As businesses around the world continue to operate remotely, they’re still discovering creative new ways to offer goods and services to their customers. This means that employees need to take on new tasks and learn new skills to keep up. This also means that leaders need to manage teams differently and find new ways to get them to engage with their work and each other.
One initiative that can help unite your employees, keep them engaged, and prepare them for new job tasks is using a virtual training program. At first, you may not think adding more tasks, especially training courses, would benefit your employees. But there are several advantages a virtual training program provides that can help everyone stay motivated and productive.
One of the biggest benefits of employee training is that it can increase engagement. When employees have access to tools and resources to help further their careers or help them feel more confident in their roles, they feel more engaged. Studies show that engaged employees are more productive and less likely to leave.
If you’re considering starting a training program or have one in place but are unsure how to maximize it for your company, here are ten best practices for putting it into place and getting employees excited to use it.
1. Look at long-term value, not short-term compliance
Too often, companies think about their employee training as checking a box. They see it as a way to make sure everyone is up-to-date on a specific topic or skill to fulfill a yearly requirement.
Instead, companies need to understand the value employee training will bring to every layer of the workplace.
Training makes higher-performing teams more productive and generates increased revenue. It also saves costs by retaining employees and building knowledge and skills across the workforce.
2. Commit to training
To make your online employee training program successful, leadership needs to understand the long-term value it brings, back it up, and promote it. If leaders aren’t excited about training or fail to lead communication around its implementation, staff won’t see how it can benefit them and the company. They may view it as one more requirement to check off on a list. Team leaders and managers, who are often the ones to influence their team the most, need to commit to implementation as well.
3. Train for a remote world
Because many teams work remotely, possibly for the foreseeable future, on-site group training has also been eliminated. Having an online hub of courses offers many advantages over on-site training, including on-demand access, a reduced time commitment, and greater variety.
4. Find training that fits your workplace
If you’ve found that your training programs haven’t been resonating with your team, check to see if it’s the right training for your workplace. Does it address your employees’ training needs and concerns? Does it show scenarios and situations that your employees can relate to? Not every training program is alike, so be sure to pick one that has relevant, applicable, and enjoyable content.
5. Utilize employee time wisely
You don’t want to implement training that will require employees to sit for hours to complete, taking them away from other vital work tasks. Find a training program that offers bite-size courses and videos that employees can complete in under 30 minutes. This will make training less daunting, won’t detract from their productivity, and will give them a sense of “quick wins” when they finish a few.
6. Create engagement around training
While each employee might be completing their virtual training alone, it doesn’t mean it must be a solitary activity. Managers can invite employees to share at weekly team meetings about which courses they recently took.
Managers can also assign a course that all team members complete, which they can debrief together. This keeps engagement up, helps ensure completion, and reinforces the concepts learned. It also helps the team stay focused on something communal while working remotely.
7. Measure success with tracking
There’s no point in implementing a training program without tracking how it improves employees’ engagement and skills. Be sure to put measurements in place to gauge completion. A good employee training program will have tracking and reporting. Also, measure key performance indicators that show the effects training has on productivity and engagement.
8. Offer professional development courses
You may be focused on offering employee training to improve relevant work skills and knowledge, but offering employees access to a library of courses that will help them in their professional development is also an advantage. Whether a company offers learning and development opportunities is a consideration for job searchers.
9. Stay current and relevant
There are always new skills, software, and compliance laws to learn. Choose a virtual training program that keeps current with trends so employees can stay ahead of their job duties and give the company a competitive edge. Additionally, look for training software that allows you to upload company or industry-specific courses or materials so that your employees have access to specialized skills or compliance training.
10. Don’t be afraid of employee training
Some companies fear implementing employee training, thinking their employees will use those courses to build their skills, then quit to seek better opportunities. That will only happen if you let it.
Employee training serves to increase retention and improve engagement and productivity. Additionally, highly skilled employees provide an excellent internal pipeline for upward promotion.
Creating a Better Workplace
One of the best and easiest ways to increase employee engagement, productivity, and team connection is to implement an employee training program. While it may take a bit of thought and time to get it up and running, the benefits will impact your company and your employees for the better.
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