How to Develop an Effective Employee Training Program

Successful employee training and development programs go beyond the standard new hire orientation. They aren’t sporadic courses that employees occasionally take as needed. It’s taking a strategic, organized, systematic approach to training that aligns individual growth with business goals.

3 Key Benefits of Employee Training and Development

  1. Boosts Employee Retention – Recruiting and onboarding talent takes significant time and money; however, losing employees costs even more. The cost of employee turnover ranges from tens of thousands to double their salary—and that figure increases depending on experience and seniority. Introducing an employee training and development program helps you cultivate, retain, and attract top talent, reducing turnover and hiring costs. When team members feel your company is investing in their careers, they are more likely to stay.
  2. Develops a Strong Leadership Pipeline – Training and developing talent also touches senior leadership. Effective leadership is a major concern for organizations. In the 2016 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report, 89% of executives rated the need to strengthen, re-engineer and improve organizational leadership as an important priority (and more than half said their organizations weren’t ready to meet current leadership needs). Training helps grow employees from within and develop strong future leaders who are invested in the company. It nurtures succession pipelines so that companies can cultivate and promote exceptional talent from within the organization.
  3. Increases Productivity – Learning new technology and skills sparks innovation and new ideas. Although spending varies by industry, across the board, high-performing companies spend more on learning and development. Training can also help employees perform their current jobs more efficiently, improving productivity and performance.

5 Steps to an Effective Learning & Development Program

You may already have a training program in place, but perhaps, aren’t seeing results. Common training challenges often include: (a) Getting employees engaged; (b) Delivering consistent training; (c) Tracking skills and reporting ROI; (d) Quantifying training effectiveness.

Here’s how to set up a results-driven employee training and development program across your organization:

  1. Identify Skill Gaps – Most training requests start with a problem. Maybe it’s a process that needs to be improved. Maybe a new manager is struggling to handle conflicts within their team. To implement a successful training and development program, identify organizational and employee training needs. What are the pain points? What’s lacking? What can be improved? What’s the business impact? The best training programs address current processes and issues and also anticipate for future company needs. Your employees are your best source of information when it comes to identifying training and performance gaps. They have first-hand knowledge of the work, processes, procedures and issues involved and can provide valuable feedback and ideas you hadn’t considered. Seek input from your team before documenting training goals.

  1. Select the Appropriate Training Methods – When rolling out an employee training program, the subject matter isn’t the only item to consider. The training method — the mode in which employees learn — also affects their retention and ability to implement those newfound skills. Budget, location, the number of students, the type of training and your goals all impact the learning method you choose. Here are some of our most popular training methods:
    • Traditional Instructor-Led (ILT) - A traditional classroom setting where certified-instructors set the stage for success by using engaging demonstrations and a hands-on lab approach, which allows students to learn while doing. 
    • Online LIVE (OLL) - Online LIVE training courses offer the same high-quality and interactive instructor-led sessions as the classroom, but are attended online instead. 
    • Custom Training - New Horizons builds your training from the ground up. We’ll work with your business to identify and understand your training objectives and goals.
    • On-Site & Private Group Training (PGT) - On-site courses bring our instructors to your office. This is ideal for large group training focused on a single topic. The private classes may also include labs and are planned around your schedule.
    • Online ANYTIME (OLA) - Online ANYTIME is an interactive online environment without the instructor. It is up to the student to drive the pace and direction of these courses based on his or her interest and skills gap.
    • NHGO NOW - With thousands of short segment video lessons at your disposal, NHGO NOW is the most up-to-date and engaging on-demand video learning library available today.
    • Power Hour - Power Hour are live, instructor led, 60-minute sessions, all of which center around Microsoft Office, SharePoint, and Windows, that cover super specific tasks, such as perfecting a mail merge through Outlook, learning to utilize business intelligence tools in SharePoint, or how to build a pivot table in Excel.
  2. Measure the Results – The best way to demonstrate the value of an employee training and development program is to show training ROI. Once you’ve determined the goals and training method, take measurements before and after training sessions. Did the course improve efficiency? Reduce the need to hire new employees? Determining training ROI demonstrates the value and business impact of training.
  3. Follow-Through on Action Items – The success of your training program hinges on the debrief. After every training session, make sure employees take time to process what they’ve learned. What are the takeaways? What questions do they have? What are the action items they’re going to implement as a result?This step ensures employees follow through and apply what they’ve learned.
  4. Make Learning & Development Part of the Company Culture – Employee training and development programs go further than offering a few classes — you should weave it into your company culture. Involve every level in the organization—from coordinators to upper management. Document training opportunities in the employee handbook, make it a company value and encourage employees to speak up when they find new educational opportunities.

Some Closing Thoughts

The complexity involved in rolling out an employee training program can prevent managers from pursuing learning opportunities for their teams. As the world’s largest independent IT training company, New Horizons offers custom corporate training programs and course to fit every business need, from executive training to advanced technical skills. Whether you’re looking to add a few classes to your current training repertoire or build a training program from scratch, we can help you find the right courses and training methods to achieve your organizational goals. Learn all about how we can customize your training experience.


NH Learning SolutionsDebra Novara

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