Be honest: when’s the last time you reviewed your employee training program? Is all the material up-to-date and presented via the latest technology? Or are your employees still thumbing through dusty training manuals from the last century?
Every change in your industry, each new technological advance, and every time there’s a change to your company policy, it affects the quality of your training. Unless you’re diligent about reevaluating and adjusting your program and material, it can quickly become outdated or irrelevant to employees. And that holds them back.
To give your employees the training they need and deserve you need to take the time to look at what skills you’re teaching and how. You might be surprised how much of your training program needs to be reworked or completely thrown out.
Here are four ways to review and spruce up your employee training program to make it more effective:
1. Get employee feedback
A 2015 survey from West United Communications Services found that 36 percent of employees feel the training they received was irrelevant to their position. [click to tweet] Considering the same survey found that 40 percent of employees go through six to ten hours of training a year, that’s a lot of wasted time and resources. All of that could’ve been avoided by simply asking employees for feedback on training whenever they complete a program.
The best people for evaluating the effectiveness of employee training are your employees. They can tell you if the training prepared them for their jobs. They can help you identify what additional training employees need and which parts of the program can be eliminated.
Also get input about the presentation format of the material. Ask them if they feel everything was presented in a clear and engaging manner. There might be some skills they feel they’ll learn better by hands-on experience, but are currently learning via computer simulation.
2. Allow seasoned employees to train
Many companies choose to hire outsiders to lead their employee training. While this might be the right choice when new technologies or techniques are being introduced to the company, with most established processes there’s no one better to train employees than their experienced coworkers.
Employees who have grown with a company have an in depth idea about what others need to succeed better than outside trainers. They know what topics and information are most important in positions they’ve previously held or have worked closely with, leading to a more customized training experience.
Letting seasoned employees take an active part in the training process increases their engagement while reinforcing their own knowledge. It’s also a great opportunity to recognize the skills they have mastered by giving them the extra responsibility.
3. Let employees choose what they learn
Every employee has their own unique skill set, which means not everyone needs the same type of training. One person might have never used a specific software before and needs more time to master it, while another might already be an expert.
Instead of having everyone go through the same training, allow employees to choose what information they would benefit from most to make the process more efficient. Additionally, let them choose the pace at which they go through the material. That will allow them to adjust their training to their learning style.
Training should also match up with the current job description. So take this training spruce up as a chance to double check that all of your descriptions accurately reflect the duties that position requires. Then, make sure that the training for that position sets employees up for success.
4. Give refresher courses
The aforementioned West United Communications Services survey found that 48 percent of employees want to be able to review training content later on in time. That’s natural considering nobody can perfectly remember everything from a training session after just seeing the material once. Bits of information will fall through the cracks and be forgotten.
Give employees access to the materials whenever they need it. It might be the day after training or a few months down the line, but they will have questions once they begin to actually use the new skills.
You can also quiz employees several months after they’ve completed training to see what information has been retrained and what needs to be refreshed. That way they can take another look at just the skills they need to brush up on instead of the whole course.
Your employees need the right training to be successful. Having outdated or unnecessary employee training is of little value to them. By occasionally reviewing and updating your program you can help your employees be the best they can be.
What are some other simple ways to improve your employee training? Share in the comments below!