89% of employees stay longer in a position if the company invests in employee training. In addition, 89% of HR leaders agree that consistent employee training is crucial to the company’s success. And yet, only 34% of employees are very satisfied with their job-specific training.
These statistics might seem unusual. Even though most leaders and employees understand the importance of job training programs, the vast majority of workers don’t feel like the training they get is effective.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense, however, there’s also a very simple explanation for why that’s the case: developing job training programs that work isn’t easy.
But at the same time, companies of all sizes have proven that it’s possible to have employee training programs that deliver outstanding results, drive growth, and keep the employees motivated to stay on for longer.
Just as virtual team-building exercises help employees (even remote ones) work together and communicate better, job training programs can become a vital tool for ensuring that each employee has the proper knowledge and right skills to do their job well.
To help you get started with developing better job training programs, let’s look at why they matter and a few crucial steps that you should consider.
Why Are Job Training Programs Important?
Before we can begin exploring the specific steps that go into developing job training programs, we must first establish why training matters in the first place. And while the most apparent reason is improving your workers’ skills, the long-term benefits stretch well beyond that.
Here are just a few of the top benefits below.
The primary reason for investing in job training programs remains the potential for improving your employees’ skills. But just because it’s easy to understand doesn’t diminish the true impact that better skills can have for your company.
Improving and learning new skills is not just about helping the employees become better at their jobs. It’s about transforming how your company operates and the results you can achieve.
Every new skill that your employees acquire and every gradual improvement they make can have a compounding effect, making various tasks more effective and more efficient without you having to do anything else.
In other words, with each training session, your employees will learn to either do a task faster or do it better (or both). And over the course of months or years, that can accumulate to hundreds of hours saved and better results that can give you an edge over the competition.
Fills Roles from Within
A smart company must always be thinking about the future. And one of the biggest challenges companies face today is trying to retain their top performers.
With the demand for high-level specialists as high as ever, finding a replacement for the critical roles in your company is becoming increasingly difficult. Therefore, you must do everything in your power to keep your current employees happy and ready to fill bigger positions as they become available.
Using job training programs, you can groom employees for more significant roles within the company, anticipate the need for various positions, and provide your workers with relevant hands-on training to make the transition much easier further on.
Boosts Employer Brand
Today’s employees care about how their career is progressing. They want to know that in five, ten, or even twenty years, they’ll be able to achieve the career goals that they set out.
And the only way for that to happen is for them to have access to job training programs that help them learn new skills, advance their knowledge, and prepare for bigger responsibilities and more prominent positions in the future.
Because of that, having effective job training programs can help boost your employer brand. Whether you recruit yourself or use a recruitment process outsourcing company, potential candidates will appreciate that you invest a lot of time and resources into training your employees, which is an appealing proposition to motivated and eager specialists with high ambitions for growth.
Another crucial advantage of employee training is the fact that it can boost productivity. A big part of going through tasks efficiently is having the right skills and knowledge about how to tackle them.
At the same time, employees that don’t know how to handle their responsibilities effectively can spend a lot of time on tasks that should be easy to complete.
Therefore, having a structured process for training your employees can provide a massive boost to productivity. More experienced team members can share their experience about handling various issues, moving past tasks in the most efficient way possible, and planning work to get the most done in a single day.
Overseeing employees can take up a lot of time. If your managers have to constantly check in on the people that work under them, that can cut down on the time they have for their own tasks, slowing down the work in the entire office.
But if you run regular job training programs, you can empower your employees to become more independent, enabling them to handle projects on their own without the need for much supervision.
At the same time, training employees means that they can share what they learn with each other, further reducing the need for supervision or guidance.
How to Develop Job Training Programs: Key Steps
The only way to develop effective job training programs is to understand the underlying principles behind each step of the process.
With that in mind, let’s go over seven key steps that you need to go through to create training programs that are relevant, effective, and appealing to your workers.
Identify Weak Areas
The best job training programs solve a specific problem. Therefore, it’s a good idea to begin your process by looking for weak areas in how your employees work daily. That way, you can be more confident that the training will have the maximum impact and will be worth the effort and resources you put into creating it.
And the best way to identify weak areas is to talk to people who are impacted by them every day.
You could go to your managers and talk to them about the biggest bottlenecks that hinder productivity in the workplace. Perhaps employees lack knowledge on how to complete a task more efficiently or need a new skill to improve the quality of their results. You could also talk to the employees directly, asking them what the most challenging parts of their job are and how they think it could be improved with training.
Then, you can use the insights you gain to create a list of potential training opportunities, prioritizing them by urgency, ease of implementation, and the potential impact it could have on efficiency and results.
Determine Key Skills
Knowing the weak areas that need to be improved is a good start. But then, you need to take the insights you gain and look at the specific skills that would address those issues.
If you know your employees are taking too long to complete a task, the only way to effectively tackle the problem is to identify the specific obstacles that are preventing the job from being done faster.
By looking at each part of the task and breaking it down into actionable skills, you will determine where the specific weak area in knowledge and skills is and formulate a job training plan that will be the most effective in addressing that specific issue.
Establish Clear Objectives
The only way to reach a goal is to establish it in the first place. And the good news is that once you have the weak areas and the key skills, translating them into specific and tangible objectives will become much easier.
Think about the specific outcomes you want to achieve, drawing a line from where your employees are now and where they will be after completing the job training program you intend to design.
Also, consider how the results will impact your business on a broader scale. List some of the ways that the training could positively influence your overall business performance and help achieve the bigger goals you want to achieve.
For instance, when training customer support agents, you need to consider how to quickly familiarize them with the best practices within your company and ensure consistent support quality while still providing actionable hands-on training with real customers.
Implement Adult Learning Principles
One of the key aspects of achieving results with job training programs is understanding how to educate adults effectively. Adults are usually more self-driven, have more additional knowledge about the position, and will also be more critical of methods that they find redundant or ineffective.
Therefore, you should think about how you could create a training program that is not only informative but also in line with the motivations, preferences, and learning habits of your workers.
Only then can you expect your employees to remain engaged and motivated throughout the training, achieving the desired outcomes and becoming better at their jobs in the process.
Create the Program’s Materials & Resources
If you want the program to go smoothly, you can’t leave any aspect of it to chance. Every part of the training must have a purpose and must be clearly laid out in a logical, sequential order.
You should treat this part as a recipe where you mix different resources, topics, and materials into a course that provides enough hands-on experience while also establishing the fundamentals that help instill the best practices of approaching the task.
Identify the people whose experience would fit the training you’re trying to organize and ask them for input on how to make the program as good as it can be. But at the same time, consult your employees and hear the suggestions or concerns they are sharing, as they can be invaluable in making the program as effective as possible.
Then, start breaking down the training into smaller parts, refining each with the feedback you receive until you have a basic framework that you can further optimize.
Map Out the Training Process
Once you have the materials and the general job training program steps in place, it’s time to map out the program in a logical order and in a timeline that makes sense. You will need to figure out how much time you need to allocate to each part of the training, but that should be easier if you consult with the teachers and your employees.
Then, you will need to consider how to present the information in a way that’s easy to understand. Since job training programs depend on hands-on experience, make sure you design materials and exercises that include real-work situations that will translate into the work after the training.
If you want to provide your employees with more flexibility, you could also use online learning materials, resources, and even e-learning software solutions, which would help your workers learn independently and at their own pace.
Evaluate Results & Make Adjustments
It’s hard to design perfect job training programs on the first try. In fact, you will probably find that it’s seldom the case. Because of that, you need to establish a process for tracking your results so that you can make adjustments and make each training session better than the previous one.
The first step in the process is evaluating whether the training achieved the objectives you set out. If your employees learned new skills or became better at their jobs, that’s a good start. But you also need to know how much they improved and whether the results could have been even better.
You also need to schedule interviews with participants, asking what they got from the training and whether they would change anything if they could. Most likely, you will get insightful feedback that will give you plenty of ideas of what you could change next time around.
If you want to excel in your market, finding ways to improve is essential. But while implementing smart business strategies and innovating your products are vital ingredients, helping your employees grow through job training programs is no less integral to long-term success.
By going through the steps listed above, you should have no trouble developing an effective and immersive training experience for your workers, providing them with relevant, engaging, and career-enhancing training opportunities they will be excited to participate in.