A robust employee training program is crucial for both the employer and the employees. Simply put, a well-trained workforce is a more productive workforce with greater job satisfaction.

For the employer, this means better employee retention, higher ROI, and better business performance. So, creating an effective employee training program is indeed a win-win.

Sadly, more often than not, employees have an aversion for training programs because it’s true that corporate training sessions can be tedious and boring. In fact, most people wouldn’t prefer to attend a training program that reminds them of drab college lectures.

Nevertheless, creating an effective employee training program is an absolute must if you wish to bring out the best performance from your employees throughout their tenure at your company.

The Importance of Proper Employee Training

Research proves the short and long-term benefits of employee training. The immediate returns include greater knowledge-soaking ability, skills development, and a favorable positive outlook towards work.

Then, over a period of a few months, training continues to have strong effects on the trainee’s job performance. For the business, it translates to higher profitability and lowers employee turnover.

While there’s no secret sauce to create the perfect employee training program, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. So, here’s what you need to do:

Evaluate Training Needs

To start with, the training coordinator should take time to assess the needs of the business and determine the past, present, and future direction.

A needs assessment can be carried out by doing internal research, interviews, and surveys. As at the core of an effective training program is a proper understanding of who needs to be trained, and on what topics

The gap between current performance and the required performance is known as a “training need” and it’s identified by doing a training needs analysis. For example, if you realize that you have many discontent customers, there’s a clear need for customer service training for your support team.

Define Concrete Training Objectives

Once the training needs are understood, it is critical for the person in charge to determine the objectives of training. In other words, it’s time to define what are the desired upshots of all the training efforts.

Principally, the purpose of a training program is to improve knowledge, skill, abilities (KSAs) — the attributes needed to complete a job efficiently.

Thus, needs assessment should be followed by a systematic process to establish not just who needs to be trained (that is, who needs KSA strengthening) and what they need training on, but also how the training program will be aligned with strategic objectives.

Clearly communicate the purpose, objectives, and outcome of the training program to the employees. Once they know how the training will be useful and what the expected outcomes are, their motivation levels surge.

Provide Active Demonstration

During training sessions, trainers must actively demonstrate the specific skills and tactics with real-life examples. Hands-on demonstrations provide trainees with a clear example of the desired action they can emulate. It results in better learning, irrespective of the topic of training.

For instance, if the training is on improving client communication, the trainer might illustrate active listening skills through a role-play with an enthusiastic participant. Likewise, for a coding related topic, the trainer can solve actual coding problems from the company’s past projects.

Allow Opportunities to Put Learnings Into Practice

The most successful employee training programs provide frequent opportunities to trainees for putting what they’ve learned into practice.

By simulating real-life problems the company solves into hypothetical ones, you empower employees to apply their new skills in a risk-free environment where they can get creative and make mistakes without worrying about consequences.

Promote Constructive Feedback During Training

Trainers must also provide constructive criticism to their trainees while they are testing out their new skills. The feedback should be specific instead of a mere verbal compliment.

Good constructive feedback would sound like “I see you aren’t applying the bubble sort algorithm. Let me show you how…”, while counterproductive feedback might sound something like “Please avoid such foolish mistakes in the future”.

And it goes without saying, feedback should always be about how the employee fared in the assigned tasks instead of being directed toward personal traits.

Ensure Post-Training Reinforcement

So many companies spend so many dollars every year to train employees, only to realize later that they’re not applying anything they learned in their actual work. So, without post-training reinforcement, employees will most likely forget their training in not more than a few weeks.

Training reinforcement can be in the form of a series of small revision lessons, short quizzes, or learning activities that support the core concept or skill. By continually reinforcing what’s been taught, employees will not just retain more of it, but will also be more inclined to apply their learning to their daily tasks.

Closing Thoughts

Employee training programs that leverage these best practices are almost certain to reap the benefits of better employee productivity, retention, and long-term business performance.

Author's Bio: 

Gaurav Belani is a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. He has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing and loves to share his thoughts in publications like Business 2 Community, IEEE Computer Society, E27, Innovation Enterprise, and Addicted 2 Success to name a few. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and listening to music. Connect with him on Linkedinand Twitter @belanigaurav