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How To Develop A Successful Employee Training Program

How To Develop A Successful Employee Training Program

Employee training programs are often a crucial part of workplace benefits and culture, but too often employee training is irrelevant, unassessed, and unengaging. We’ve all sat through hours of monotone presentations in boardrooms, or been forced to watch dated and generic training videos that inspire daydreaming, procrastination, or naps underneath your desk.  

But corporate training programs can be engaging and relevant and have employees lining up to get in the door. The Train the Trainer online course helps prepare you to deliver interesting and informative training sessions.  

In the Train the Trainer program, participants learn to create, develop, organize, and deliver functional training to employees. As someone who manages training, this course can help you make it both successful and effective in solving relevant problems in your workplace.  

To get you started, here are some key steps in developing a successful training program for employees. 

Understand the benefits of offering training

Most employees want the chance to grow and develop in their chosen career paths, and workplace place training is a big part of that. Offering a training program, be it face to face, virtual training or just the chance to upskill demonstrates your investment in successful employees and the value they bring to your business. 

Offering a training program, be it face to face, virtual training or just the chance to upskill demonstrates your investment in successful employees and the value they bring to your business.

Offering a training program, be it face to face, virtual training or just the chance to upskill demonstrates your investment in successful employees and the value they bring to your business.

Frequent or on-going staff training also establishes a culture of constant re-evaluation and improvement. Most importantly, offering a professional training program is a great way to show your employees that yes, you want them to succeed.

Many of the companies that are frequently listed as some of the best places to work run a variety of different types of training programs and the benefits are impressive. Showing staff that you care about their success can lead to improved employee retention, as well as workplace competence and camaraderie.  

Not only that, but employee development training also helps create future leaders in your business and gives your employees the chance to grow both hard and soft skills to advance their career. A dedicated employee training plan or consistent training initiatives can help maintain these benefits over the long term in your business. 

Step 1: Assess training needs

Before launching into the development process, the most important stage of creating a training program is to assess the training need. Training generally indicates that something in current workplace processes needs to change, and before working on an effective training program, it’s critical that you understand what that is.  

What are the business goals for this training? What does management want to achieve? Bulldozing straight into a training program without understanding these fundamental questions is setting yourself up for failure. 

Talk to senior executives, or the managers who requested the training. What is it that they want employees trained in? What problem do they want to solve? What are the skill gaps? Only after investigating that gap analysis can you begin to successfully address a training need by creating specific training and development programs.  

One way of making sure that you are addressing these training needs is to create thoughtful and deliberate training objectives or learning outcomes. A typical learning outcome may start off with “By the end of this training, the employee will be able too…”  

This is where your understanding of the training gap will be helpful and keep you on track with the learning objectives. You can also scope out the employees in need of training and find out what they hope to get out of it too. Consider your audience as you develop these training goals and how they might best learn. 


Step 2: Define training delivery method

Once you are confident about what it is that employees should be learning, you can begin to develop the outline of the course. Employee training and development programs should be outcome-driven, so you should work from the goal of the program backwards through the program.

Consider what training delivery methods would work. Are you training ten people or a hundred? Do they all work in the same space or not? Do they have time to undertake the training in person at a set time? This may lead you to decide on instructor-led training, or develop elearning content.  

Perhaps virtual classrooms would work best, or a blended learning approach to the training delivery. Think about the space that the training will be delivered in and what resources will be available to you.  

Step 3: Develop the instructional design 

After choosing a delivery method, developing the instructional design will help you structure the course content and plan your employee training. How will your audience learn this content most effectively? Trainer exposition? Group activities? Individually-paced reading and responding? Video content?  

Researching some different learning strategies may be a great place to start. A gradual release learning model can be a great way to teach something like safety training as the content is broken down into segments where the trainer does the skill, then does it together with the participants, then the participants do it together in groups, before finally performing the skill on their own.  

Contemplating different learning styles and strategies can help you structure your training content and make sure that the delivery works for your audience and that any new content or skills are retained.  

Finally, as you create the outline of your training program, consider how you will assess learning and development. How can you measure success? What performance evaluations are important for the business?  

This will depend very much on what it is that you are training employees in and the requirements of the business, and will come back to the learning outcomes that you previously defined.  

If they were specific and measurable enough, it should be easy to figure out how to test that they’ve been achieved. If you’re struggling to figure out how to do this, you may want to refine the learning goals of the program.


Step 4: Create quality training materials

Once you have your course structure and it’s been approved by the managers responsible for requesting the training in the first place, it’s time to create the content.  

Your course outline and the course structure and training method that you have decided on will help you develop the content itself. You should consider what kinds of authoring tools or programs you can use to deliver your content.  

Tools like iSpring Suite can help you develop  quick and effective content for different training tasks and include interactive features for active participation. That said, it is also crucial to research and evaluate the kinds of materials that training participants will need access to.  

Here are some important questions to consider: 

  • Will they need to review any content prior to the training? 

  • Should they have access to all the training materials as a reference after the training has been completed? 

  • Would these be documents or other materials, like a video library that they can refer to in the future? 

  • What kind of training reinforcement can you offer?  

Make sure the content is relevant to the needs of the business. If you’re trying to solve a problem, solve one that actually happened and make it relatable to the employees participating. Working with their colleagues and solving real life or feasible problems helps your participants connect new ideas with their day to day experiences, and gives them a safe space to test out their knowledge and skills.  

It’s also a great idea to check participants’ understanding throughout the course to make sure you’re delivering successful employee training. You don’t want to get to the end of the training program and realize that some employees got lost a few hours ago and never spoke up. 

Step 5: Implement and deliver

After all the preparation, it’s finally time to deliver your training. Start off by letting the employees know what the learning outcomes are and what they should expect to know or learn by the end of the session.  

This is important for setting expectations and shaping what employees learn. When they know what they are expected to learn, employees engage more with the content, they can direct more of their attention to achieving that goal, and are less distracted by trying to find the meaning in what they are doing.  

Consider recording your training program for employees that perhaps couldn’t participate. You can also use a recording of your training or evidence of employee participation as a tool for self-evaluation, or demonstrating success of your effective employee training program.   

Measuring success of learning objectives and goals is essential in capturing how effective your training program was, not only for you and the participants, but also for executives and managers to understand and support it better. 

Step 6: Evaluate and iterate 

Just because your training program is over, doesn’t mean there’s nothing else to do. Getting feedback on your training program is the best way to learn how successful or effective it was.  

Perhaps you will be asked to deliver that training again with a new cohort, or you can reuse segments in future employee development programs. Feedback can cover the content or skills training within the program, the delivery method, the employees performance or success of the learning outcomes, or even your own accomplishment as the training program manager.  

But feedback should not just be left by the wayside. Training managers should use that feedback to improve the training developed and iterate all aspects of the program to make sure it gives employees the best chance to achieve the learning outcomes.  

Analyzing participant feedback and iterating your training program will not only improve the success of your training program and create more effective training, but also make you a better trainer. 

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