5 elements of a successful training program

High employee turnover rates are pushing organizations to recalculate their current training programs and overall efforts to ensure satisfaction among workers. According to a 2022 Work Institute Report, over 47 million US workers quit their jobs in 2021 and ‘career issues’ was the most cited reason for leaving. 

Employee retention is a buzzy topic visited by companies aiming to up their benefits in hopes to acquire stellar talent who are in it for the long haul. However, bottomless coffee bars and Foosball Fridays just aren’t driving forces in retaining top employees. Instilling a stimulating training program that is user-friendly is a key factor in promoting growth, universal satisfaction, and higher levels of engagement in employees. 

OK, so maybe you already have a training program in place. Then why are you still struggling with employee retention? The “user-friendly” aspect of a training program or lack thereof can be the driving factor as to whether or not your efforts are successful. While a training program should cater to all employees, how you train, communicate with and receive feedback from the individual can go a long way in the employee’s efforts to grow. Take a look at these 5 elements of a successful training program:

1. Conduct An Assessment of Current Training Needs

The best place to start when creating an impactful training program is establishing a list of current training needs for employees. When deciding to implement a training program, it can be easy to jump the gun and produce training materials or seminars based on a recurrent problem brought to your attention. However, conducting an assessment of training needs will make for a more well-thought-out plan of action that aligns with a future business goal in mind. When an issue in processes or workflow occurs, it’s common to want to resolve it quickly, applying any and all techniques to move the needle. Without a clear business goal in mind for each training need listed, your plan of action may result in time and money wasted due to an error in technique choice.

2. Spark Motivation by Asking Questions

Now that you have established your business needs from your workers, it’s time to narrow down what employees need from you. You could implement the most advanced and technologically savvy training program out there, but without insights from current employees, productivity will fall short. Remind employees that you value their opinions and emphasize how much their feedback means to you. By conducting interviews with workers and inquiring about subjects or processes that they need help with, you may discover that your current assessment of training needs should be expanded upon to benefit the user. After all, employees are the ones being trained, right?

3. Write Out SMART Learning Objectives For Employees

A tried-and-true tool used in many industries to write out effective learning objectives is known as the SMART mnemonic. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Once you have clearly identified training needs held by the employer and employee, using the SMART tool will help you develop employee objectives that make sense and increase production for the user. 

4. Identify Workers Who Can Act as Teachers

After your one-on-one interviews with employees, you should have enough information to make a list of areas that some employees excel in where others may need help. If you’ve found that one or two workers have mastered a subject that their peers are struggling in, enlist the former individual(s) as “teachers” to help upskill their co-workers. For employees who are struggling to master a skill, their sense of vulnerability will not likely be calmed by a formal training program company with zero knowledge of the individual. With employees who already have strong knowledge of a topic, peers will feel more comfortable learning from them. To drive employee engagement and make a training session fun, work out a way to make training more of an event and less of a chalkboard-outlined seminar. “Lattes and Learning” or anything involving more than just a Powerpoint will bring employees together in a comfortable setting to acquire knowledge from their peers. 

5. Give Employees the Chance to Apply What They’ve Learned

Current training needs have been laid out, employees have voiced their opinions on where they need help, and training sessions have been conducted. Now what? Maintaining constant growth within your employees is crucial to success, and this can’t be done without giving them a chance to apply what they’re learned. One-on-one interviews and training sessions are overwhelming for employees, throwing a lot of news skills and future plans their way. Conducting a low-stakes practice run for workers to test out applying their learned skills is a way to measure how workers can flip their knowledge to real-life processes. While this exercise should be thought of as a “rehearsal” for the real thing, that doesn’t mean a manager should hover over an employee while he or she practices a new skill. For example, say an employee just learned how to upload your agency’s latest press releases to WordPress. By utilizing the tips provided in a WordPress learning session, he or she can start by putting all of the required information and filters in a draft, but hold off on posting. A manager can then check the work by taking a look at the draft and providing any feedback or changes needed before giving the OK to post. 

When deciding how to go about a new and impactful training program, you may feel the desire to jump right in and get your hands dirty. We don’t blame you — this is an exciting time! But taking on too much personally when undergoing a training transformation can be overwhelming and may even result in low-grade outcomes. Learn by HireRoad can automate many administrative tasks ensuring more control over training programs while simultaneously reducing administrative overhead. Spearhead your next training program strategy without the burden of time-consuming back-office work. Your employees are ready to be taken in a new direction of learning and growth!