Most Companies Fail at Employee Training. What are They Doing Wrong?
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Every business must train its employees. It doesn’t matter if they are teaching them basic skills or helping them develop more niche skills . Unfortunately, many businesses treat training poorly, are expensive, and have worse outcomes.
Why is this so? And how can you avoid these pitfalls.
The focus problem
First, we have the problem with focus. Business owners know that training and development is important. They don’t know which areas of training or development are most important. It is a good thing to have employees who are more skilled and familiar. However, if employees learn the wrong things, it could mean that their knowledge is not practical.
How can you ensure that your employees are learning the right things and that you don’t waste time?
- Understand the most important skills to develop for your team: What’s stopping you from being successful? What can you do to increase productivity, efficiency, or capability? For example, if you’re running a restaurant, it’s advisable to have all your team members be familiar with CPR and other life-saving techniques.
- Make objective economic decisions. Reduce everything down to numbers. Is it possible to quantify the benefits that your company will get by training employees in this way? Is it financially feasible for your company?
- Remain flexible: Your business landscape and skills are constantly changing. It is important to be flexible if you want to succeed in your training programs and stay successful. You shouldn’t be content with the same system for decades. Keep them updated.
The employee engagement problem
We also have a problem with employee engagement. It can be difficult to keep employees engaged during training and education. It’s important if you want employees retain what they’ve learned and if your goal is to increase employee morale.
So, what steps can be taken to increase employee engagement during training?
- Incentivize participation: Make it compelling to participate in employee training. This can be done in many ways, including offering bonuses or raises to employees who complete training.
- Teach in many ways: There are many different learning styles. People learn better and are more motivated to learn if they can learn in a way that suits their needs and style. It’s important to use visual learning, active learning, and other methods to teach your students.
- Get feedback and improve: Don’t assume that your employees approve of your training program. Ask them to tell you what they think. It is essential to collect feedback and use it to improve your training program.
The retention problem
Are your employees retaining all the information they have learned? If your employees forget what they have learned in training, it doesn’t matter how much you do.
Here’s how to increase employee memory retention.
- Test your employees and reexamine them after each skill development session. To see how much they retain, you can test them in the future.
- Improve apps: People are more likely to learn a skill when they are actively using it. Your employees should be able to use the skills they have learned on a regular basis.
- Get feedback and improve: Again, employee feedback is helpful here. Ask employees what they can do to help them remember and use their new knowledge.
The spending problem
Another reason most companies fail to manage training is that they spend too much money. There is no way around the fact that training, education, and development are all costly. However, if you spend more than you should, you could lose money in this area.
Here are the solutions:
- Narrowing your focus: Training too much is a bad thing. Focus on what is most important. You should only spend your time and money on the training programs that are most beneficial to your company.
- Look for affordable alternatives: You can hire an outside consultant, or pay for training services. There are likely to be cheaper alternatives. You can shop around to find the best rate.
- Train from within: You might consider training from within. Collaboration with colleagues can make employees more engaged. You’ll also increase morale and save money.
It is true that most businesses don’t approach training in a profitable or productive way. You don’t have the same fate. You can transform your business training programs with a little bit of proactive planning and an emphasis on efficiency. And start seeing better results.
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.