Whether it be onboarding or professional development for employees, internal training can be a valuable tool. You are busy getting things done in your company, and training can take a backburner, especially once a program is established. How do you know if the training you are providing, or planning to provide, is effective, up-to-date, and worth the time you are putting into it?
1. Employees Blame Mediocre Performance on Lack of Training
If employees blame their lackluster performance on not knowing the systems or having improper training, then your training needs attention. This may seem like an easy excuse from employees, but it is your responsibility to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to be successful in their jobs.
2. Your Training is Not Organized or Consistent
Did you ever have a new job where your trainer said something along the lines of “This is how you’re supposed to do it, but I do it this way”? One of the most valuable assets you have for internal training is your experienced employees. When an established training curriculum is not used, making current employees responsible for training can lead to inconsistencies. An organized training curriculum makes sure the learning goals are clear to both the trainer and the trainee. Inconsistent training can be confusing and frustrating and leads to uncertain expectations in the eye of the trainee.
3. Maintaining Your Training Program is Time-Consuming
Is your internal training taking too much time away from the work that needs to get done? One-on-one training can take time away from both the trainee and the trainer. When training becomes a distraction from company goals, it’s time to consider establishing upfront, set training programs that will ultimately save your staff time, and time is money. By using effective resource planning tools, you can maximize your budget and training efforts.
4. Your Training Has Fallen Victim to a Narrow Perspective
While internal training offers insight from a hands-on standpoint, it can also present a narrow perspective. Your employees are excellent at performing and completing their daily tasks and being so close to their work allows them to perform many of the seemingly small tasks as if they are second nature. When training an employee on a new task, the trainer can easily skip verbalizing or demonstrating basic steps that seem obvious and routine without even realizing they are not so to someone who has never performed the task. It could be something as simple as a regularly used keyboard or desktop shortcut. These shortcuts can save time, but without the full view of the systems, the trainee can miss the larger picture of a particular task and the pieces involved.
5. Your Training Does Not Set Clear Expectations
Both you and your trainees know they need to complete specific training to learn a new job or task. You have let them know that they are responsible for getting the learning completed. Have you set a standard outcome expectation of what your employees should be learning? Do they have an expected completion date? Without these kinds of clear expectations, your trainees are left to fend for themselves. Clear expectations provide a solid base of confidence for your trainees.
6. Your Training is Over-Generalized and Not Engaging
Over-generalized training runs the risk of not being engaging for your trainees, which makes it difficult for them to retain necessary information. If trainees need to learn the basics, but your training program does not start at the beginning, your trainees may miss crucial details. Adversely, if your trainees are experienced, teaching them things they already know can not only be insulting, but it is a waste of your and your trainees’ time. Providing personalized and focused training allows for better engagement and retention of information, which leads to more efficient employees.
7. You Haven’t Updated Your Training Since it was Created
You did it. You took the time and created a well-developed training program. That was before your company began using new technology, created a new organizational chart, or updated your brand. All those things take time, and we often (and should) focus on the outward appearance of those changes for our customers. As you bring on new employees, promote employees, or move employees to new departments (maybe even to newly created departments), your training needs to reflect that. If you have a new brand, terminology, or organizational structure, you’ll want to give your trainees the most current information by making sure your training reflects these changes.
8. Your Training is Just an Item on a Checklist
Is your training just something on a checklist of items to complete before the trainee can move on to the job? Merely tracking that trainees have completed a required training does not ensure they fully understand their job duties. Effective training includes a system that allows for follow-up with the trainees to ensure they learned what they needed to, and all their questions are answered. Doing so allows trainees to feel confident in moving forward in their position and tasks.
9. You Are Not Using a Training Management Platform
All previous eight signs of your internal training needing help can be resolved by utilizing a training management platform. Using a training management platform will save you time and money by having a centralized location for all your training needs and allows you to manage, schedule, track the progress of your trainees, and easily update content as needed.
Effective, efficient, and consistent internal training gives your staff confidence, promotes positive company culture, and saves money.
While developing and maintaining internal training programs can seem overwhelming, time-consuming, and expensive on the surface, ultimately, successful training proves to be quite the opposite and is invaluable to any organization.