In the current job market, most companies alternate between hiring for skill and hiring for culture. Hiring for culture seems to be the preferred option, and it makes sense. You can’t train people to fit in, but skills can be sharpened over time. Moreover, if you hire the right people, they’ll be eager to prove themselves and willing to learn.
However, this approach does have some drawbacks. Training isn’t cheap, and creating effective programs can be tricky. If it feels like you’ve invested a lot of time and money in training your employees with little to show for it, you’re not alone. In this article, we will go through three essential steps to creating a training program that will result in visible improvements in your bottom line.
Create Context for Your Training Program
You first want to make sure your employees see the connection between the training curriculum and their job. If they see how the information and skills taught to them can help them improve their performance – which ultimately makes their lives easier – they’ll be more motivated to learn. They’ll be able to focus better and retain more information because they’ll be looking for ways to apply what they’ve learned to their tasks.
It’s also important to give your employees recognition and rewards for completing the training program successfully. You can use training management software to keep track of which employees have undergone which program and offer them certificates and bonuses.
Adapt Your Program to Different Learning Styles
Another crucial aspect of an effective training program is how engaging the material is. If you just hand them a stack of manuals and expect them to memorize it, it’s unlikely that they’ll feel a connection to what they’re learning. Even if they have to pass tests, they’ll forget most of the content a few weeks later.
It’s better to provide them with a variety of ways to learn and practice. Some people prefer to study independently, while others need a more hands-on approach. Similarly, you’ll find that some of your employees give better results when they’ve had a chance to reflect on what they’ve just learned, instead of simply repeating it again and again. To get the most out of a training program, you’ll want to adapt your material to all these different learning styles.
Clear, Measurable Objectives
An effective training program needs clear, measurable objectives. Once again, you can rely on tools such as training management software to keep track of and measure results. This will help you determine what type of material and teaching methods lead employees to learn a new skill fastest.
Giving your training programs clear objectives will also benefit your employees because they’ll know what’s expected of them.
For instance, you want to create a training program that will project managers how to provide feedback to their teams. You’ve noticed that the methods used in the past are not very constructive because they lead to defensive reactions and demotivate.
Suppose you organize a general training program on communication. In that case, your project managers might not see the connection, and they’ll just consider it a mandatory course that they have to get through. You want your training session to target your specific objectives, so they can give measurable results.