Employee training methods need to be focused on the benefits of employee training and improving teamwork (first, define teamwork in your business). Build a sample training plan to test before implementation.
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Employee Training Methods to consider are:
on-the-job, hands-on training;
self study materials and course work;
on-line training, such as credit courses, webinars, podcasts;
classroom training and seminars.
Once you've decided which training method - or blend of methods - works best for your business, define what you want to focus on. Build a sample training plan and review with key employees. Adjust the plan and start training.
Why Invest in Training? Because the Benefits of Employee Training Outweigh the Costs!
The cost of developing and implementing effective employee training methods needs to be considered in the terms of payback to your business:
If you effectively train employees, can you increase their productivity and output?
If you use targeted employee training methods that are directly linked to employee performance and goals, can you improve the performance of under-performing employees?
Will better trained employees help you to sell more of your products and services?
Will training help you move from the bad customer service rating to a good customer service rating on the customer satisfaction survey you’ve developed?
Will training supervisors to communicate better and more clearly help to retain employees and make them happier to be working in your organization?
If you have only a few employees working in your organization, will cross training employees allow you to operate with no additional hires in the next few years as you grow your business?
Will training your employees on new processes or new technology enable you to save on production costs, while increasing productivity?
Recently I worked with a client who wanted to do a teamwork session for 10 employees from different departments (all with seemingly conflicting work priorities). Note: Define teamwork for your group before you put together a sample training plan for teams – in this example, the team was comprised of individuals from different departments, but they all depended on each other to get the work done. We put together a list of needs and wants and I contacted a trainer who came in and did the session in one day (4 1/2 hours).
It cost $2500 for the session, hand-outs, follow up materials and an action plan for the employees to work on for three months after the session. Productivity amongst those employees was measurably higher after the session - it more than paid the cost of the training. The goal for the business owner is to ensure it stays high and the team continues to work effectively together (no back-sliding).
Benefits of Employee Training
Make sure that you budget and track training costs, and ensure that the benefits of employee training are tangible and measurable. If you send your supervisor to a communication course, have him/her do a review with his/her staff before and after going to the course. Is there an improvement? Measure the department’s output (and
for the year following the training.
Ensure that you require the supervisor (tell him/her this before the workshop) to come back to work with at least two good ideas to implement. Then follow up and find out what those ideas were, how they were implemented and if they either saved you money, or made the business money.
Depending on the size of the company (the larger the size, the smaller the percentage), annual training budgets range from about 1/2 percent to 5 percent of sales revenue. So for a company doing a million dollars in sales, they might budget 3/4 percent of sales: or $7500. That number would include internal (time only) and external training costs.
Make sure that you have specific goals for all training: categorize those goals. For example, training to upgrade skills; or training to improve individual performance; training on new technology; training to improve teamwork; training to improve customer service; training to improve health and safety; training to improve quality; and so on. Once you set up the categories, benchmark where you are before training and after training. Then measure and quantify the difference. Focus your training spending on the best payback training.
Employee training methods, if planned and implemented effectively and in a targeted way, can pay off and provide a significant benefit to your business. Investing in your people is at least as important as investing in your equipment and technology.
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