The Nature of Work Is Changing, and So Does Employee Experience: Interview with Brian Kropp from Gartner
Why Employee Training Needs To Start From Day #1
Nowadays, companies work in a very fast-paced business environment. To surpass their competitors and thrive, there’s one vital activity businesses need to engage in: continuous employee training and development.
There are two things companies should understand:
- The brief introductory training an employee receives during onboarding is not enough.
- Training should be planned and delivered from the employees’ first day and become an integral part of their work life.
As an example, let’s look at the way some companies organize a new employee’s first day of work. The employee learns about the company through introductory videos or some other means, while managers think of possible ways to set this new employee to work. This is the wrong approach, because your company will never get a second chance to make a first impression. You are not only wasting employee’s time but also showing that your company is disorganized and inefficient. The first step to maximizing your new employee’s productivity and improving the culture of learning in your company is by setting up a social and collaborative training program, and training your employees through the most effective means right from the start of their employment with you.
A survey conducted by the Learning and Work Institute shows that there is a strong correlation between ongoing training and sustainable employment. Workforces that undergo continuous learning adapt better to changes in the company, and can work more effectively and produce better results in the job market. Also, employees who receive ongoing training are more engaged, motivated and flexible.
Research from hppy shows that a constant flow of knowledge and development leads to a very high level of employee engagement, which in turn leads to companies becoming more agile and competitive. After surveying 830 organizations, hppy found that companies with well-developed training programs attracted a more talented workforce, had a greater level of customer satisfaction and an impressive performance level.
Another research done via LinkedIn shows that continuous learning is one of the most effective ways to ensure that employees stay productive and achieve both their personal goals and the company’s goals. Continuous learning also makes it easier for a company to retain trained and valued employees.
Training as an infinite loop
No matter what industry you are in, it’s important to think of employee training as a lifelong process. Long gone is the time when the knowledge attained at university or college was enough for employees to make their best contributions in the business world. New knowledge is being discovered faster than ever before, and to stay competitive your company’s employees need to stay up-to-date and learn how to apply new knowledge for your company’s benefit.
One of the advantages of continuous training is that it ensures that your teams have enough knowledge and develop skills required to perform well not only today but also tomorrow.
Have you heard the phrase, “use it or lose it,” a principle driven by brain plasticity? People tend to forget information they don’t use often. A continuous training program can help you out. Instead of making your employees attend obligatory qualification courses once a year, introduce them to continuous training, where new knowledge and skills can be taught, and previously learned material can be reinforced or adapted to your company’s current needs.
By treating your employees as customers and focusing on their current needs, your training system will become a talent development process that will lead to great benefits for your company.
While you are mapping out a continuous training program, don’t forget the following:
- Pay attention to metrics. Track response rates, response times, learner progress and satisfaction. If something doesn’t work or doesn’t produce the expected results, modify your training program.
- Make sure that training is needed. Using performance data, define your employees’ information gaps and provide them with the necessary training based on just-in-time learning strategies. The employees’ newly attained skills and knowledge will transfer to the workplace immediately, and encourage further development.
- Provide small chunks of information. Learning short and concise material is a key to retaining new information. Also, the content should be directly linked to practice. In other words, your training should be focused on solving current issues. This will result in your company attaining more of its goals.
Business benefits of continuous training and development
Revamping your approach to training can be challenging and time-consuming, but the outcome will be impressive. Let’s take a look at the results that can be achieved by using ongoing training and development:
- Increased revenue growth. Being armed with top-notch knowledge and up-to-date skills greatly contributes to the quality of the employees’ services. The higher the quality, the happier your customers will be. This leads to an expanded customer base and revenue growth.
- Improved competitive advantage. Staying on top of the latest developments in both the industry innovations and training methods will move your company forward. Businesses are not static, and your employees’ skills and knowledge needs to be updated and improved.
- Better talent attraction. By making investments in continuous employee training, you show that you value your employees’ development. This will help you to attract the most qualified and desirable talent, and help that talent to move through your company, making their best contributions to your firm’s success.
- Higher employee retention. Apart from the fact that ongoing training leads to improved skills and knowledge enrichment, it also contributes to job satisfaction. Your employees will feel motivated, challenged and appreciated, and see your investment in their training as giving them increased chances of reaching their professional goals. Ongoing training is the foundation for your company’s success.
These are just a few examples of the benefits you can expect from a well-trained workforce with current skills. Ongoing training will also help you to identify weaknesses in your current training program and modify it according to your company’s current demands, fill in your employees’ skill gaps, and keep up with industry changes. We believe that such technologies as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are making this process much easier than ever before, and they are almost fully automated.
It is clear that training needs to go beyond onboarding and introductory courses. Focus on training as a constantly running process that will help your company do the best work at the earliest opportunity, drive better results, and keep up with industry changes. Encourage your employees’ professional development and benefit from positive changes in their productivity and job satisfaction.
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