With a few tweaks, your training programs can shift from stodgy and boring to social and inspiring. A new and improved program, with an emphasis on professional development, can go a long way toward increasing employee retention and improving morale and productivity. These five tips will help you nurture effective training programs that connect to your company’s objectives.
1. Create more informal training opportunities.
Include options for on-the-job training, mentoring and coaching. Training is most effective when it’s on the spot and tied to action rather than theoretical.
“Everyone wants daily learning opportunities. We try to follow the 70/20/10 rule and have training that is 70 percent on-the-job experience, 20 percent learning from others, and 10 percent formal education,” says Megan McGrady, senior instructional designer, Ingram Micro.
2. Make training more social.
Your organization is filled with experts. Let them share their knowledge via blogs, learning management systems and message boards. Social media lets those with hard-earned experience and unique perspectives provide valuable insight to co-workers.
3. Appeal to all types of learners.
When you offer webinars, mobile apps, printed materials and face-to-face meetings, employees can choose the training that suits their learning style, and they will retain more of the core concepts they need. “Employees need smaller learning vignettes that let them access knowledge and skills in different ways,” says Christine Dunham, senior performance specialist, delivery, Ingram Micro. “Offer a combination that addresses employees’ short attention spans, time constraints and love of technology.”
4. Measure results.
Training should be tied to your organization’s competencies and business goals. After professional development activities, conduct focus groups to ensure the business is getting the results it expects. Identify quantifiable results that show behaviors are changing and employees are applying new skills.
5. Take the pulse of the program’s reputation.
Is enrollment dropping? Do people know what the training department does? And, most importantly, are training leaders asked to participate in strategic meetings? Answering these questions will help you understand if your program needs to be revamped for 2016 and beyond.