Employees are a crucial part of any organization. Training and development should be as important to senior management and CEOs as bringing more customers/sales. In the words of Steve Jobs, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” To stay competitive, however, each employee must continuously improve their skills to be a productive part of their team. A well-trained workforce will look after the customers and take the organisation to new heights.
Increasing the Effectiveness of Training
Training offered to the employees won’t always be fruitful. The organization must look for ways to imprint what was taught during the training into the trainees’ memory for them to use it in practice when needed. Here are four actions that you, as an employer, can do to increase the effectiveness of your employee skills training:
1. Use Micro-Learning
Employees can be unintentionally forgetful of what they have learned in past training sessions. The goal behind micro-learning is to increase retention of training materials. It requires organisations to divide training into smaller pieces and actionable items. This method makes it easy for them to assimilate and apply the new knowledge and skills. For example, at our company Kitply Industries, we do one hour Lunch and Learns on every Monday and teach staff one small aspect of our business.
2. Make it Available
Make the training accessible at all times on different platforms. Many corporate trainers keep things to themselves but if employees have access to the training whenever and wherever they want, they will be more comfortable with implementing what they are learning. We are living in a world where people are always connected to their mobile devices and having training data there will boost their confidence to take advantage of it. For example, we use an online training platform called Thinkific to store all our corporate training.
3. Make it Memorable
The more memorable a training session is, the more people will accept it and follow its teachings. Making connections and using case studies from real life will help them stick to the content in question. Some organisations have their own mobile games to remind their sales force to reinforce recent training material. We often give small handouts for staff to make the learning memorable.
4. Measure Growth
Measuring the growth of employees by tracking what results they produce after the training session/s also helps you to review the overall training system of your organisation. At Kitply, we quiz our staff after every training session to check for comprehension and often repeat training after a few weeks/months.
It is also essential to get feedback from your employees about company training efforts. Learning sessions can be made more engaging by incorporating feedback as employees may feel more value aligned with the training when they know their input considered seriously.
Author Ankit Sharma is owner of Kitply, a successful wood products business in Vancouver, British Columbia. He's also a 2019 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 honoree. Check out his blog here.