How Can You Maximize Employee Training Value?
Employee training value means vastly different things to different organizations.
To some, training is merely a necessary evil to meet a mandatory, and sometimes arbitrary, quota. These organizations fill the training void with general content and little regard for employee needs and development, or organizational, culture, and overarching goals.
Other companies treat training as a reward for top performers and those on management’s good side. Consequently, they fail to serve the average employee or greater organizational goals. Most organizations tend to fall in-between these extremes but still fail to deliver on employee training value.
Regardless of how an organization defines employee training value, one thing remains fairly constant. Most organizations have significant shortfalls when it comes to training time and money. So, it’s critical to maximize employee training value when you decide where that precious learning & development budget goes. This is easily lost to flying employees for offsite training around the country or paying to bring instructors onsite. This is especially true when an organization still expects the employees undergoing training to help support business operations. This means employees are spending more time, energy and attention on answering emails and making calls than training.
5 Ways to Increase Employee Training Value
1. Move Away from a Reward or Compliance Mindset to a Developmental One
Employee training has immense potential for enhancing and developing employee skills. However, organizations generally don’t consider this employee training value when goal setting or conducting performance evaluations. Also, whether training is mandatory or a special treat, employee career goals are rarely a consideration.
Consequently, it’s important to shift training from a mandatory process or reward to a key component of employee development. This requires a little bit of effort on the part of learning & development leaders. You need to review training with employees, holding them accountable for completing the training and applying the lessons into their work in a tangible way. While this is more time consuming, it significantly boosts the perceived and actual employee training value.
2. Request Employee Training Reports
Let employees know that you expect a report following training. This should cover what they learned and how they can incorporate it into their job. They should also include one or two key items that are applicable to the team as a whole. This automatically puts employees into a critical thinking mindset so that they can internalize and share employee training value. Furthermore, if you aren’t able to provide training for everyone, these reports can serve to help distribute employee training value.
3. Stop Burning the Budget to Preserve Allowances
A common practice is that budget line items need to be spent or lost. Consequently, employee training value can simply become only how much you can spend on it with little to no return in performance. For example, the end of the budgetary cycle is closing in and you haven’t used the bulk of your training budget. In order to ensure that funds aren’t cut for the next cycle, you send employees on a team building retreat that fits the bill in terms of cost even though it’s conducted via a capella singing training. It might make for some interesting scenes in the break room but return very little in actual team development.
To maximize employee training value while minimizing budgetary waste, you can simply plan ahead and have a contingency plan in place for surplus funds at the end of the spending cycle. Request employees to create business cases at the start of each budgetary cycle for training they’d like to see within the organization. These cases should demonstrate tangible value to both the employees and organization as a whole. Also, they should address these questions. How does the training benefit the company? In what ways will it help them be more effective and efficient? How can it help others in the organization?
4. Give It Some Time
While there are emergencies that require immediate attention, these should be the exception and not the rule. It’s critical to set expectations that the primary focus needs to be on learning and mastering training material during employee training. This expectation starts with your own behavior so don’t be one of the offenders.
Employee training is necessary but expensive. Direct costs and lost productivity truly pack a powerful punch. So, it’s important to avoid further compounding these expenses by not maximizing your employee training value for employees and the organization.
An increasingly popular way to find time to train is by providing online employee training that employees can access at their convenience – on their schedule and personal devices.
Whether employees are in a crunch to complete compliance training or you’re grooming your next set of leaders for the C-Suite, online employee learning makes it so that employees can schedule times that will work for them when they can be the most attentive.
5. Develop and Build Resources
Chances are you that you are going to need a variety of resources to maximize your employee training value. One of the best places to start is a devoted employee training provider with customizable learning solutions that you can specifically tailor to meet your needs.
Online employee training providers like KnowledgeCity have the content, software, expertise and resources to help you, your employees and your organization reach the next level.
For example, Knowledgecity’s learning library has 14,000 + video training tutorials in business, computers, finance, compliance and safety that you can use to initially jump start training to get employees up-to-speed. The entire learning library is available on its own fully customizable learning management system or as SCORM packages to use with your own software. KnowledgeCity also offers custom content creation to create the material your employees and organization need for their work and professional future.