It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run or the types of products or services you sell. Your employees must be well-trained if you want them to perform well and help the company reach its short- and long-term goals.
Remember that employee training is not a one-time thing. It’s ongoing and requires careful planning to maximise engagement and produce the best results.
In this guide, we explore the importance of providing employee training. We also discuss the different ways you can provide staff training and set your team up for success.
What is Employee Training?
Employee training is a series of activities that help employees gain new knowledge and skills that empower them to do their jobs better. Employee training comes in a variety of forms and covers a wide range of topics, from leadership to diversity and inclusion.
Why is Employee Training Important?
Employee training, naturally, benefits the employees and helps them expand their knowledge and skill sets. Employers also benefit from having skilled employees, as do the customers or clients the business serves. Everyone succeeds when employees are given the appropriate tools.
What are the Benefits of Staff Training?
Let’s dive more specifically into the benefits of staff skills training for both employers and employers.
For the Employee
Whether they’re brand new employees or have been part of the team for decades, every employee can benefit from training. Here are some examples of the advantages they will experience:
- Improved Morale: Regular staff training – primarily when it focuses on teaching employees new skills, preparing them for leadership roles or career advancements, etc. – helps keep team members engaged and feeling enthusiastic about their jobs. Increased engagement and enthusiasm, in turn, can lead to improved morale and increased job satisfaction.
- Increased Salaries: Gaining new skills, particularly skills that qualify them for promotions and new positions, can open employees up to earning more money, which also plays into improved morale and employee engagement rates.
- Increased Productivity and Efficiency: Engaged, happy employees are more productive and work more efficiently than those who are feeling bored, stagnant, or dissatisfied with their careers. They’re able to get more done and make better use of their time.
- Gain Transferrable Skills: The skills gained from thorough, well-planned employee training programs will transfer to other positions and help employees qualify for different roles, both at their current company and at companies they might work for in the future.
- Increased Leadership Potential: Ongoing training helps to equip employees with the skills they need to be influential leaders. For those who aspire to become a manager, supervisor, etc., participating in staff training programs is critical.
For the Employer
Employers’ lives get easier as a result of employee training, too. The following are some benefits they can experience when they make training a priority:
- Increased Employee Retention: Proper training can improve a company’s employee retention rates because it leads to increased engagement and improved morale. Engaged, happy employees aren’t just more productive (as we mentioned above), but they are also more likely to remain loyal to their employer long-term.
- Improved Recruiting Efforts: In addition to improving employee retention, investment in training can also improve recruitment efforts. Job seekers typically want to work for companies that care about their education and want to help them develop new skills, meaning prioritising training can make it easier to attract top talent.
- Fewer Accidents and Mistakes: Regular and in-depth training sessions help to prevent accidents and mistakes at work. Depending on the type of environment your employees work in, accident and mistake prevention can lead to significant savings of both time and money.
- Easier Tool Implementation: Providing training when you’re getting ready to introduce a new tool, such as a Learning Management software (LMS) or customer relationship management (CRM) software, can make the adoption process smoother and get everyone on the same page more quickly.
- Improved Employee Collaboration: Many employee training courses encourage team members to work together to solve problems, role-play scenarios, etc. All these activities, in turn, can result in better collaboration and communication (which also influences productivity and performance).
What are Different Types of Staff Training?
Employee training comes in a myriad of types and covers a variety of subjects. The following are some examples of training you might put your team through:
Pre-onboarding or orientation gives a new employee a chance to learn about the company’s culture, values, and mission. It gives them a primer to the company before they ever enter the office. Orientation may also cover topics like company policies and administrative procedures.
Employee onboarding typically takes place on a new hire’s first day of work.
During onboarding, a new recruit becomes familiar with the basics of their job, including everyday responsibilities, expectations, and the essential skills all employees in their position must be able to demonstrate. Onboarding also gives a new employee a chance to learn how to use various tools – such as apps or software solutions – that are necessary for their job.
Mandatory and Statutory
Mandatory and statutory training can both be critical to an employee’s success, depending on their role and the type of company they work for. Mandatory training has been deemed essential by a specific organisation, and statutory training is required by a legal entity and must be delivered through a government-approved training course.
The following are some examples of mandatory training:
- Child Protection Training
- Conflict Resolution Training
- Managing Violence and Aggression Training
- Infection, Prevention and Control Training
- First Aid Training
- Food Hygiene Training
Meanwhile, these are examples of statutory training:
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CSHS) Training
- Fire Safety Awareness Training
- Risk Assessment Training
- Awareness of Local Health and Safety Policies
Development and Upskilling
Development and upskilling training are valuable to all employees, both new and seasoned.
Professional development training may focus on things like communication, problem-solving, and other types of soft skills training. Upskilling training may include some of these elements as well, but they typically focus more on hard skills like learning how to use a specific program or piece of equipment.
Leadership training, as the name suggests, teaches employees the hard and soft skills they need to become effective leaders. Some leadership training programs are voluntary, and in other cases, managers or other higher-ups pick specific employees based on their potential to participate in the course.
Compliance training ensures employees have the skills and knowledge needed to keep the company compliant with certain rules and regulations. Some compliance training is required by law (including statutory training programs like those mentioned earlier), and others are required by industry-specific organisations.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion training is meant to eliminate biases in the workplace and make the company more inclusive to people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, abilities, genders, etc.
Leaders, managers, and human resources workers are often required to go through diversity and inclusion training. However, other team members can also benefit from learning how to be more inclusive and welcoming to employees who are different from them.
Reskilling training sessions help to keep employees informed about new trends and emerging tools in their industry and field. Reskilling helps employees future-proof their capabilities and increase their value (both to their current company and other companies they might work for later).
What are the Different Ways to Deliver Employee Training?
In addition to covering numerous topics, employee training can also come in a variety of formats. The following are some of the most popular options:
Today, many employees learn independently with the help of an eLearning platform, which allows them to complete courses virtually. eLearning – particularly with the help of a bespoke solution – empowers team members to work at their own speed and learn in the way that is most effective for them.
Gamification is an excellent employee training tool that can boost motivation and encourage some friendly competition.
Put simply, gamification turns learning into a game. For example, employees might earn points every time they complete a training module, and the person with the most points at the end of a specific period wins a prize.
Mentoring and Coaching
Mentoring and coaching are more personal forms of employee training. For example, a mentor could be another employee who has more experience than a new hire. They could also be someone from another department who coaches an employee who wants to transfer to a different position.
Group or Individual
Group training brings employees together to learn about a particular subject. In contrast, individual training allows them to work independently (either in a more traditional way, like reading a textbook or listening to lectures, or with the help of more modern tools like eLearning platforms).
Theory or Practical
Employee training can also be more theoretical or practical in nature.
Theoretical training is more abstract and may involve listening to lectures, reading chapters from textbooks, etc. Practical training is more hands-on and gives employees a chance to learn by doing. For example, they might follow along with a trainer as they learn to navigate a new program.
Best Practices for Staff Training
Having well-trained staff makes the company better for everyone. The key to experiencing all the benefits of employee training, though, is to use the correct practices and processes. Here are some best practices for staff training to keep in mind:
Use Personal Development Plans
You’re much more likely to see positive results from your training programs if you utilise personal learning journeys.
You must accept that your employees are all unique people with their own interests, strengths, and weaknesses. When you take the time to develop personalised learning journeys for each team member, you set them up for success.
The following are some specific benefits that personal development plans offer:
- Support each learner’s individual needs, ensuring they don’t feel left behind or isolated
- Improve training program retention and success rates and generate a more substantial return on your investment
- Help learners feel valued, which can improve the engagement and enthusiasm throughout the course
Cater to Learner Types
Similarly, it’s also a good idea to adapt training for different learning styles.
Not everyone learns well by taking notes during a lecture or by following along with a video. When you offer learning materials that cater to various styles, you can increase engagement and help learners feel seen and valued.
If you’re not sure which learning styles are most prevalent among your team, consider asking employees to take a learning styles assessment. You can then use the results of that assessment to tailor your training to team members’ unique needs and preferences.
Set Specific Goals
You’ll see better results from your training programs if, in addition to personalising learning materials, you set specific goals before getting started.
Think carefully about what you want to accomplish from a particular course or lesson.
For example, do you want all your employees to gain a certification? Do you want them to show proficiency in a particular skill or set of skills?
Remember to be specific with your goals and to set clear deadlines (e.g., maybe you’ll give the team six weeks to complete a training program and pass an exam).
Identify Key Performance Indicators
Consider how you’ll measure progress toward the goals you’ve set, too.
In some cases, you can easily measure progress – for example, someone either passes an exam or they don’t. In other cases, though, you might have to get a bit more creative.
Maybe you can measure progress by tracking the number of lessons or modules someone completes in a period of time, or perhaps you can track key metrics like employee engagement to see if they improve after the course has been completed.
Prioritise Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement involves focusing on what employees have done well and recognising them for those efforts instead of getting hung up on when they’ve made mistakes or fallen short of a particular goal.
Without positive reinforcement, it can be difficult for employees to stay motivated. You may also affect morale, which can lead to disengagement and reduced productivity.
Remember that there are lots of ways that you can recognise your employees and show appreciation for their hard work.
You can mention those who have completed a module or course in the team newsletter, for example, or give them a round of applause during the next team meeting. You can also provide more high-value prizes like a gift card to a local restaurant or a longer lunch break.
It’s easier to identify and resolve training development issues if you invite employees to share feedback on the training program.
If team members feel comfortable saying what they do and don’t like about a course or lesson, they will likely be more engaged – and morale will probably be better across the board. Furthermore, when you act on people’s feedback, you also show that you respect and value them and want to make your training options as effective as possible.
Employee training is good for employers, employees, customers, and everyone in between. Not only does it help team members develop new skills, but it can also lead to increased engagement, improved morale, better performance, and increased revenue.
If you’re interested in improving your company’s employee training processes and seeing better results, follow the guidelines and best practices shared in this guide.
Enquire today to learn more about our resources and find the best ones for your team.