Top Elements of the Best Employee Training Programs

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Employee training programs are essential to the success of your business. They are like ground zero of building your business. The right programs will help your employees get started with the right skills and the right vision. The wrong programs will undermine morale, teach bad habits, and waste time and money. You need to think carefully when choosing or selecting the training program for your employees, whether it is a training program for new employees or an ongoing training program for established employees. Here are a few of the top elements that the best programs have to help you choose:

Cutting-Edge Technology to Provide the Best Features and Ease of Use

Technology plays an important role in everything we do in business now. Your employee training programs do not have to be primarily technological, but components of them should be online or offered through a software program. Using technology for your training helps meet the needs of multiple learners, makes it easier for employees to access the materials wherever they are, and fits in better with the modern working environment. Make sure that any program you choose or develop includes the very best technology that is available and that you can afford. The right technology will significantly improve the effectiveness and the scope of your training program.

Engaging Materials Tailored to the Interests of the Employees

Few people are excited about sitting in a room with their co-workers for a few hours for some mandatory training. It feels like school, and it usually involves listening to a lot of boring lectures or spending too much time on some materials that employees could have consumed in a fraction of the time on their own. If you want employees to feel excited about what they’re doing and to feel more motivated to incorporate the skills that they learn, you need to create some engaging materials for your employee training programs. If you don’t develop the program yourself, you need to be sure that any software or other training program you choose has engaging materials. (You can easily request a demo ahead of time to try it out for yourself.) Wherever possible, the materials should also be tailored to the interests of the employees. For example, if you know that a lot of your employees like to play golf, it would be great to have a training program that uses a golfing simulation or game to illustrate a concept. Since employees have such varied interests, it may be hard to find a training program that already has examples that appeal to everyone. You can solve this problem by selecting a training program that allows for flexibility and customization. For example, you might have a few games or examples for each concept that you can change out as needed.

Scalability to Meet Your Needs on a Variety of Characteristics

Sometimes, you might need to conduct employee training programs for a small group of new hires. Sometimes, you might need to conduct training programs because you are implementing a change model, and you need to train everyone in the company on new processes. Do you need to invest in a new training program each time? No. Instead, you should look for a training program that has the flexibility to scale to your need. You should be able to use the same program for different numbers of people, for different time frames, and for different purposes. The easiest way to find such a program is to look for one that allows for customization. If you aren’t sure that what you’re looking at can be scaled, you should ask the provider about the options for customization. And, as always, you should request a demo so that you can play around with the features before you commit to making a costly investment.

Easy Accessibility by Employees No Matter Where They Are

Many training programs are now offered online or through company computers. Yet not all employees work in the office every day. Good employee training programs recognize this and offer accessibility across devices, no matter where the employees are when they need to access it. Your training program should be available to employees working from home, working from another office location, or working from a public location. It should be available on laptops, desktops, and tablets, and it should be available on a variety of browsers. If you are using a training program that is offered primarily in person, you can create this kind of accessibility with slide shows, videos, and other supplemental training materials that employees can watch or review from other locations. Worksheets, manuals, and other printed materials can also be provided. You can either assign these materials to employees who are not able to be in the office for the training, or you can provide it for review to reinforce what employees have learned in the sessions.

Rewards and Recognitions to Motivate and Inspire Employees to Actively Participate

We all need a little carrot on a stick sometimes. For your employees, that means offering them rewards or recognition, both in your employee training programs and in the course of your everyday business. When you reward or recognize employees, you are showing them that you appreciate them, but you are always motivating them by providing an incentive. They are likely to work harder or to be more engaged in an effort to win the reward or get the recognition. Most companies reserve such incentives for performance, such as for increasing sales or leads. However, you can and should use them in your training, as well. For example, you should recognize all employees who complete the training. You should provide a special recognition for those who perform especially well in the training or who finish it early. You can do something as simple as including a note in the company newsletter or something more elaborate like creating a plaque with names on it. Rewards can be things like company swag (a water bottle or tote bag with the company name on it), an extra day off, or even a cash bonus. The better the behavior or outcome you want to inspire, the better the reward should be.

Monitor Your Change Plan for Ensured Success

Whenever you are shopping for employee training programs, it is a certainty that you are looking to introduce some change – whether it is hiring new employees or it is training employees on some new procedure or equipment that you are procuring. Whenever you are introducing change, you should have a formal change plan and the means to monitor it to ensure your success. WalkMe is a software solution that helps companies in every industry to facilitate employee training, reduce employee frustration and achieve short- and long-term goals. Migrating systems and onboarding new employees can be difficult — but it doesn’t have to be.
Jason is the Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog. Jason established the Training Station blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to training, learning and development.