15 APRIL, 2022


What is an employee training program?

Employee training programs are strategies that involve developing and training the skills of employees by providing them with learning and development opportunities. This starts at onboarding and continues with upskilling and supporting staff at every step of their career. Part of this is also investing in leadership credentials – by training effective, motivating team leaders, you will lift up the entire organisation.

How to develop effective training programs

You may have picked the best resumes when hiring your team members, but truly successful organisations implement a philosophy of training and growth. Teams aren’t static, and neither are the challenges they have to face – continued training and development are the keys to developing effective teams. The advantages of training and development for employees are numerous, and developing an effective employee training program will bring a continuous return on investment if done right.

Benefits of employee training and development

Some organisations fear the upfront cost or think that building a team is just about finding the perfect hires rather than developing existing staff members. But an organisational culture that fosters development, growth and progression is actually much more conducive to employee well-being, productivity, and improves employee retention, as shown by the LinkedIn 2021 Workplace Learning Report. Some of the benefits of investing in employee training programs are:

Increased employee productivity

Offering formalised training and learning opportunities drives employee engagement, which in turn increases productivity, as research by Gallup shows. Additionally, workers who feel confident in what they’re doing will perform their tasks better, faster, and more efficiently, with less time spent asking for help or correcting mistakes stemming from a lack of knowledge or skill.

More consistent processes

Building a common knowledge base for all employees will increase consistency across the organisation. This can apply to questions of compliance, such as company policies and frameworks that everyone should be aware of, as well as skills like data literacy, communication skills, or the ability to collaborate effectively.

Less supervision required

By empowering employees with new skills and knowledge, you can cut down on supervision and allow more independent work. This can have many positive knock-on effects, such as motivating team members to bring in fresh ideas, allowing managers more time to complete other tasks, and improving overall employee satisfaction.

Promote from within rather than hiring

There is a myth that offering staff free training opportunities leads them to upskill and then leave for another job. However, the truth is that employees look for and desire opportunities for growth within their organisations, and are more likely to stay on if they are given learning and development opportunities. By upskilling existing employees, you can save on the cost and time of hiring and onboarding, build on previous knowledge about the organisation and processes, and create lasting, strong relationships. This is critical especially in the current tight labour market, where “businesses who do not leverage L&D may struggle to find the right staff indefinitely,” according to DeakinCo.’s new report The Business Return on Learning and Development, developed in partnership with Deloitte Access Economics.

Improve job satisfaction and morale

The current generation of younger professionals is particularly likely to put emphasis on this, with 59% of millennials saying that learning and development opportunities were extremely important to them when looking for jobs. This boost in morale translates directly into lower staff turnover, as shown in The Business Return on Learning and Development. The report found that organisations lagging behind in training and development saw 1.8 times higher average attrition than those leading in training and development initiatives.

Six steps for developing a training program for employees

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is an effective employee training program. By following a clear process, you set yourself and your organisation up for success.

1. Confirm your legal and regulatory obligations for training

Your first step should always be to consult with human resources and check for regulatory and legal obligations your organisation may have in terms of providing training to employees.

2. Identify your employees’ training needs

Next, you need to identify the skills gaps existing within your organisation. Try to think of staff members not only where they currently are in their careers, but where their trajectory could lead them, and how this fits into your organisation. You can conduct surveys, consult with the human resources and strategic development teams, and determine one or more areas to focus on. Remember that the most effective training isn’t necessarily learning to use one specific application or process, but instead improves technical competence, and cultivates a deeper understanding and mastery of soft skills.

3. Define the objectives of your training program and develop a strategy

By aligning the objectives of your training program to the key strategic priorities of the organisation, businesses can address skills gaps. Developing a strategy with clearly defined objectives will ensure that the training relates to and addresses the needs of the organisation.

4. Design a training action plan

You then need to determine how you will offer your training program, which resources you will be using and how it will be delivered. At this step, you will need to decide whether to use an external training provider, and how you will deliver your training. If you choose DeakinCo as your provider, you can make a selection from our courses, work with us to design a tailored course program or we can take on your everyday workplace training and assessment.

5. Implement your training action plan

Having done all the leg work in preparing the program, it is important to then implement it according to your plans. Ensure that you sufficiently promote the program throughout the organisation, that uptake is rewarded, even if it is just with an acknowledgement, and that you monitor the delivery of the program for later assessment.

6. Evaluate your employee training program

The only way to improve is to assess, identify weaknesses and work on them, and you should do this with your program as well. This is where the previously identified objectives and skills gaps will come in handy as benchmarks for your success, but it is also important to gather feedback from participants, team leaders and review overall performance in the time period since implementing the program. You can take your findings to modify your program where needed.

Launch your training program with DeakinCo.

At DeakinCo., we support organisations in implementing effective training programs with our workplace courses. From short courses to pathways to further education, including the world leading Deakin MBA, there are training modules spanning soft skills, technical skills, as well as leadership skills to choose from. Build up your employees from team members to team leaders, and learn how to support their growth by leading and developing people.

Reach out to DeakinCo. for a holistic approach to workplace learning that acknowledges the importance of deep learning and interdisciplinary thinking. Build better teams, and a better organisation.

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