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What Is Employee Training & Development?

Employee Training

 

40% of employees who receive inadequate training leave their positions within the first year.

According to Rapt Media, a provider of interactive video technology, companies are losing about $500 billion every year due to the absence of employee engagement methods like training. 

From this, it is clear that employee training plays a major role in ensuring employee engagement, performance, retention, and business growth.

To make the most of such programs, you first need to know the ins and outs of employee training and development.

This blog post discusses all that you should know about the topic. Read on to find out.

Watch: What is Employee Training

Table of Contents

What Is Employee Training and Development?

To know the importance of training employees, you should first understand the meaning of employee training and development.

Employee training and development is a planned and systematic process of developing general as well as role-based knowledge and skills in employees.

Examples are: 

Communication skills training, technical training, and leadership training. Such training programs are tied to:

  • improved employee performance
  • better decision-making
  • achievement of business objectives

Employers use various methods to train and develop their employees, including classroom training, eLearning, role-plays, webinars, group discussions, and so on.

To achieve positive results, employee training and development programs should be engaging, measurable, and consistent.

best practices for developing training content

(Source: elearninginfographics.com)


Also Read: LMS: Enabling Tailored Employee Training for Best Results


Types of Employee Training & Development

There are at least half a dozen employee development training types, such as onboarding, soft skills, technical, compliance, and more, that almost all companies deploy. Let’s have a look at them in detail:

  • Onboarding

It starts with orientation and goes on to cover other activities, such as HR paperwork, training on company policies and culture, facility tours, introduction to team members, and role-based training.

The primary aim of onboarding is to integrate new hires into a company physically and emotionally. It should be thorough and engaging to get the desired results.

An LMS can help you automate onboarding and bring your new hires up to speed faster.

  • Basic Skills Training

Engagement in the Workplace

Basic skills are something that all employees are expected to possess regardless of their educational background and positions. It includes training in basic computer skills, organizational skills, and workplace communication skills.

  • Technical Training

It involves training on all the technical aspects of a job. These skills are often job-specific and necessary to perform a task correctly and competently.

Examples include:

  • In sales: CRM or customer relationship management (CRM) system training
  • In hospitality: Trained on how to process orders
  • In retail: How to use the Point of Sale system or inventory system
  • Soft Skills Training

This training encompasses personality development, communication skills, social skills, and emotional intelligence.

Interpersonal skills training programs like this help mold employees so that they can work harmoniously with others in a professional environment.

  • Product & Service Training

Product & service training is recommended for both new and existing employees.

Product knowledge is important, particularly for salespersons, as it plays a major role in closing sales. This training is equally significant for the rest of the employees whose daily tasks revolve around a company’s product and service.

  • Compliance Training

Training programs for employees, such as sexual harassment training and workplace safety training, come under this category. They are required by laws and regulations, which may vary from one state to another.

Companies need to comply with federal and state-mandated training requirements. This type of training is conducted periodically.

Benefits of Employee Training & Development

Employee training & development increases job satisfaction and boosts employee morale. It helps maintain the desired level of knowledge and skills. It also increases the scope for internal promotions and gives your organization the necessary competitive edge.

There are countless other benefits to staff training, including many not-so-obvious ones. 

Let’s find out.

  • Bridging Knowledge Gaps

This is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of training employees.

No matter the position and role of an employee in an organization, there is always something new to learn from time to time.

You can first identify the mismatch between the required skills and the skills your employees actually possess. After that, you can close the skills gap through systematic training.

This will enable your employees to adapt to new professional requirements easily.

  • Improved Performance

When employees receive the right training at the right time, it paves the way for improved performance. This is because training empowers employees with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their jobs proficiently and effectively.

Such professionally trained employees, in turn, bring measurable business results.

  • Reduction in Employee Bounce Rate

It is estimated that turnover among the millennial workforce costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually. No surprise then that this class of workers has earned the nickname “the job-hopping generation”.

This problem underscores the importance of taking effective measures to counter employee attrition. One of them is investing in employee training.

This is because employees tend to feel valued when employers invest in their learning and development.

In addition to sharpening employees’ skills and preparing them for their job roles, such training programs prevent employees from switching jobs.

Training lets you take a grip on employees and retain them easily.

  • Greater Creativity & Innovation

Brainstorming sessions, knowledge sharing, co-learning, and other collaborative activities conducted during a training session spark creativity and innovation in employees. This helps them become more proactive, especially when they encounter job challenges. They can apply ideas in new ways to overcome those problems.

This is again one of the significant benefits of training to employees.

Well-trained employees are more agile by nature, and they can readily respond to and handle different workplace situations. Their approach to work becomes more refined than their untrained counterparts.

This, in turn, results in greater performance and productivity.

  • Engagement in the Workplace

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Training increases workplace engagement by keeping employees busy in learning something new and eliminating boredom.

Restricting employees to routine tasks can breed monotony over time. They easily become jaded in such situations.

During such times, learning & development opportunities can be the best antidote, a welcome break, as they bring a change in vibes. It shifts their focus to rewarding activities that promote their professional development and career growth.

  • Satisfaction and Morale Boost

One of the reasons employees leave an organization is the lack of growth opportunities through continuous learning. No employee likes to remain stagnant in their profession. They expect to move up the ladder with time and be happy about it.

Training can make that possible. It can help them realize their real worth and enhance their capacity to contribute to an organization. As a business owner or trainer, you should offer them those opportunities.

When employees realize that they are doing the best they could and they are appreciated for that, their satisfaction level soars dramatically. This gives them the much-needed morale boost to sustain themselves in your service.

  • Brand Growth

A company that makes ongoing employee training one of its business strategies never stops growing. Such an organization always sets workplace training and development as its priority as it is the surest way to outdo its competition.

Corporate training can enhance employee skills and performance and make them feel delighted. Over time, it can transform the employees into your brand ambassadors.

This has a positive impact on your company profile and reputation. As business networks and customer base grow, so does your brand.

  • Increased Bottom Line

Regular training of employees can help develop their performance, ensure job satisfaction, and reduce turnover. This way, it eliminates the need for hiring and training new employees. This saves business time and cost.

A well-trained workforce also delivers on what is expected and keeps customers happy. 

What does this mean for your business?

Increased ROI and a sound financial standing of a company.


Interesting Read: 9 Experts Explain Why eLearning Success Depends on Microlearning


Popular Employee Training Methods

After learning why employee training matters, you should know how to train employees. There are five different training methods that many companies use as a standalone or in a blended form.

  • ILT Classroom Training

Instructor-led training (ILT) is where an instructor takes the lead. It is the most widely used method of imparting training. Live discussions and question & answer sessions are the main highlights of this training method. Such face-to-face interactions give a personal touch to training.

  • Computer-Based Training

On the other side of the coin is computer-based training (CBT), also known as eLearning, online training, or web-based training.

This training uses electronic devices such as PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones as well as an Internet connection. One advantage of this training is that learners can access training courses for employees anytime and from anywhere.

Generally, companies rely on online training courses to deliver this type of training. For example, ProProfs offers a library of 100+ ready-to-use courses that you can share with your learners as they are or with slight modifications.

  • Coaching & Mentoring

Done either in person or online, coaching & mentoring provides a one-on-one learning experience to employees. It usually takes place between a new employee and an experienced senior during onboarding. 

Trainees find this method more personalized and comfortable than the one that takes place in a physical classroom setting.

  • Social Learning

Social Learning

This is simply learning from others in a social environment. Activities such as group discussions, Q&A sessions, role-play, and team-based brain games are examples of this kind of learning.

Multiple individuals are involved in the learning process characterized by observation, imitating, and knowledge sharing.

  • Interactive Training

Employee training manuals alone don’t cut it. You need to explore additional ways employees can learn actively.

There are several elements that make training interactive. These can be team-based learning activities, quizzes, role-plays, group discussions, simulations, and so on. They make learning fun and engaging, thereby increasing the chances of success.

Why You Need to Train Employees

Your employees are your most important asset. Unfortunately, many employers don’t make proper investments in their employees. By doing so, they are making a costly mistake.

Don’t be one of them. Instead, find out some of the top reasons to invest in employee training.

Helps Employees Feel Valued, Boosts Morale

For some businesses, employee training is delayed either because of other priorities or because it doesn’t bring an immediate benefit to their workforce.

Employers need to understand that training improves the overall workplace experience of employees. And it takes time to see quantifiable results.

Training also shows an organization’s commitment to their employees’ future through learning and development.

All of this helps increase employee skills, boosts their morale, and makes them feel more valued, which is good for an organization.

Increases Employee Agility and Fosters Curiosity

Agility gives a sense of achievement, and it is becoming a key factor for business success. If your employees are not given the right training and the training is stalling progress, workplace agility gets affected.

When one of your employees gets stuck with their duties, productivity can come to a halt, and it can escalate into larger problems. Employee training can teach your workforce how to resolve problems quickly and efficiently, thereby encouraging them to become more innovative.

The need for innovation goes along with a sense of curiosity. Workforce training can bring a positive change. Before long, you’ll be developing leaders who stand out in the crowd.

Helps Grow Your Customer Base

“The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers.” Richard Branson

Proper training is the best way to keep your employees motivated. This will ultimately translate into better customer care and customer satisfaction.

And when your existing customers are happy through exemplary customer service, the news can reach potential customers by word of mouth.

This eventually paves the way for growing your customer base and generating more revenues.

Enhances Company Reputation and Profile 

Employees are the backbone of an organization. Your success depends on them.

Having a training strategy in place can help improve employee productivity and develop your brand.

Training also makes a company more attractive to potential recruits. Such training can be of any kind relevant to your area of work and can be delivered by any effective method. It could be on-the-job training, mentoring, or individual study.

Your Employees Will Thank You for It


Your Employees Will Thank You for It

There are two main reasons employees quit: 

  1. They fall out with their manager 
  2. They aren’t learning anything worthwhile

If employees are properly trained, it will help maintain healthy relationships in the workplace and enable them to work better. They will also be grateful to you for the opportunity to learn something and they are more likely to stay loyal to you.

Here again, online employee training software can make your job a lot easier. Most of the popular software solutions on the market today are powerful enough, accelerating how you set your employees up for success.

How to Create and Deploy High-Impact Employee Training

Employee training cannot and should not be a shot in the dark.

Whether you’re training your employees on soft skills or delivering mandatory compliance training, it should achieve certain objectives. 

You should follow the best practices and strategies to make it worthwhile and make the right impact.

This will make the whole process meaningful and sustainable.

So, let’s see how you can do it.

Step 1: Start With the End in Mind

To begin with, you should know where you want to take your training program and why. 

Do you want to develop leadership skills in your workforce? 

Or do you want to impart more technical and role-specific training on handling modern tools?

Either way, a clear understanding of the outcomes should be your guiding principle. More specifically, it should be based on SMART goals.

When you know what you want to achieve, you’ll find it easier to take the necessary path and avoid those that won’t lead to your goal.

Step 2: Analyze Skill Gaps in Employees

There’s always something an employee can learn in the workplace to improve their professional knowledge and skills. To make training relevant and effective, you should identify their current skills and compare them with the skills that a modern workplace demands.

This will reveal the gaps, if any, in your employees.

There are several proven techniques to conduct an effective skills gap analysis that you can use. Make sure you employ them.

Step 3: Choose the Best Tool

Once you know your learning & development goals and the skills gap in your employees, it is time to select the best training tool.

There are a large number of employee training platforms on the market with different sets of features. Cherry-picking in this situation becomes challenging when almost all of them sound awesome.

The best bet at this point in time is to look for a solution that’s easy to understand and use. That should be the first criteria. This is because no matter how feature-packed the tool is, if it entails a steep learning curve and persuades you to constantly seek the help of customer support, it’s not worth it.

Another means to find out whether a tool is right for corporate training is to read genuine customer reviews and ratings on impartial third-party software review sites.


Related Post: 10 Best Online Training Software


Step 4: Choose the Right Course

Along with the tool, an online course makes another essential element for employee training. 

The course you choose should be professionally designed and credible. It should cover comprehensive topics presented in engaging formats such as videos, infographics, and quizzes. It should be of the right length, not too short, not too long.

In other words, credibility, suitability, and engagement level should be the deciding factors.

Another feature to consider in the course is that it is easily customizable to add content from your end or modify the existing one to suit your specific needs.

Step 5: Implement the Program

The next step is to implement the training program and bring your plan to life. A tool such as ProProfs LMS lets you share course links via email or on social media. You can also embed a course on your website.

Similarly, the tool allows you to assign courses to learners in bulk through its virtual classroom. As soon as you assign a course to a group, all the learners in that group will be invited to take the course.

If you want to find out how to administer training to a large group, this course on How to Administer Training to Large Groups will help you.

Once the course assignment is taken care of, you can start tracking progress in real-time. You can view course participation, pending and completed courses, and engagement level.

Step 6: Evaluate Training Outcome

Training evaluation is necessary to determine whether the training has achieved its objectives. One way is to collect feedback from participants using surveys on how effective they think the course is and if there’s anything they want to see improved.

Beautifully designed feedback surveys can be a useful tool at this time to get inputs from your stakeholders. You can use different types of templates and questions for this purpose.

You can also use the 4-level Kirkpatrick Model to evaluate the effectiveness of your online training program. It is the most widely used training evaluation method.


Read More: How to Develop Your First Employee Training Program


Characteristics of Top-Rated Employee Training Programs

Employee development programs differ from one organization to another. Having said that, every successful employee training program has the following:

  • Company-Wide Needs Assessment

Ideally, a thorough needs analysis precedes all quality training programs. You need to conduct research across your company to determine whether you need training and if yes, what type of training.

Such exercises are generally conducted to assess the current performance of employees and expected performance. For example, unhappy customers clearly indicate that your customer support team needs some sales training.

  • Alignment With Business Objectives

Along with employee development, every corporate training program has another higher purpose – meeting business objectives.

Whether it is maintaining a healthy cash flow or achieving sustainable growth, a company always strives for certain objectives. So, it is obvious to see businesses aligning workforce training with larger corporate objectives.

Here are some common business objectives and training goals that need to be aligned with them:

 

Business Objective Training Goals
Enhance speed and quality of production To make employees more skilled in terms of process knowledge, efficiency and quality standards.
Brand Building To provide delightful experiences to the customers wherever possible by training sales and support staff to be more knowledgeable and helpful. Also, by up skilling UX personnel so that high-quality products and services can be provided.
Long-term growth To train employees in such a way that they are able to grow with the company and to also reduce attrition.
Compete better To train employees in a way that they are able to innovate, personalize, and be ready to work in tune with new technologies & trends.

 

Such alignment is another mark of a first-rate employee training and development program.

  • Measurable Goals

For any employee development program to be meaningful, it must be measurable. You should be able to quantify what’s achieved and what remains at the end of each program.

Standard training would rely on certain business metrics such as key performance indicators (KPIs) against which the organizational goals can be measured. This enables employers to know the overall effectiveness of training.

  • Relevant & Updated Content

Companies unanimously agree that one of the best ways to make the most of employee training is to use relevant and updated content. They should reflect the latest industry trends to make sure that your employees pick up the contemporary skills that modern workplaces demand.

This will also make learning more engaging and easily applicable to daily tasks.

By using virtual classroom software, it becomes easy to not only add learners and assign courses to them but also to regularly update the content.

  • Support of Senior Management

Support of Senior Management

Yet another hallmark of good employee training is it enjoys buy-in from senior management. It receives much-needed support from the leadership from day one.

This is significant as it motivates employees to participate actively in any training program that the company offers. It also drives home the message that the company treats employees’ learning & development as a priority.

  • Reinforcement Post-Training

Post-training reinforcement is an integral part of any successful employee training program. It is to ensure that employees actually apply to their work what they learned during training. Otherwise, it would amount to conducting training just for the sake of it.

Without this phase, employees would soon forget the training. You can use information retention techniques to help your employees recall and retain training lessons.

Why Choose ProProfs?

online employee training software

ProProfs is the world’s easiest employee training management system. It enjoys over 15 million users in 150+ countries and counting. It is designed for use by people of all skill levels and in all industries. 

Easy to Use

ProProfs is amazingly easy to understand and use. Even people with zero technical knowledge can use it without any problems.

Premium Course Library

Access a growing library of 100+ expert-designed courses ready for deployment. Easily conduct training on a range of corporate training topics, including HIPAA, sexual harassment, and workplace communications.

Ease of Customization

The tool is easily configurable with settings for course privacy, course scheduling, notifications, and integrations. It also supports personalization for brand management.

70+ Languages Supported

ProProfs is available in more than 70 interface languages. This enables training administrators to deliver training in a language that their learners understand.

Powerful Integrations

Easily integrate the LMS with your favorite tools, including CMS, CRM, and email marketing tools. Get extended functionality of an already robust tool.

AI-Powered Reporting

Get different types of auto-generated reports such as course reports, group reports, and reports on quizzes within a course. Make data-driven decisions.

Take Your Employee Training to the Next Level

These are the key elements that make up successful employee training. Such training can empower you to achieve business goals and prepare for the competition with well-groomed employees.

The idea is to build a winning team that smartly aligns its activities with your business goals.

In case you need employee training software to simplify and streamline employee training, we can help you.

ProProfs LMS offers complete online training solutions for enterprises of all sizes. Along with it, you can leverage its sister software solutions Quiz Maker, Collaborate, Qualaroo, Picreel, and many more.

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About the author

Kamy is an eLearning & training expert. He has been published in eLearningIndustry, TrainingMag. As a corporate trainer at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in building an awesome eLearning management system that has simplified learning and training for thousands of customers across the globe. Follow Kamy @kamyanderson

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