What is Employee Training and Development?
Employee training and development is a broad term covering multiple kinds of employee learning.
Training is a program that helps employees learn specific knowledge or skills to improve performance in their current roles. Development is more expansive and focuses on employee growth and future performance, rather than an immediate job role.
As companies grow and the war for talent intensifies, it is increasingly important that training and development programs are not only competitive but are supporting the organization on its defined strategic path.
- China Gorman, CEO at Great Place to Work
Why you need high-impact employee training and development.
Good training and development programs help you retain the right people and grow profits. As the battle for top talent becomes more competitive, employee training and development programs are more important than ever. Hiring top talent takes time and money, and how you engage and develop that talent from the time they are first onboarded impacts retention and business growth. According to the 2017 Workplace Learning Report from LinkedIn, 69% of L&D professionals say that talent is the number one priority in their organizations, and over ¼ are expecting a budget increase in 2017 for L&D programs.
It’s not just about retention. Employee training and development programs directly impact your bottom line.
According to SHRM, the link between learning and business success is compelling. “Companies that learn fastest and adapt well to changing environments perform the best over time,” says Edward Hess, a professor of business administration and author.
Here is how you create high-impact employee training.
High-impact training and development programs don’t just happen. Instead, they’re the result of a careful planning and alignment process. The following steps can help you translate business objectives into a tailored training plan.
1. Identify Business Impact:
Design and develop your training to meet the company’s overall goals. Keeping business goals in focus ensures training and development makes a measurable impact.
2. Analyze Skill Gaps:
How are your employees’ behaviors helping meet the business goal? By finding out what the gaps are between employees’ current and ideal skills, you can better pinpoint what your specific learning objectives should be. Categorize these learning objectives into these three groups, and have activities in your training plan that target all three.
- Motivation: How can you help learners understand why they need to change their behaviors? By working with employee motivations–for example, pinpointing a purpose–you’re more likely to change behavior over the long term.
- Skills Mastery: What do your learners need to be able to do the job? These behaviors will have the most impact on performance.
- Critical Thinking: What must your learners know to perform their jobs well? Distinguish critical knowledge from nice-to-know information to identify what content should be in the course, and what should be in optional resources.
3. Layer Training Methods:
The most effective training programs use layered, sustainable learning activities to create performance improvement over time. A layered approach makes sure your program targets the essential employee, customer, and business needs while training the right people at the right time in the right way. A layered approach is the best of all worlds because it blends learning experiences and training methods that maximize the benefits of your time.
4. Evaluate Effectiveness and Sustain Gains:
Employees’ need for training and support don’t end when they get back to work. In fact, continued support is required to ensure that initial training sticks. Measurable learning objectives are the foundation for you to evaluate an initiative’s impact.
Advantages and benefits of high-impact employee training.
Top companies invest in training programs because they know the investment pays off in individual and organizational benefits. Here are a few examples.
- Profit growth
- Reduced employee turnover
- Deeper talent succession pipelines
- Increased employee motivation
- Improved engagement
- Improved productivity speed and competency
Companies who are creating effective employee development and training programs:
Domino’s created the Pizza Maker course, to help employees learn new skills and assess how well they’ve learned them. With three microlearning modules, Domino’s applied simulations and gamification to engage, assess, and reward employees to decrease onboarding time. By including competitive elements, both games encouraged new employees to beat their past scores. The games boosted menu knowledge which led to accuracy and faster pizza creation.
AllenComm worked closely with Nordic Naturals to develop a 45-minute online brand training course. A variety of activities were used to engage the learner while also allowing the learner to model and practice the principles associated with Nordic Naturals’ principles and products. AllenComm created a follow-up instructor-led training to ensure long-term retention and application of principles previously taught.
Learn how we help organizations achieve better business results with our custom employee training and development solutions.