Corporate training programs are nothing new to even the most inexperienced human resources manager. Corporate training programs serve many purposes. With the right training, you can increase efficiency and motivation, retain more employees longer and nurture the sort of corporate culture that’s important to you and the leadership team.
Companies everywhere have systems in place to get new employees familiar with policies and procedures, and additional training keeps seasoned workers familiar with changes in governmental requirements, shifting cultural landscapes and advancing technology specific to the company’s business.
More and more, however, corporate training programs are looking to include content that is useful to the worker beyond his or her current employer’s doors. Businesses are making it easier for workers to gain new skills that aren’t just useful for the worker’s current position; these are portable skills that make the worker more valuable everywhere, and, increasingly, contribute to the worker’s overall quality of life.
Additionally, the trends in corporate training programs seem to be pointing more often toward companies that provide the sort of opportunities that build a more complete person for their workforce. The emphasis is increasingly on a holistic approach to training that adds skills to employees’ resumes, and improves the overall culture of businesses.
The following are three trends in the corporate training environment that human resource managers should consider when deciding on the sort of opportunities their companies might provide.
Trend #1: Continuing Education
More and more businesses are taking strong steps toward encouraging continuing formal job training through schooling and tuition reimbursement. According to Trainingmag.com, 95% of their top 125 companies offer tuition reimbursement. This allows employees to obtain different or advanced degrees in their fields, a useful addition to any business’s portfolio.
Human resource managers can make this process easier by identifying local institutions that offer the sort of programs employees might value, and which might be of value to the company. If none exist, schools like trade schools and community colleges are often interested in partnering with companies that offer real-world opportunities for graduates and employee advancement. Sometimes, a simple phone call is enough to begin the process of implementing new degree or certificate programs.
Another approach to take, if you have the resources, is to provide an educational platform yourself. Larger businesses, in particular, build their own virtual schools with courses and modules that tie directly into their business models. Knowledgecity is a wonderful tool that can be used for both personal and professional employee development.
Bottom line here: Look for ways that traditional education can impact your business and your workforce in positive ways and everyone is sure to benefit.
Trend #2: Communication Skills Development
Another trend in corporate training is the focus on opportunities to develop new or improved communication skills. Communication skills are among the most sought-after skills for new employees, and human resource managers are always searching for ways to increase their workforce’s communication abilities.
Communication looks very different than it did a mere decade or two ago, as technology has changed, our workforces have gone global and the understanding of workplace communication has deepened.
Companies have learned that teaching modern communication skills is valuable to their bottom line as well as their employees’ well-being. Because of this, many corporate training programs offer communication skills as part of their packages. These packages include hard skills – like using certain equipment or technology – and soft skills. The focus tends to be on efficient communication that takes into account the message, the audience and the speaker in ways businesses didn’t always consider.
High-end men’s fashion retailer and Wal-Mart subsidiary Bonobos has also made interesting inroads with their training program as far as communication skills are concerned. Human Resources software company Greenhouse discusses Bonobos’s development of a “People Team,” focused on development of its workforce. Among the initiatives the People Team has undertaken are several learning and development programs focused on the company’s culture, communication skills and management training.
Trend #3: Holistic Training
Perhaps the most common trend is an increased focus on the personal touch of corporate training programs. Not only are companies offering training that have value for their specific business, but new programs focus on skills that are transferable across multiple sectors, making the worker more valuable across his or her career and augmenting their ability to move or change jobs and companies.
Companies are offering training that strengthens their workers as whole people. The training is organized to improve employees’ lives both within and outside the office. This means that, besides increasing employees’ knowledge and skills, recent corporate training is deliberately supporting workers to be happier and healthier. This saves companies money in the long run because happy, fulfilled workers are better employees who are less likely to move on – and more likely to attract similarly motivated potential coworkers.
SaS offers business analytic services and software. Based in Cary, North Carolina, jobs website Monster highlights SaS’s focus on career mentoring and leadership training. Monster’s Senior Communications Specialist Shannon Heath to describe why the company prioritizes employee development.
“Knowledge workers never want to be stagnant,” says Shannon Heath. “So SAS provides opportunities for growth to keep our employees challenged, motivated and engaged.”
Why These Trends Matter
Most HR managers have found that retaining quality employees can be a challenge. In highly competitive fields especially, skilled employees are more willing than ever before in history to accept offers to work for different companies. A robust corporate training program can be the incentive that convinces these workers to establish roots with your company.
Luckily, the trends indicate that nearly every company can develop a training program of the sort that’s most likely to garner the kind of attention you need to attract the best employees. Success breeds resilience and staying power, and the sort of program you can brag about later.
To start developing the sort of corporate training program that benefits everyone involved, begin by thinking hard about the sort of skills development that would make the biggest impact. Focus on matching the trends, and then exceeding what’s offered elsewhere.
With just a little work, you’ll be off to a strong start that establishes the foundation needed by every successful corporate training program.
Would You Love More Support With Your Organization’s Employee Training Program?
The way we work has changed. In order to give tools and resources to employees who have taken on new duties and roles since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and to increase employee retention and engagement, businesses need to implement employee training programs to stay competitive in 2021 and beyond.
To identify the three most important steps to take before putting an employee training program in place, download this FREE eBook. These steps will help your organization quickly adapt to any future challenges, continue to attract new talent to strengthen your workforce and give your employees what they need to be successful in their roles.