning objectives should be used to close the gaps between core competencies of your workers, so you can set them as employees learning priorities for your company.
Once you’ve ascertained a complete list of intentions, you can start creating training content by choosing which blended learning styles and training activities will be most relevant to cover the objectives.
Create your training program
Once you’ve determined what the needs, goals, and objectives are, you can then approach the creation of a solid outline for the training framework and content development. This should be a complete blueprint of the overall training schedule, followed by a general breakdown of the program’s structure while developing training materials.
This is important because a successful program requires a clear schedule of what training materials need to be covered, as well as an overview of all achievement targets. When you are writing your detailed training curriculum, you should be focusing on each main topic the program needs to cover as well as the organisational structure of your program as a whole.
Your solid topical outline needs to clearly define the path to each objective and then on to the ultimate goal or goals of the program. Then as you flesh out the development of your customised training, remember that your program's success relies on employees finishing each individual activity before reaching and completing each goal effectively.
By breaking up your training into small sections will not only make them better to understand, but they will also be easier to schedule into employee workloads. Just remember that each training section needs to be in a logical order so that the information taught in each section will build on top of the section before it. A learning management system could also be used to help you work out the best way to set up the chronological order of your training program sections.
How to deliver a training program to employees?
When it comes time for you to implement the completed training program, you need to ascertain the most effective method of delivery to your employees.
Training plans can be coordinated via external delivery mode or using a variety of in-house formats from teaching large classes to instructing small groups, from eLearning modules online to paper assignments for individual study, from skills-based training on-the-job to role plays, as well as any combination of these and more.
This phase also involves scheduling each training activity and organising all required resources such as facilities and equipment. Then it’s time to officially launch, promote, coordinate, and carry out your completed training program.
It’s essential that the progress of participants is monitored during initial training so you can ensure that your program is effective at closing learning gaps and reaching company goals. It might be a good idea to carry out trial runs of multiple different training delivery styles in order to ascertain which models will ultimately work the best for your employees.
Remember that determining how successful your training will be, hinges on how actively your employees engage with the types of training. As such, access to training for employees should always be open, clear, friendly, and as convenient as possible for them.
The reason this is so important is that they need to understand why the training is important and to access it easily. This is actually one of the biggest drivers of whether or not developing a training program is ultimately effective.
How to embed training within company culture?
Employee training should be more than simply creating a new program and having a few eLearning courses and classes. The new training program framework should be embedded into your company culture and understood on every level of your organisational hierarchy.
Training opportunities and success stories should be included in all new employee handbooks, as well as written into the list of company values. You should also make employee training an important aspect of orientation for all new hires going forward during their first weeks at work.
In order to ensure employees get involved with technical training, get team leaders and human resource management involved early on with the initial design.
Once they are invested with the idea of your training program, they will also need management training themselves as they will become much more inclined to help you with the implementation. Managerial training should then help with encouraging employee participation by emphasising the importance of each level of training for the company as a whole.
Developing the training program is only half of the job here. The other half is demonstrating the value of the training by individual assessments and measuring the effectiveness of the results to prove there is a decent ROI.
So, once you’ve completed the first batch of employee training, you need to confirm that it was effective in closing gaps and reaching business goals. Another way to measure program efficacy is to collect feedback from employees after they have completed their first training session.
While outcomes of training can sometimes be a little difficult to accurately quantify, by collecting evaluation criteria and other analytical data, you should be able to measure metrics such as training engagement and program completion.
Quantifying your training will eventually become much easier once you start developing progress evaluations and other benchmarking strategies. Ultimately, these performance metrics will determine the effectiveness of your training and developing whether or not organisational assessment and improvements remain aligned with your business.
Make changes when necessary
The entire program needs to be constantly monitored and evaluated to determine the training objectives have all been met successfully. Simply by reviewing all aspects of your training program, you’ll enable you to see if there are any areas where it could be improved at all. Because measuring the outcomes of each training session, companies are able to ensure they will continue being successful.
Development of adult learning and training programs for employees should never be static. In fact, the most effective staff training modules are altered, changed, or updated as required in order to continually evolve the program.
That means you should always reevaluate training curriculums as goals change and your company grows. Once you’ve identified weaknesses or gaps in the training program development, it’s no longer as current as it was, or it’s not as successful as it could be, you should search for ways of revising the training program as needed.
The importance of well trained employees
While having well trained employees is important for the success of any business, creating an effective training program for staff isn’t easy. There’s much more involved than simply making an announcement about company changes or putting a few leaflets regarding new products in the breakroom.
Follow the advice above to get started developing your own successful training program for more informed and happier employees. Once you understand the fundamentals of creating a high-quality training program, you can start maximising profits, satisfying customers, and fast-tracking the success of your company over the competition in the process.