Did you know that training boosts employee retention? Study after study shows that this is true. In addition to being more likely to stay at their jobs, properly trained employees are more effective than others, and less likely to expose your organization to unnecessary risks and liabilities. A comprehensive training program is a sound investment in both your employees and your company. Planning an Effective Employee Training Program

The importance of a well-developed employee training program can’t be overstated. Of course, all employees must be provided systems, equipment, and procedural training as part of their orientation. But these basics should be supplemented over time with dedicated sessions delivering more in-depth instruction on topics relevant to your organization. Pertinent subjects could include skills specific to a particular industry or job, or may apply more broadly to groups of workers across industries.

Use Training to Further Compliance

Perhaps the most critical type of employee training is compliance training. This can be understood as training needed to adhere to federal, state, and local laws and regulations, such as those governing harassment and worker safety. In some cases, the administration of the training itself is required to comply with the law, as with state laws requiring employers to give supervisors formal training in sexual harassment prevention, or federal laws saying employers must train certain workers in the safety and health aspects of their jobs.

The goal of all compliance training is to teach employees—including managers—how to comply with federal, state, and local laws in the course of performing their jobs. Along with harassment prevention and safety training, compliance training also encompasses areas such as nondiscrimination, hiring and termination, administration of the Family and Medical Leave Act, proper completion of government-mandated forms and reports, and much more.

In short, if there’s a law on the books, and your employees are responsible for abiding by that law, compliance training is appropriate.

Promote Employee Growth in Varied Areas

Another important type of employee training is professional development. This area, which often highlights best practices within an industry or job category, can include everything from formal professional certifications and technology training, to courses on customer service, business ethics, communication skills, and more. It can also cover more general workplace-related topics such as conflict resolution, stress, and time management.

Your organization’s workplace training program will be unique to your needs. However, there are some guiding principles that can help organize your efforts. Begin by assessing your training needs, giving compliance requirements high priority.


Budget Wisely

Next, think about your budget—both overall and per employee or position, again, giving priority to compliance and key job roles.

As you begin to put together employee compliance and best practices training, think about targeting training to workers based on their responsibilities. Training in specific skills … say, use of a particular technology, should be offered to employees who use that technology. It may also be helpful to divide your offerings between supervisor- or manager-only training and general employee training.

Inside, Outside, All Around the Town

Now you’re ready to begin sourcing training. You have a world of choices to match to your needs, budget, and timing requirements. You can contract for onsite or offsite training, or the more economical and individualized option of online training, which gives you the advantage of flexibility and accommodates individual employee schedules. Also take note of training and education offered through professional and trade associations. Or you might opt to allow employees to find their own training programs, with reimbursement upon your approval.

Training Report Card

Whatever training formats you choose, ensure that they are accessible, efficient in both time and cost, and measurable. Employees should be able to demonstrate their new knowledge, or be formally tested, as part of the training. Every position or employee should have an individualized training program, including a timetable and goals, which should be documented.

On a related note, evaluate the effectiveness of the training program itself at regular intervals, to make sure it remains a good fit for your employees and business needs.

Finally, whatever training you decide to offer, communicate it clearly and uniformly to your employees. You’re making an investment in your employees’ careers, and they should be made aware of your commitment. Consider offering small incentives or otherwise celebrating those employees who excel or achieve in your training program; this will motivate and inspire others.

Retain Employees Through Training [Video Blog]

Topics: training

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