Human resource professionals frequently cite lack of training as a major factor in employee turnover and suggest that continuing education programs and on-going training are key to retaining good people. Training takes time and money. Here are a few ideas to help you maximize your investment in training and ensure that your programs deliver results that benefit your company and inspire your employees:
- Make sure the training offered is appropriate for the needs and education levels of participants. Gather information first from prospective attendees to properly assess their needs and the best delivery method (self-paced learning on a PC, web-based programs, online seminars or traditional classroom).
- Involve participants in the planning process. Consider providing a menu of choices based on the final needs analysis for individuals to select. Involvement in upfront planning creates employee enthusiasm and "buy-in."
- Ensure that training programs are clearly linked both with corporate goals and individual performance goals. Employees’ appraisals and salary review sessions should always identify each employee’s specific contribution(s) to the organization’s business plan. Every employee and their supervisor should agree on what is needed for success and what corresponding training would enhance the employee’s job performance and ability to contribute to company growth. In order to fully capitalize on the learning experiences offered, employees must be convinced that their personal success and career development will be enhanced by the training sessions on offer.
- Demonstrate consistent management support for, and belief in, the benefits of training. Management commitment to on-going employee education goes beyond providing the funding that makes it happen. Make sure that training and education programs are referenced in business plans, internal communications efforts, as well as in human resource plans and individual performance goals.
- The training methodology is often as important as its content. Make sure your business is making use of appropriate technology to give employees access to the best and most relevant learning methods. Traditional instructor-led sessions are declining in favor of PC-based learning. Not only is PC-based learning cost-effective, but it also is a more flexible option, less disruptive to normal business operations and gives participants more opportunities to learn at their own convenience and at their own pace.
Technology adds a whole new dimension to employee training possibilities. But whether you select traditional classroom training or on-line seminars for your employee programs, remember that learning really begins when the class ends. Be a positive coach for your staff, look for ways to reinforce the lessons learned in the training sessions, and reiterate your commitment to their professional growth through continued education and learning.