Why do most employees see training as a chore of little value? Why is it that training is so hard to make interesting and engaging? Why is knowledge retention so hard to achieve?
Developing Engaging and Effective Training Programs Is Hard
Initial and ongoing employee training has become a critical function in most businesses in this age of constant technology-driven change. Adapting to new business models, new competitors, new technologies requires a significant investment in employee training.
How Did We Get Here
Most businesses start with the creation of an employee training program for new employees, ranging from a simple slide deck to a multi-day experience, intended to introduce new employees to their role as quickly and efficiently as possible to make sure things get done. Other businesses with significant employee training commit to the implementation of comprehensive Learning Management Systems (LMS) to track not only their library of training courses and their delivery but also where employees are in meeting their training goals and requirements.
The LMS software and products sector has grown significantly to a 10 billion-dollar industry. However, general discattisfaction with effectiveness and retention remains. Many employee training programs still leave employees feeling like they have wasted time that they could have spent doing more valuable things. Why should someone spend half a day looking at outdated slides or videos when they could be getting to know their team, shadowing their coworkers, or talking to customers?
We have identified the top 3 issues that companies make when developing, maintaining, and delivering employee training programs, as well as some simple solutions to those problems to significantly increase their effectiveness.
Problem 1: Training Shouldn’t Just Focus on Job Function; It Should Also Focus on the Big Picture
Too many companies try to make employee training only about the job itself. This is useful, and provides crucial information for employees to get their jobs done, but does not help employees integrate into the company or help reach more big-picture goals.
Training Is More Meaningful When Employees Also Understand the Big Picture
Make sure that all training includes information about organizational structure, annual goals, performance objectives, etc. For example, if your company's overall customer service goal is to reach a 98% customer satisfaction, employees learning how to use your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and how to work the phones should also understand what the ultimate goal for the department is so they can go above and beyond to help improve client experiences.
Problem 2: Training Should Include Both Learning And Practice
Employee trainings frequently teach important processes and tasks, but do not actually enable hands-on practice of those processes. For this new information to sink in, new employees should also put their learning into practice by shadowing coworkers, attempting a few calls with supervision and coaching, or entering trial items into your company database to get the process just right.
It is proven that hands-on experience is the best way to help employees cement new knowledge. In addition, the development of relationships with coworkers, the opportunity to receive feedback, and being able to ask for help are invaluable in the learning process.
Problem 3: Training Must Always Be Completed in Full
Many companies have become disillusioned with their training efforts and instead of fixing them, they simply continue it half-heartedly. This means that employees are asked to take training that doe snot feel relevant or effective which causes them to quickly be drawn away by other business concerns, issues, or projects before they can complete it in full.
Job Training Is Only Useful If Completed In Full
This severely impacts the employee's ability to retain and use the newly acquired knowledge. In addition, their inability to put the new knowledge to use as intended creates a number of potential problems:
- The employee becomes a performance drag on teams, projects, departments or businesses
- Coworkers must step in and provide Informal on-the-job training
- Employees introduce unnecessary mistakes or things fall through the cracks whicih in trun requires additional resource to resolve
How to Quickly Address These Employee Training Issues
So now that we know the 3 major employee training effectiveness issues, how do you actually fix your company’s training programs? Easy.
Adding a milestone management process that holds all stakeholders accountable for the delivery and completion of training programs is the simplest way. An accountability system like CommandHound is perfect for this, since it not only allows you to assign tasks and group them into concise themes (like “Company Culture,” “Processes,” and “Hands-On Training”) but also allows you to send reminders, escalate milestones when theyd o not get done on time, and track milestone completion performance at the individual level.
Would you like to learn more about how CommandHound can help you turbocharge your employee training efforts and/or LMS?