Providing your employees with quality development opportunities is good for them and for your business. By investing in your employees you show that you value them. This makes them more loyal to your company and less likely to look for other jobs, in spite of the new skills they may have gained through training. Your company will benefit from improved staff retention as well as an expansion of your employee skillset.
But if you’re just starting to define a training program at your company, it can be a daunting task. There’s lots to consider to make sure your employee development initiative is effective and doesn’t cost the earth.
Here are some tips for how to manage employee development at your company:
1. Define your Objectives
There’s no point training for training’s sake. You need to have clear goals and decide on how you plan to achieve them. Involve your team in the planning process. It may be that one of your employees regularly comes up against problems during the workday due to a knowledge gap. Or everyone in your team feels they’re failing to use a particular software to its full capabilities. Take on board the thoughts of your team, add to the equation the company objectives and formulate a list of priorities for employee development.
2. Create a Schedule
A training schedule should take into account your training priorities. It should also incorporate the timetables of your employees. Consider who needs to be manning the office at any given time and any other immovable commitments your team may have. Ask yourself if any skills need to be in place to meet particular business objectives. If so you’ll also need to use these deadlines to inform your training schedule. In order to show you value all employees and improve morale across the board, make sure all employees are scheduled for training at some point during an annual or bi-annual period.
3. Decide Upon Delivery
When it comes to training delivery, there are plenty of options. You can set up and lead training sessions yourself, sign employees up to online courses or hire the services of a dedicated training company who will plan and deliver course content. Industry hosted seminars and conferences might also be a good place to look. Or, alternatively, give your employees time for self-led study, pointing them in the direction of resources and getting them to report back on their progress. The delivery you choose will depend in part upon the money and time you have available.
4. Boost Your Own Skills
It may be that your own skills could do with a little improvement if you’re to manage employee development as well as you possibly can. Assess your own management abilities and knowledge in this area. If you feel your development planning would benefit from a skills boost, look for appropriate management training. The right course could stand you in excellent stead for improving company-wide skills.
As with any business decision, thorough evaluation is essential if you’re to avoid past mistakes and capitalise on what you’ve done right. Ask your employees if they found the training useful and the information digestible. Over time, assess whether the training undertaken has improved productivity. Work to improve your training program after each stage of the process to keep moving it onwards and upwards.
Effective staff training should be a central part of any business’ long term plan. Developing new skills and cultivating industry knowledge amongst your team will help them and the company to succeed and reach their full potential.