How Do Companies Train and Develop Employees Effectively?

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The secret to a happy customer base, it turns out, is a happy employee base. Multiple factors play into making happy employees, including openness to feedback, willingness to understand employee needs, and showing that you value their work. Just as important, however, is employee training and development.

Despite the cost and time it takes to develop, the effects of quality training cannot be understated–when employees have relevant and valuable learning available to them, they tend to enjoy their jobs more and remain in positions longer. Effective employee development also opens the door to welcoming top-tier talent, those who are both eager to learn and seeking companies who are dedicated to their growth.

So, how do companies train and develop employees effectively?

3 Factors of Successful Employee Training

It is not enough to simply have training available or required—it must be effective. Many companies provide lackluster training content for their employees only to be disappointed by the lack of results. The following three factors have the ability to transform disengaged employees into dedicated talent.

1. Successful training has learner buy-in

Employees need to value training as much as your company does, but getting that buy-in is not always simple. The best way to get employee buy-in is by clearly presenting how the training benefits them. Topics should be both relevant and interesting while also showing employees how the knowledge builds their skills both in and beyond the workplace.

2. Successful training has opportunities for practical application

Training that fails to go beyond the conceptual won’t produce the results you’re looking for. To develop employees that feel competent in their positions, training should include real-life, practical application—opportunities for employees to fail safely, learn from mistakes, and build confidence in their roles.

3. Successful training is engaging

Learner engagement is key when creating content for your employees. Training can have practical applications as well as clear benefits to the learners, but if the content is not presented in an interesting way, the value of the training could get lost in translation. 

There are many ways to optimize training to engage your audience, even if your employee-base is diverse. Try taking existing content and chunking it into smaller bite-sized pieces of microlearning. Updating learning tech can also improve engagement. Embrace AI elements to improve content personalization and make sure your content is mobile friendly to increase accessibility and user experience.

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Start by improving existing employee training

Does your company have training that lacks one or more of these factors? Here are a few helpful tips to improve your content today.

1. Quality over quantity

Before spending extensive amounts of time, money, and energy to develop employee training, companies should ask themselves whether training is the appropriate solution to their problem.

Perhaps the issue at hand is due to accessibility of information. Maybe employees would benefit from a reminder or handy reference over a training session. Or could the issue be structural? Could a more comprehensive employee workflow address the issues at hand?

While training has clear and positive benefits when executed successfully, poor or unnecessary training has the potential to do more harm than good.

2. Implement new technology to improve the relevance of your content

Your company’s training may already have solid content; sometimes all you need is a bit of an update. Modern technologies like AR or VR enable us to create interactive learning which has been shown to boost knowledge retention and allow learners to fail safely and build confidence at no cost to the company.

If AR/VR isn’t the right solution for your training, opt for motion graphics, a modern authoring tool that allows the learner to choose the pace of their learning, like Rise, or an updated presentation design.

3. Ensure that existing training addresses employee needs AND business objectives

While learner buy-in is crucial to successful training, companies should also make sure upfront that their training addresses business objectives. While it’s wonderful to have an engaged workforce, training and development should move the company towards a common objective or goal.

Whether the goal is an increase in customer service ratings or a rise in total sales, the entire training process should be building pragmatic skills that help employees and the company reach key milestones in that area.

Employee wellbeing is company wellbeing

Providing quality employee training is one of the most powerful things you can do for the future of your company. The world is full of businesses who lack the enthusiasm to empower their teams. Investing in yours shows your company’s value to a world of talent who are eager to find meaningful and motivated workplaces.

Look at your learning

Does it inspire real change with your employees?

Create learning that adapts with you