Workplace training is a great way to make sure you are letting your staff gain the knowledge they need to perform there job effectively, but it also gives them the chance to develop within their current role and gain skills they will need to progress in their career. As we've mentioned before, it's important to give your staff access to training which will not only be useful and interesting to them, but which they will carry forward into their day to day working lives. It may be tempting to run staff training just because you think you should be doing it, but if it's not going to prove useful, it's really just a waste of time.
The main aim of any training or learning is to make sure you are getting the best from your staff every day, and that they feel they have the correct knowledge for their job role, and that their knowledge is progressing. We take a look at some of the best ways to make sure that not only are you getting the most from your staff, but they are also getting the most from you!
Treat People as Individuals
While you'll want to make sure that all your staff are taking part in staff training, and gaining as much knowledge as possible for their job role, it's important to make sure you don't lump all your staff into one box and hope that you can treat them all the same why. While some training courses may require everyone in the company to sit them, such as certain health and safety training, you'll want to make sure the rest of the training you provide for your staff is more tailored.
It's important to look at the work your staff complete every day, and see what training you could provide for them that is related to what they do and will help them progress. People may work within the same team, but may benefit from receiving different training, depending on what they specialise in, or where they want their career to go in the future.
It might be worth while sitting down with your staff and working out a training plan with them, so you can really focus on what they want to get from training, as well as the things you want them to learn.
Let Them Take Control
As we said above, there may not be a one size fits all training solution for you entire business, so it's important to know what you staff want to learn about as well. If you've spent some time discussing what direction your staff want to go in, the next stage is to make sure you can provide a varied training program for them.
One suggestion could be to organise a number of training sessions, some of which are mandatory as these are the areas you want everyone to focus on, with the rest of the training sessions being voluntary which staff can sign up for individually. This will mean you can make sure your staff are completing the training you feel they need, as well as being able to pick what they feel will help them with their working lives, and letting their careers develop.
You could also use an online learning tool, which provides course information, videos, and assessments for your staff to complete by themselves. Again, you can select the training they need to complete, but they would then be able to select additional training to do on top of the mandatory courses. In the white paper Competency Development Best Practices by Cindy Pascale at Vado, it is noted that it's important to let staff complete self paced and self directed learning, as it means they are able to access the training information when they need it, and then complete it when they have the time. This means your staff can be more involved in the learning process and feel they have more ownership over their learning.
Letting your staff access learning materials on their own will mean that they will be able to complete training whenever they have the time, which could mean they are able to do a little bit every day. This may be preferable to attending a complete training session, which may take up a large chunk of the day, and therefore could be awkward for some people to attend. Letting your staff take control of their own learning means they will have to manage their own time, but should never see training as a obligation, or something that is taking up time they could be spending on other things, as they will able to slot it in around more time sensitive or time consuming tasks.
Find out What Works
It's important to make sure you are providing your staff with training that is not only useful, but also training which they enjoy and find useful! If staff are worried or bored at the prospect of attending a training session, chances are they won't learn very much, and won't take anything useful away with them. One thing which could affect how successful a training session is how it's delivered.
If you have a very social and friendly office, taking part in group training exercises may be the perfect way to teach your staff a new skill. However, if you have a lot of people who are quite withdrawn and shy, this type of training session may be a nightmare for them! Again, this can be solved by asking your staff what they like. Do they prefer sitting in a classroom environment for a day and getting it all done it one session, or do they want to meet for an hour per week to break the learning up a little? Do they prefer going through videos on their own, or would they like to discuss the information they have just learned with other people who are also sitting the same course. Get an idea of what your staff are looking for when it comes to learning, and you should be able to plan out staff training sessions a lot easier.
Obviously, you won't be able to keep everyone happy all of the time, but if you run your training in a one day session the first time around, why not offer a split up option the next time around? That way people could perhaps wait a few months until the training came around again, and then they can pick the learning method they are more comfortable with. Gaining a little insight into what your staff want from their learning will let you mix things up, and try different approaches you may not have tried otherwise.
When it comes to training, it's obviously important to make sure your staff are skilled in the correct areas, but it's also important to make sure they have a say in their development. Running training sessions that aren't useful is a waste of everyone's time and your company's money, so really think about what training you want to run and why before you book anything.
Taking the time to talk to your staff about what their wants and needs are is really important and means the training you provide should be useful and enjoyable for everyone involved.