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Employee Training and Development – 7 Best Practices

7 Best Practices for Employee Training and DevelopmentTraining is an excellent opportunity to expand your employees’ knowledge base and help them advance their skills. When executed properly, training and development can pay huge dividends for both companies and their employees. To make sure your organization and your employees get the most out of your training program, here are seven best practices for training and development.

Employee Training and Development

Employee Training and Development
Employee Training and Development – 7 Best Practices

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7 Best Practices for Employee Training and Development

Assess Needs 

Effective training and developments start with identifying the real needs of an organization. Training organizers must understand the goals and current trajectory of the company as a whole. The best way to ensure you have this information is to conduct interviews, research, and internal surveys with the relevant stakeholders within your organization. It’s also vital that you identify which employees (or groups of employees) need training employee and what that training needs to look like. There’s no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to professional development.

In order to figure out where your workforce can grow and improve, you’ll want to look for inconsistencies between current and desired performance. For instance, an increase in negative reviews regarding product support may indicate that your customer service staff requires additional training.

Once you identify these needs, make an agenda and stick to it. Effective planning is always a prerequisite to a successful outcome. A comprehensive plan not only assures that material will be presented in a coherent sequence, but also that the instructor will cover all the important information. Be sure to involve all relevant stakeholders and team members; you’re bound to miss something if you’re not involving the right people in the process.

 

Set Clear Goals 

Executives, managers, and employees must set clear training goals before they start designing training programs. (If need be, you can also enlist the help of a third-party training provider or content developer.) Effectively outlining your objectives is crucial when training new employees or launching a global learning program. Important (and often overlooked) considerations include accounting for the inclusion of all relevant employees, regardless of location, identifying unique topics or changes that need to be made for based on different training locales and accommodating varying degrees of access to technology and resources.

The core factors you should be examining when setting goals are your training budget, any government-mandated training or certifications that may be required in a particular geographical region (country or state), and the equipment and infrastructure required for the initiative. What is available at each training site? Having a good understanding of these key factors well in advance will help you make the best choice when it comes to determining training processes and providers and maximize the probability of attaining successful training outcomes.  

 

Change Up the Techniques

Switching between breakout sessions, standard didactic teaching, Q&A sessions, and lectures help keep trainees tuned in and alert. Get the most enthusiastic students to help you lead the group or group them with students who may be struggling. Always observe the steps of learning (communication, experience, practice, feedback, and skill development) in the training and development process. 

The next step is to let your students “get their hands dirty.” Most people learn best by experiencing real scenarios, so exposing trainees to practical applications is vital. Make sure constructive feedback is given along the way.

The learning process takes place in cycles. At the final stage in the process – expanding skills – learners come full circle back to communication. Education should always be a dialogue.

The best approach to address the differences between learners is to provide training through a combined learning methodology. Such methodology enables you to implement variety and flexibility in your training, which is imperative in the case of remote or virtual training. Check out MicroTek’s article on choosing the best training delivery solution for more information on this topic. 

 

Improve Learner Engagement 

Trainees need to stay engaged and motivated. To achieve this, you need to make sure your training content is relevant. It is of paramount importance to cater content to each trainee’s requirements. The content you present should be timely and applicable to help them with their tasks, expand their skills, and give them quick takeaways that they can apply at once. Employee Training and Development – 7 Best Practices.

 

Know Learning Styles 

There are as many learning styles as there are learners. It might help to become acquainted with students’ backgrounds in advance. On the first day of training, take the time to allow participants to introduce themselves and share how their skills relate to the matters at hand. This approach yields very useful insight, improving the accuracy of learning outcome predictions, which brings us to our next point.

 

Assess the Grasp of Learning Content 

Learning evaluation goes beyond formal testing. It’s vital you confirm informally at various intervals that learning material has been retained throughout the training session. Generally, all participants should be around the same level of competency, individual differences notwithstanding. It’s no coincidence we mentioned Q&A sessions as a viable approach earlier. These sessions will help you and your instructors identify areas of confusion and zero-in on content that needs to be reviewed in greater depth.

To maximize retention, hold a series of small lessons around a main skill or core concept. Also known as training reinforcement, this time should focus on what has been learned from earlier content and sessions. Not only will employees retain more information, but the likelihood of them being able to apply their new knowledge will be much greater. 

To augment retention, give rewards from time to time. Positive reinforcement in this form serves to incentivize employees to engage and remember more. 

 

Present Examples from Real Life 

This is the last and most important of our best practices. Be sure to present examples from learners’ jobs in training exercises. In many cases, training can bring together learners with many different job functions and responsibilities, so try to choose examples that reflect that diversity. The subjects students broach when they ask questions can help you customize further subject matter for in-class exercises or case studies.

Training is not a one-way transfer of knowledge. Instructors and students can learn a lot from each other, so cooperation is key. If you’re interested in learning more about this, BBA Lectures’ Ten tips for training new employees, newcomers will provide you with a wealth of information.   

Employee Training and Development – 7 Best Practices

 

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About Mercy Ehrler

Mercy Ehrler has been marketing for corporate learning and development organizations for more than 15 years. As Director of Marketing for MicroTek, a meeting and training room provider, Mercy helps shape the company’s internal and external positioning of its innovative training and meeting venues and services. Her extensive background in the industry has given her unique insight into the challenges companies face when developing their training and meeting solutions. Through the company blog, articles, ebooks, and other educational content, MicroTek helps clients connect with the spaces and services needed to execute the perfect training or meeting event.

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