5 Steps to an Effective Employee Training Plan

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A good company always looks for ways to improve. To help your business progress, an effective training plan is crucial, but implementing one may not be second nature. Here are 5 steps to get you started.

1.      Have a goal

First, consider your company goals. What do you want to accomplish in the next year? What areas of the company need to be strengthened in order to achieve those goals? 

Once you have identified big-picture company goals, pinpoint position-specific goals and the skills needed to reach them. Could your web team streamline their web designs? Does your sales team need to double their forklift sales and improve service in Calgary or Bangkok? Plan trainings around these specific goals. 

Trainings can be centered around either hard skills or soft skills. Hard skills are teachable, measurable skills such as how to maneuver a forklift, how to contact a client, or how to pitch an idea. Soft skills are subjective and character-centered. Soft skills can include time management, being a team player, and being organized. Alternate training on hard and soft skills.  

 2.      Identify the materials needed

Before you start a training session, gather the materials you will need. This could include books, online resources, computer software, or other items needed for practical training meetings. All training materials should be customized to your company and its needs. 

As much as possible, use a professional trainer to train employees. They will keep training sessions running smoothly and effectively. 

3.      Keep track of training in a spreadsheet

Create a training matrix on paper or in the computer to keep track of which employees have attended which trainings. It can be helpful to use color coding to keep track of employees, skill levels, trainings completed, and trainings missed. If your company is large, you may need a different matrix for each department. 

4.      Implement creative training

Interactive training meetings that employ several training methods are the most engaging and memorable. Try using multimedia, discussions, and gamification (using competitions or rewards for challenges as a means of learning). Simply lecturing employees will not keep their attention nor help them to improve. Studies show that the focused attention span (a short-term response to something that attracts attention) is about 8 seconds, while a sustained attention span is about 20 minutes. So keep training segments short, interesting, interactive, and explain what you are teaching before, during, and after you teach it. 

Reinforce training frequently. Research suggests that people forget roughly 50-80% of what they learn after just one day and 98% after one month. To help your employees retain training information and skills, motivate them with competitions, quizzes, and frequent reviews. 

5.      Provide opportunities for feedback

After training is complete, have HR meet one-on-one with employees for feedback. The most honest critiques come from one-on-one, written, and anonymous assessments. Have HR look for patterns and report back so you can incorporate the evaluations into future trainings.  

The better trained your employees are, the stronger your company will be. Take time today to create an employee training plan or to evaluate your existing one.

 

Edson Senna is a freelance writer whose passions include business and finance. He loves getting valuable business tips from companies like Bugle Forklift Sales & Rentals Ltd. In his free time, Edson loves reading and spending time with friends and family.

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