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In every new job we learn new things and in every current job we grow over time. Continuous learning and training helps employees develop their skills and ensures that our team grows and doesn’t stagnate.
By Mia Kollia
Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos
If we want to attract and retain top talent in our company, we need to create effective training opportunities for our employees, in order to develop their skills in the best possible way. The type of strategies we use to train our staff affects how effective that training is. While a lengthy PDF or a PPT presentation may seem like the easiest training method, there are many other strategies that can be implemented.
1. We define employee expectations
Poor communication limits employees’ ability to perform to their full potential. One of the best strategies for training new employees is to define the expectations we have of them and state them clearly. We have an immediate open dialogue with them, which not only informs them of expectations and operating procedures, but also sets the tone for future training and work interactions.
2. We recommend compartmentalized learning
Increasingly busy schedules make it harder to find time to learn in the workplace. That's why segmented learning—short, focused, and often interactive learning initiatives broken into three- to five-minute segments—has become so popular in today's workforce. This type of training helps companies deliver the most meaningful and critical content in a condensed format, designed to be easy to use and accessible when needed. Because of its format, it is often better applied to informal, simpler training needs than to complex skill sets.
3. We offer e-learning opportunities
E-learning opportunities are a great way to make learning more accessible to our employees, since flexible working has become common for many businesses and this flexibility should extend to learning. In today's fast-paced world, we need to be able to impart knowledge in more ways than ever before. Being able to deliver the content our employees need when they need it is critical to their success.
4. We allow new employees to learn alongside their older colleagues
It is one thing to have someone explain a certain task to us in theory and another to try it ourselves in practice. Practicing how to do a job in the field, next to a colleague who knows how to do it, can be the most effective way of training. With this method, new employees better absorb information and experiment with their responsibilities in a controlled environment, while building their confidence.
5. We hold one-on-one meetings
Structured, twice-weekly meetings between an employee and their supervisor is a very effective training method. It is a more personal method, which brings significant results because it shows that we invest directly in the success of our employees. On the other hand, in such occasions, employees can more easily state what their main training needs are.
6. We follow mentoring practices
Employee mentoring programs can be useful for both personal and professional development. Every new employee of the company can have a mentor who can guide him in his career, help him adapt more easily to the company culture or have somewhere to turn to in case he faces difficulties, without fear of being criticised.
7. We take a lunch break to eat and learn
Some employees learn better in a more relaxed environment. A business may adopt the lunch and training tactic, in which a team member or someone from another company gives a short seminar-style presentation while refreshments and snacks are served. Such sessions usually lead to brainstorming as well as comfortable, open communication between team members.
8. We offer video training
Video training is becoming more and more popular among the younger generations. LinkedIn's 2021 Learning Workplace found that Generation Z learners attended 50% more hours per learning content than the previous year. While live training sessions can certainly be engaging, there is a risk that the employee will forget what they learned after the session is over. Video recording of these presentations can be made available to our team when and where they need it.
How to make training more effective
While the tactics above are a great starting point for creating an effective employee training program, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
Employee training should not be approached with a one-size-fits-all mindset. Instead, training programs must be tailored to each employee based on their skills and profile, because the success of these programs depends on employee motivation.
It is important to convince employees of the effectiveness of training programs, in order to strengthen their commitment. If they feel that they are not interested in a particular program, they won’t be focused and there will be no good result.
If employees are reluctant to take up training opportunities, we could perhaps consider offering incentives. For example running competitions and offering gift cards or paid time off.
We may think we know what kind of training our employees want, but the best way to find out is to ask them. We can run a survey to gather their thoughts on educational initiatives and make sure we're not wasting our time or theirs.
We offer continuous learning opportunities to all our employees and we should never forget that our strategies may need to be modified over time. Training should be an ongoing conversation with employees, to ensure that it is a useful tool that is renewed and becomes more and more interesting.