Having employee training programs might be the best decision you could make to improve employee productivity. It’s beneficial for your business, and your employees would appreciate it because it’s considered a good career development move. LinkedIn found that 94% of employees say that they would stay longer with a company if it invested in their training.
For whatever reason, your employee training program might not have the ideal results you’re expecting. In this article, I will focus more on the human side of the issues and offer collaboration tips for increasing employee engagement in your training programs.
Clarify objectives and expectations
Gallup’s Q12 research shows that “knowing what’s expected” from employees is perhaps the most basic employee need and is vital for employee performance. This holds true for all areas related to employees. Setting clear training objectives is a must for driving engagement.
The main question you need to answer upfront is, “What’s this training program good for?” What will your employees learn, and how will their new skills help them do their jobs better? Preparing a written curriculum for your training program helps a lot. List the materials you’re going to cover and explain the benefits.
You also need to define your expectations from your employees. This includes expectations regarding engagement and what should happen after completion. As a rule of thumb, explain the general rules for attending the training courses and how the assessment results will influence their careers.
Clearly state the starting date of the program and urge the employees to arrive on time. This is even more important if your team is composed of people from different time zones. You also need to specify whether there are any hardware or software needs for completing the program.
Encourage communication and collaboration
A training program that promotes effective communication between team members is a successful one. A training program designed for team members should incorporate teamwork.
To encourage communication between employees, you need to set an example yourself. Appoint meetings with your employees and explain the need for a training program. Provide them with an accurate skills gap analysis and emphasize the importance of the upcoming training program.
Ask for your employees’ personal views and recommendations. Apart from the fact that this could help you understand your training needs better, it will make them feel like they’re part of the organization and that their ideas matter.
It’s a good idea to hold several short meetings after the training program is launched and encourage employees to share their feedback. Be open to criticism and try to solve the issues each team member comes up with. If you’re using the right collaboration tools to manage your work environment, you won’t have any issues with communicating and collaborating efficiently with your employees.
Employees in today’s work environment are inundated with various responsibilities and tasks. Forcing them to be involved in training programs while juggling the same workload would only lead to burnout.
To reduce burnout, you need to plan your training programs according to your employees’ timing preferences. If you’re training people located in different time zones, it’s a good idea to use in-demand programs so that people can take advantage of them at their ease. A learning management system could help you create self-paced courses to be attended at leisure.
For your training programs to have the most effect, you need to limit multitasking both at personal and team level. Prioritize the tasks in your team’s workflow to lower work pressure and make room for your training program. A Kanban board can help a lot with prioritizing tasks and reducing work pressure.
Produce your material
It’s a great idea to take advantage of other people’s courses and programs. You won’t need to spend time producing content, and your team gets to know new perspectives from outside the company. But you shouldn’t underestimate the power of personalized content.
Producing your own content allows you to personalize it for your team members. You know the company’s issues better than anyone else and can create content that directly addresses them. You can also use your employees’ feedback for future material and thus improve their engagement.
With a business LMS, you can easily create your own courses or curate content. Your employees can easily participate in your courses at their leisure because the courses are self-paced and can be accessed anytime. You can also promote your courses to other people using marketing techniques such as cold emailing or content marketing.
Effective employee training programs have four characteristics:
They have clear objectives and expectations: employees know why they should participate in these programs, what they will learn, and how it will impact their future performance.
They encourage communication between people: employees are asked to express their views about the course material and how the program should be run.
They limit multitasking: the training program should be scheduled to reduce work pressure. Combined with a heavy workload, an intense training program might cause burnout.
They are personalized: because personalization increases engagement and collaboration. You can use an LMS to produce your own courses and make them available to your employees on-demand.