Just days into the start of a new year, many of us are looking ahead to what’s to come in 2019. We spend so much time setting personal goals and trying to stick to our resolutions, but perhaps not enough time setting goals for our workplace. The best way to prepare yourself and your team to perform at the highest level is to focus on training.
If your employee training practices need improvement, here are some new year’s resolutions to follow.
Think of Employee Training as Part of your Benefits Package
There are plenty of companies out there who don’t invest in training their employees – don’t be one of them. Instead, take pride in your training program and use it to differentiate yourself from other organizations competing for the same talent. People want to work for a company that encourages success and offers numerous tools for achieving that success. Opportunities for personal and professional development can be just as attractive to prospective employees as health insurance, retirement plans, and flex time.
Prepare Your Employees for their Next Promotion
If you have highly successful employees who produce excellent work, it makes sense to promote them into management or other leadership roles. But what if they’ve never managed a team before? If every new employee is given communication, leadership, and problem-solving training as part of their standard training, they’ll be that much better prepared when they’re promoted. Or, if you don’t offer this type of training from day one, you can identify employees who show leadership potential and incorporate this type of professional development training to help them prepare for the next stage of their career with your company. The sooner you provide leadership training, the better, but even a crash course for potential mangers will be beneficial.
Focus on Soft Skills
As the workplace becomes more and more diverse, skills like communication, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence are more important than ever. Soft skills not only improve a person’s leadership capabilities, they increase employee retention and help companies build a meaningful culture focused on success.
Consider Learner-Specific Training Paths
The term “one size fits all” doesn’t apply to employee training like it used to. Instead, the focus has shifted to each individual learner, boiling down to his or her past experiences, knowledge of technology, and recent performance – and creating an individual training experience based on those unique factors. With information so easily available to us day and night, we’re used to getting what we want when we want it. To keep up, many companies are aligning their training with this on-demand mindset.
This could translate as short video clips teaching employees how to properly answer the phone, how to navigate proprietary software, or how to safely clean a piece of equipment. In-person training sessions could be recorded for employees to re-watch a needed or you can use your internal social media channels for helpful peer-to-peer discussion.
Make Training Available Any Time, Anywhere
Most of us are pretty busy during the work day and are reluctant to squeeze in time for learning. Whether we need to learn something new or refresh our memory on an old topic, it’s not always easy to fit that in to our already jam-packed day. But if training is delivered on a number of platforms, and made available to us 24 hours a day, we might be more inclined to seek it out during down times. It no longer makes sense to only offer traditional training in a classroom setting. In-house training has its advantages but should be supplemented with online and mobile training so it can be accessed when employees have time.
Increase Gamification in Training
Gamification is all about applying aspects of game-playing into other areas of activity. You might be thinking - work and play don't mix, right? However, gamification doesn’t mean turning your training program into a video game. It means making the learning more appealing by creating a reward system that imitates today’s popular video games. This is accomplished by adding features like points, badges, leaderboards, and community discussions – at least one of which should appeal to employees of all ages, enthusiasm, and skill levels.
These new year’s resolutions should give you an idea of what to expect in employee training in 2019 – and what you can do to enhance your training programs.