4 simple steps to implement an employee training and development program

Employee training and development programs are a great way to improve the knowledge and skillset of your employees. Not only does this kind of training help employees do their job better, it’s also been proven to improve employee retention and engagement rates, as well as efficiency, innovation and productivity levels.

Despite the numerous benefits of employee training, 40 per cent of working Canadians say that their company rarely or never provides them with career development support. Thirty-nine per cent say they would take a pay cut from another employer that offered better professional development opportunites.

So, if the benefits are so great, why aren’t more businesses implementing these types of programs?

Developing a successful employee training and development program can be time-consuming, costly and challenging without the right tools. However, the benefits are worth the investment.

Here are four steps to help make your next employee training initiative a success.

Step 1: Identify your needs

From improving processes to increasing team morale, organizations offer training to solve a specific problem.

Before even starting to develop an employee training program, you need to determine what your organizational and employee needs are. Be sure to consider not only current processes and issues but future ones, too.

Develop the goals and target audiences of the program by seeking input from current employees and management. Use this information as a marker of success for your initiative.

Step 2: Choose the right training tools

The training method that you will use affects employees’ retention rates and their ability to practise their newly acquired skills.

There are numerous training methods to consider; the best one for your organization depends on budget, location, employee numbers, type of training and overall goals. Popular training methods include instructor-led training, online live or on-demand classes, hands-on-training, or role-playing.

If designing your training using employee training software, explore the software’s capabilities, ease of use, responsiveness and publishing choices before purchasing the ideal option.

Step 3: Deliver training effectively

The success of your program is dependent on how well your employees engage with the training. Programs that work best are deemed useful by employees and effectively meet their needs. Training needs to be delivered at a convenient time, too – for example, if training is required on a program roll-out, how far in advance should it be provided?

Be sure to complete a debrief at the end of every training session. Review employee knowledge of the new information learned and answer any remaining questions.

For optimal success, pilot your training program with a small group of employees. This provides the opportunity for program revisions before rolling the program out to all employees.

Step 4: Measure the results

Your work continues even after you’ve developed and launched your training and development program. To determine your program’s success, you should measure the return on investment by taking measurements before and after training sessions.

Continually improve your initiative using feedback received from employees, managers and customer satisfaction surveys. Review whether your training produces the desired effects and see what could be improved upon if it’s not.

Putting it all together

With the right resources, creating an employee training and development program doesn’t need to be complicated. Try to leverage turn-key programming solutions such as UP Skills for Work, a free employee training program offering workshops and resources on key employability skills, including time management and adaptability.

Learn more about our numerous free literacy programs and resources.