Workplace training has no one-size-fits-all solution. What might work for one organization, one department, or one employee, may not work for others. Hence why Learning & Development experts should be mindful of the organizational needs before developing a training program that is effective and efficient.
In this era of rapid technological transformation, it can be difficult to keep up with the changing tides. Consequently, it leaves behind some talent gaps. Such gaps can cause the company to lag and profits to suffer. Workplace training is a solution that ensures professionals can adapt and survive in such a competitive market.
As per Training magazine’s report, average companies spend $1,111 per employee annually. The report also shows a slight dip in the annual spending on workplace training as compared to previous years. This shows that companies no longer trust it as much as they used to. So, what exactly has caused this decline in trend and made them believe that training is ineffective?
To understand this problem and to overcome it, follow the article till the end.
Top workplace training strategies
1. Class-room based training
One of the most common and widely practiced training methods is classroom-based training. It requires the training to follow a rigid training curriculum in a classroom-like set-up. A special venue is set for all the employees to arrive at and learn, passively, from an expert facilitator. In the end, there can be a mini-exam and employees get certificates for successfully completing the training.
A pro for this approach is that it is familiar to all the learners and the instructors. However, it also runs the risk of treating all the employees as a single entity. Consequently, the specific needs of the employees may get overlooked, making the overall purpose of the training a little less effective. On top of that, the cost of organizing such training programs can be higher.
2. Interactive training
As the name suggests, interactive training requires learners to engage actively in the sessions. Unlike the classroom-based method, the instructor-learner distinction is not as rigid. L&D experts often use strategies like the flipped-classroom model which makes learning flexible and fun. A drawback of this method is that it can be time-taking when individually addressing the issues of the employees.
3. On-the-job workplace training
It is probably one of the most effective training methods for succession planning i.e. passing on the leadership roles to the new or promoting employees. Here, employees have to understand the new roles by taking them first-hand. They learn on-field from their seniors and through trial-and-errors. It is a great strategy for preparing the workforce for new roles and decreasing staff turnover.
Although, some employees can find it a bit too stressful as well. Hence, the subject matter experts should help them through the way, reassuring them and giving them the confidence to get on with it.
4. Social learning
Social learning is in the news for all the right reasons. Originating from Albert Bandura's work, people learn in a socially enriching environment from interacting with one another. It is effective, however, not an easy method to apply, measure and scale. However, it pushes the employees to work outside of their comfort zones, helping them acquire key problem-solving life skills.
5. Online training
Online training has become really popular in the last few years thanks to its convenience during the pandemic. People can easily access the training programs from anywhere in the world and work simultaneously. One can use e-learning webinars, cohort courses, or create a video library for employee facilitation. The possibility of online learning applications is endless.
Benefits of workplace training
Improved employee satisfaction
Workplace training isn't just helpful for company growth, but also provides plenty of opportunities to the employees to skill-up and grow professionally. This in turn motivates them to perform better and improves their confidence. Confident employees are more satisfied with their jobs and overall performance. Training is essential for keeping the employees happy and hence the production maximized.
Reduced staff turnover
Staff turnover is a phenomenon where employees leave the company for better opportunities elsewhere. It can be very expensive for any organization to lose their employees for whom they invested lots of time and money. Training helps with providing the employees with greater growth opportunities and promises a better future outlook. With a direction clearly visible ahead of them, employees remain loyal to the organization, and hence the staff turnover decreases.
Improved customer service
This is pretty self-explanatory. When employees are satisfied with their workplace environment, they perform better and attend to the customers' needs better. The organization has fewer worries that keep them busy and hence can focus more on improving their products, customer assistance, and service.
How to improve employee engagement during workplace training?
In today's time, holding someone's attention for more than a minute can seem like a hefty task. In this world of 'attention economy' ensuring engagement is tough, nevertheless, possible. Here are some strategies that will help you guarantee employee participation in the training sessions.
Make is practical and job-relevant
If something does not concern one, clearly they will feel no incentive to pay it any attention. This is why, when developing the curriculum and the program, make sure that the content is relevant to the learners and their needs. Another key thing to keep in mind is to be mindful of the base knowledge of your employees. If you are teaching something extremely basic, they will not necessarily feel interested in it as they might feel they know it already. On the contrary, if you start with complex concepts, that can also deter the learners from focusing.
Moreover, you must make the training practical where people learn from first-hand experience. Passive absorption of theory-based knowledge is not convincing or even interesting.
Prioritize the workplace training
It is crucial to treat the training programs as an essential component of company growth. Psychology plays an important role in how we perceive things as important and unimportant. If the company prioritizes the programs, then the employees will also take them more seriously. However, if the organization treats the training as a minor HR stint, then there won't be any credible input from the employees. Therefore, HR has a responsibility of ensuring a positive learning environment in the company for the training to be effective.
To make learning fun, gamification always comes in handy. Don't go by the name, it is a valuable tool even for corporations. By adding fun learning activities, group sessions, mini pop-quizzes, one can shake things up and make them a lot less boring and way more fun. Students tend to pick up things better that they engage with more and they retain them for longer durations too. Here are some great gamification tips and tricks: 9 Best Online Student Engagement Strategies.
Take regular feedback
Training is an evolutionary process that is always growing and transforming to adapt to the changing requirements. To further aid this process, taking regular feedback is necessary. It helps the L&D developers to ensure that all the needs of the learners and the corporation are being met and that the program does not lose its purpose.
How to choose the right workplace training methodology?
Start by identifying the primary aims of the program; what do the stakeholders want out of this program? Then develop the program around it. This step is also vital in understanding which type of learning method will work for your training program. For example, if the employees of a company are spread out geographically, then online training is the most convenient.
Moreover, keep the audience in mind too. The program is to train the workforce, hence knowing them is important. What do they wish to learn, how much base-knowledge do they possess, what age group they are in as that will determine how open to technological complexities they are. Senior employees usually need training assistance on soft skills as compared to new recruits that require thorough acquaintance with the company policies.
Lastly, having the right tools to host and develop the program is also very important. The LMS you opt for will also determine your limitations to what kind of training methodologies you can experiment with. A tool like Teachfloor is diverse in its use and hence developers can easily host cohort sessions, expert webinars, recorded videos, etc. All of these key points together will determine what workplace training methodology will work for your company.