Do you suspect that your employee training program could use some improvement? The time to figure that out is now. With an effective employee training program in place, you can put your company in a position of power with a happier, more capable, and compliant workforce or team that produces consistent results.
But how can you determine whether your current employee training program is working? That’s where we can help. In this article, we’ll share signs that employee training needs to be improved. We’ll also touch on other helpful topics to help you make meaningful changes to your employee training and development initiatives.
Why Is Employee Training So Important?
Employee training is incredibly important, regardless of the company’s size, location, and industry. And it’s mainly because of the effects that it can have on your employees, projects, and company culture. Employee training programs can vastly help or devastatingly hurt your business.
If your employee training initiatives and overall program are effective, you’ll enjoy some amazing benefits, including:
- Enhanced productivity among employees. When your employees know what to do and have been adequately trained, they can better complete their job functions. As a result, you could see increased productivity among your team.
- Reduces employee turnover. Employees who feel like they mean something to the company (due to you investing in their development with purposeful training) are less likely to quit and seek other opportunities. As a result, you’re likely to see less turnover.
- Better employee morale. Effective employee education programs increase your employees’ level of loyalty. And this is thought to stem from the fact that they feel valued and like they’re being set up to succeed.
- Enhanced compliance. When your staff is well-trained, they are more likely to comply with company policies and practices. This may be due to a greater understanding of the rules and practices or a general desire to do their best work.
This is not a full list of effective employee training benefits; there are many more.
The Signs of Ineffective Training
Ineffective training usually manifests with obvious signs. Knowing these signs enables you to identify whether training issues exist, putting you in the prime position to take action. Below are some signs of ineffective employee training.
Lack of Accuracy Among Employees
One of the most glaring signs of ineffective training is excessive employee mistakes. Though it’s human nature to make mistakes, if you see that employees are making them a lot or on a routine basis, you could have a problem with training.
In some industries, a mistake can be incredibly costly. Businesses lose millions of dollars to seemingly small human errors. So, lack of accuracy post-training is something managers and HR should take seriously. Sometimes a full retraining will be necessary to get employees back on track; other times, a refresher will be sufficient.
Abnormally Long Training Sessions
Training programs or initiatives should be completed in a timely manner, within a few months at most. If a single employee training class takes considerably longer than that, this could be a sign that the material is hard to understand, the trainers are ineffective, or something else is happening.
From a cost perspective, long training sessions may not only tire out employees but cost the company dearly. If training takes many months or even years, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and see where things can be streamlined or improved.
Productivity Issues in Employees
Due to a lack of efficiency in training, your employees may not know their jobs very well, and productivity may suffer.
Waning or low productivity could become an issue when trainers aren’t given the time and resources to conduct proper training sessions. They may instead depend on the trainee to guide the training session to save time.
Another situation we see is when the training is so monotonous that employees simply aren’t interested in paying attention to the training session for its entire duration.
Due to these training issues and others, employees aren’t getting the information they need and cannot perform to the extent they could with more effective training.
Excessive Employee Turnover
Your business could see excessive turnover when training isn’t planned or implemented to the best possible degree.
Employees are selective regarding where they work, and they have choices regarding employee education and training. If they aren’t getting the training opportunities they need, they may grow dissatisfied, and morale may suffer. They may also feel neglected and discouraged.
And they don’t have to grin and bear it. Many businesses invest time and resources into fine-tuning and improving their training programs. In the U.S., companies have spent more than $100 billion on employee learning and development.
It’s for these reasons that employees may just cut their losses and look elsewhere for a better position. If you’re noticing that employees aren’t sticking around for long, it could point to training problems.
A lack of training can lead to safety issues and an uptick in injuries. If an employee doesn’t have adequate knowledge of the necessary protocols to complete a job safely, they may be in danger, and the business could suffer in many ways, including workers comp claims, turnover, and extended leaves.
Is your business plagued by an unusually high volume of accidents or workers comp claims? Additional training may be needed to remedy the issue.
Work Processes are Inconsistent
Do your employees complete the same tasks in different ways? Inconsistent processes are a glaring sign that your training program could use some help. Though some employees might prefer to do some things their own way, inconsistent processes could easily lead to mistakes, wasted resources, and a drop in productivity.
If your employees are completing defined tasks their own way, this could indicate that your employee training program needs work.
Though this issue doesn’t always point to an issue with training, it could be a training-related issue. Looking into it is a great idea for HR professionals.
Negative Feedback from Customers
Bad reviews or customer complaints could point to an issue with training.
Negative interactions with customers are a given in business; it’s how you work to resolve them that makes the difference. If you’re constantly hearing that employees are dissatisfied with your products, employees, or other business offerings, don’t brush it off.
These issues may indicate that your employees haven’t been adequately trained in managing customer relationships, quality control, or other business functions.
Tailoring Programs to the Needs of Employees
When crafting an employee training program, avoid using a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, focus on the needs of the employees. This allows you to develop a culture of individual development and learning. Moreover, everyone learns differently, so tailoring your training to your employees’ learning styles and preferences can yield better results post-training.
Giving employees choices throughout the training process increases the likelihood that they’ll complete the training and retain that information. Utilizing a rigid training delivery method without much autonomy or flexibility could mean forfeiting these benefits.
How To Revamp Your Employee Training
Revamping your employee training program is a multi-step process requiring evaluation, tweaking, and much more. In this section, we’ll share how to revamp your employee training one step at a time.
Identify Pertinent Benchmarks
To get started with your employee training revamp, choose a role you want to evaluate. Determine what you need specifically from the person in that role, and make sure the benchmarks are quantifiable.
For instance, if you’re examining a claims processor role, the benchmarks for that role may be time spent per claim or the number of claims submitted, calls made, and clean claims submitted.
Benchmarks will be different for every role.
Examine How Employees Are Performing Against Benchmarks
With your benchmarks in mind, take a look at how employees are currently performing against them. If you don’t currently have that information, begin to collect it as soon as possible.
Upon measuring employee training metrics, you might find that employees work slowly, make excessive mistakes, or need help in another area. Take note of that information and take action. Determine whether more full-on training is needed or whether a simple refresher will take care of things.
It can be difficult to determine how to proceed if you don’t know why the metrics aren’t being met. You could retrain all the employees from square one, but that may not be the most cost- or time-efficient choice.
Consult With Trainers and Supervisors
After determining whether additional training may be needed, it’s imperative to reach out to align with trainers and supervisors to confirm your findings and nail down the next steps. If you’re not keeping up with them, you may be unable to determine what should be covered in the training. This could be as simple as a few-minute conversation or a few emails.
Reevaluate the Training Program
Go over your findings. What do the employees need help with, what type of training would be helpful to them, and what do the trainers and supervisors have to say?
You can also analyze the industry. Determine what the employees will need to know in the future for the company to remain competitive in the forever-changing business landscape. Measure all of this against your current training program, considering the potential for expansion and fine-tuning.
Get Employee Feedback
Sometimes, the easiest way to determine what the workforce needs is to just ask them. In addition to all of the research and speaking with leaders at the company, it’s important to hear from the employees.
If your company is small, it may be best to simply ask the employees what they feel they need help with. Performance reviews are another option that could set the stage for talking about gaps in skills and knowledge.
Just be aware that when speaking to people in person, their responses may not always represent their actual struggles. Conduct anonymous surveys to get people’s real thoughts and struggles.
If you’re hearing similar things from multiple employees, that could be helpful in your training efforts. Also, if there are outlying responses, that’s an opportunity for one-on-one training and refreshes to nip those issues in the bud.
Design and Implement the Training Solution
The way you’ll design and implement the training solution is up to you as a professional, but be sure to keep the following things in mind when planning your employee training improvements:
- Have a training curriculum in place to keep employees abreast of what the training will entail.
- Enable self-service learning wherever possible to make the information easier to digest.
- Incorporate on-the-job training. Reading and lectures have their place, but on-the-job training helps to solidify processes and procedures with enhanced effectiveness.
- Keep the training simple.
- Understand the purpose of the training and keep that reason in mind as you’re crafting it.
- Use your employees to your advantage by asking them what they want in their training sessions.
- Get into the minds of your employees and ensure that the trainer is in tune with them, too. They’ll better connect with and convey information to the employees.
Improving employee training can be incredibly difficult, but it’s doable. And it all starts with identifying the signs indicating that the program needs help. With the information in this article, you’re much better prepared to identify those signs and make positive changes in your organization.
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