The ins and outs of employee training is a major challenge for human resources departments large and small. Because the pressure of implementing a concise yet effective training program can be immense, HR professionals are forced to constantly look for new ways to keep training engaging and interactive. To help you overcome some of the pressure, here’s a list of some of the most common challenges associated with employee training—and practical solutions for each of them.
Challenge #1: Keeping employees engaged
Let’s face it, most employee-orientation programs are a bit boring. Hopefully you’re providing necessary information, but no one relishes the idea of sitting through lectures about health insurance, paid time-off, and company policy.
The solution: Make your training dynamic
The first thing you have to do is review your materials and eliminate anything that isn’t necessary. By doing this, you can focus on what’s important and enhance your materials. Next, look for new ways to present the content. Here are some suggestions for making your training more dynamic and engaging:
- Hands-on/interactive exercises
- Videos and demonstrations
Challenge #2: Training employees who aren't local
Sometimes the best talent is acquired from another city, state, or even another country. Relocation can seriously delay or hinder the orientation and training process.
The solution: An online training program
Making your employee orientation and training materials available online is by far the fastest and easiest way to tackle this challenge. Allowing your new employees, whether they’re relocating or not, to begin their training before they arrive will get them up to speed much faster. In fact, many companies have created online programs that allow employees to complete most, if not all, of their onboarding tasks prior to arriving for their first day.
Challenge #3: Inconsistent training materials
Being consistent about what is taught, and how it is taught, is a huge challenge for companies, especially large corporations that rely on a number of trainers to train hundreds of employees every year. It’s extremely difficult to ensure that every trainer follows the same agenda and uses the same teaching style.
The solution: Follow an agenda and mandate use of the same materials
If your training is done in person, ensuring consistent training will remain a challenge, no matter what processes you put in place. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have training guidelines—it just means they will be harder to enforce. However, if your training is done online, it’s easy to create standardized training modules. For example, each topic can be roughly the same length, presented on the same template, and follow the same path from clearly stated outcomes to a test at the end.
Challenge #4: Successfully applying the training
It’s not enough to just tell your new employees what their job is or what your company rules are—it’s your responsibility to make sure you’ve provided everything they need to actually be successful in their jobs. Many companies have no system in place for ensuring that new employees are correctly applying their training on a daily basis.
The solution: Supplemental hands-on training
In addition to your employee orientation and initial training programs, you might consider implementing a system that allows managers or trainers to check in with new employees at certain benchmarks to supplement their original training. At this stage, a hands-on approach is usually the most beneficial to cement the most important policies, procedures, and tasks.
We’ve highlighted some of the biggest training challenges organizations face, but, as we also point out, they’re all relatively easy to address and overcome. If you’re diligent about applying these solutions, you’ll be able to capitalize on your new employees’ strengths and dramatically decrease your employee turnover rate—two things that can have huge impacts on your company's bottom line.