Having a training programme in the workplace is good – but having an effective training programme is even better. Here’s how to ensure you provide the correct learning environment for your employees, so they can develop their skills and help your brand become an industry leader
We learn new things every day in the workplace, but occasionally we need re-training or cross-training to learn about updates in our industry and develop our skills – and we want to ensure it’s worthwhile. So how can your organisation achieve this?
Whether it’s new employees or starting a management training programme, you want to make sure your colleagues are getting the best out of their training opportunities. Here, we’ll outline what an effective training programme should include, how workplace learning opportunities can benefit your brand, what programme types you can use, plus ways to create your own.
What is an effective workplace training programme?
An effective workplace training programme is one that delivers on key objectives (from onboarding through to upskilling and talent retention), drives employee engagement, and can be measured. Many workplaces rely on learning management systems (LMS) to deliver digital learning content across a remote and hybrid workforce.
Workplace training programmes are usually put in place by a manager, HR, or L&D team member to provide employees with the skills and knowledge they need for their current position, or for future career development. These programmes will be tailored to employees’ roles, experience, and positions in the company – the training offered to new starters as part of their employee onboarding, for example, will be quite different to that put in place for staff who have been with your organisation for some time.
There might be mandatory training that all staff must complete on an annual basis to comply with legislation, for example, and other compulsory activities for new starters. While more experienced staff can expect to be offered activities that help them to prepare for their next career move, or to take on management positions as they move up the career ladder.
It’s important that your workplace training programme isn’t focused solely on one subset of employees; they should all be given the opportunity to take advantage of the workplace learning on offer. Staff will want to know about the opportunities available for them to grow in the workplace – if there’s space for them to develop, and they feel appreciated, they’re less likely to leave your organisation. As well as helping each person to progress, a staff training programme will go towards improving both employee retention and efficiency within your company.
Employee training and development will enable your people – and your organisation – to succeed. You can assess your team using a training needs analysis (TNA), and then give them support to learn and develop the skills needed for their roles. You can then retain those proactive employees and allow them to grow with your business.
How do training programmes benefit an organisation?
There are numerous benefits to having a workplace training programme, for both your company and your employees. For instance, such a programme enables people to keep up to date with any changes within your industry. Providing ongoing training and development opportunities will mean your people will learn about the latest changes in your sector, and continually build their skills and knowledge.
You can also aim to outperform your competition, both as a group and as individuals. you offer will be the prime candidates to fill vacancies as part of your succession planning activities. Investing in making your people more skilled and efficient will also give your organisation the edge in your chosen market.
As you offer employees what they need to fulfil their potential, your retention rates will improve; those who don’t get these chances will likely search for a role elsewhere. Higher job satisfaction will boost productivity, motivation, and loyalty, too, so it’s your responsibility to provide opportunities for employees to enjoy their work. Offering the correct incentives – including training programmes – will also attract the best talent to your organisation.
Types of workplace training programmes
Your workplace training programme can be delivered through many different methods. You may have experienced some or all of those listed below and may wish to implement them in your own company’s programme as you evolve your employee training offer.
Classroom-based: this instructor-led method will take place at a physical venue (either at your workplace or off-site), or online, and will probably last at least half a day as learners go through activities and presentations. This method helps trainers to deliver a lot of information in a short space of time.
On-the-job: employees can take part in activities related to a current or future role, and are actively involved in their learning. It can lead to rapid learning – thanks to its ‘sink or swim’ nature – and can help you with succession planning, because competent individuals will stand out.
Interactive: this also actively involves learners, and can include simulations, role plays, games, or quizzes – all of which can be carried out in-person or digitally. Applying new skills in realistic scenarios means employees are more likely to retain what they’ve learned and are more engaged.
Online: also known as eLearning, this may include courses, videos, or webinars where information can be presented and tested in numerous ways. The variety means employees can learn depending on their needs and own style – and can be completed on the go. Many organisations choose to make gamified learning part of their eLearning programme, incorporating elements such as badges and leaderboard to engage learners and boost organisational performance.
Key steps to create effective staff training programmes
Before starting work on your new workplace training programme, you should conduct a training audit . You’ll need to identify the training needs of both the company and your employees – so you can present the case for investment to senior leaders, and properly engage learners with the benefits of participating in the programme once it’s launched. Check for any inefficiencies that can be improved by training, and present what training could be like – and deliver – for your business.
You’ll need to develop learning objectives as you should know what training needs to achieve for it to be effective. These objectives should state what each learner will know and can complete after training compared with before, and have measurable steps that employees can aim for to achieve an overall goal. You should also do this for your business as a whole, so you can measure and report on the programme’s overall impact. Developing these objectives will help keep you on track while you design the training programme, and afterwards as you deliver and implement it.
Make sure your staff training programme allows employees to learn in a way that will keep them engaged and enthusiastic. This training should be self-directed, be relevant to the learner’s objectives, and be goal-oriented – plus match your company’s learning aims. And, as your employees will have plenty of experiences to refer from, this can help them decide on future training.
Once you’ve created your training programme, you’ll need to keep track of activities and check employees are progressing through the correct modules: learning management system software is an ideal tool for capturing these records. You should also get feedback from those who have completed programmes: this will enable you to modify and expand your training offer as necessary, while you can also measure the efficacy of training for specific roles (such as sales or production, for example). Review your training programme regularly to check it’s functioning correctly, is being completed, and is effective.
While a workplace training programme may be the key to success for your business and employees, it needs to be implemented in a way that benefits everyone. It should include new and current colleagues, offering them an opportunity to acquire and develop skills – which will help your business outperform your competition. Once you know what your goals are, you can track and improve training as you get feedback from learners.
You should ensure you use the correct training programmes for your audience, so consider requesting a demonstration of Digits LMS to assess its benefits and check if it’ll be a good addition to your organisation. Download our brochure for more information on how our learning management system can help you work towards creating an effective workplace training programme that will lead to skilled, knowledgeable employees and a successful business.