Think of your current team... isn’t there something each member would like to learn more about in his/her work environment? As a manager, have you created a culture of curiosity and instilled a passion for learning in your team? If your team does not have the opportunity to add or refine work skills, productivity won’t be at the level it could be so here’s how to change that through relevant training.
Relevant training sessions positively affect some aspect of the team member’s daily performance. If there is not a visible connection demonstrating how training will positively impact performance, it is likely that participants could perceive training as a waste and shift focus to the tasks they would rather be completing so they do not fall further behind in their daily duties.
Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) have unique challenges when it comes to evaluating training needs, creating relevant training programs and delivering essential content. Financial resources along with human capital to create and deliver training might be limited; however, these deficiencies should not deter a manager from investing in training opportunities for the team. Budgetary funds have potential for reallocation, and there are opportunities for other assistance. Universities, HR groups or other organizations are resources to consider for development and delivery of training resources if training material is not designed in-house. Developing a thorough and meaningful training program for SMBs requires a little creativity and input from individuals involved.
CREATING A TRAINING NEEDS ANALYSIS
Training is like traveling; there is a beginning and an ending point. A manager needs to identify the team’s current starting point (training need) and the actual endpoint (short/long term goals and anticipated outcomes of training). Start with a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) to determine what training needs exist. Employee Assessments can provide direction as to where employees’ skills need strengthening. Soliciting employee feedback through surveys, interviews, focus groups and observation can help management create training applicable to job duties and organizational goals. What management thinks the team needs training on is not always what the team needs or wants. If training is going to occur, there has to be a distinct purpose and rationale for it so it is important to gather input from all stakeholders.
CREATING EMPLOYEE CENTERED TRAINING
Once the desired topics for training have been identified, it is time to develop and implement the program. Depending on the content, delivery might be online or face-to-face. Don’t underestimate using current employees to deliver training; often, they are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in certain areas. One size does not fit all when it comes to content delivery. Relevant training will include activities using various delivery methods that complement the audience’s different learning styles. Having shorter training sessions allows for enhanced focus yet offers time to complete daily tasks. Provide the team with opportunities to practice new skills. Remember, not every person may need to attend training, especially if the content is not applicable to daily tasks.
EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT POST-TRAINING
Once training has been delivered, make sure you solicit feedback from the participants to determine what worked well and not so well. Using this feedback can help an organization create future programs that will meet the ongoing needs of the team. Relevant training that improves employee performance helps develop satisfied employees who tend to perform at a higher level of efficiency. When your team is happy and takes pride in achieving the organization’s mission through enhanced customer service, your customers will be happier as well starting a rewarding cycle of improved productivity and satisfaction. Wasn’t higher productivity an initial goal?
Why wait to find out what your team would like to learn more about to make them more efficient on the job? Start exploring now, and create a culture of curiosity!