Employee Training Program
One of the most common aspects of any evolving workplace is that the employees can easily adapt to the changing circumstances and business environment. The one way a company can ensure that its employees can easily make the transition is by offering effective training.
But how do you develop an effective employee training program that will allow you to seamlessly adapt to the changing business environment? Let’s take a look at some of the strategies you can employ.
Part 1: Understanding and Planning for the Task
The first step in creating the perfect training program is understanding the needs of your employees. It would be a waste time and company resources to skip this step since you would be essentially shooting in the dark, rather than aiming at the problem directly. The following are some of the considerations to keep in mind in this first step;
- The Training Needs
Every company has training requests from employees and this can be instrumental in helping you to design a more effective training program since they give you your starting point. The first thing you can do therefore when trying to design a training program is to access the needs presented by the training requests that you get.
This will not only make it easy for you to develop a training curriculum that will be useful to your employees, but you can easily determine the resources and stakeholders that need to be involved in the program.
The following are just some of the questions that you can ask to determine your path;
- Do you really need to create a complete training program for the requests? Or is there an easier less expensive way to meet your employee’s needs?
- Why do your employees need training in that particular area? Will the training be beneficial to the client?
- What would happen if the training is not offered?
- What particular problem will the training solve for your client?
- Determine your Training Goals
Once you have determined that the training is necessary, it is time to outline the goals of the training. This is important because it allows you to get a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish with the training as well as make it easy to measure the results of the training.
Therefore, the training goals need to be specific and measurable. For example, your goal can be to increase employee efficient by 50%.
- Determine Your Target Audience
The next step is to determine exactly who the training is for. This helps you create a training program that is tailored to that audience’s specific needs. The following are some of the considerations that can help you determine your target audience;
- How many learners will you have?
- Who are they and what are their positions in the company?
- Can you establish their characteristics including their average age, computer literacy, geographical location, learning styles and others?
- Are there any leaners with disabilities?
- Have they received training in the subject of learning before?
Once you establish your target audience, you can easily determine the course material although the following questions should help you get there faster;
- What topis do they think would be most useful to them?
- Do they have any special requests?
- Are there some of them who may be resistant to training? And if so, why?
- Determine the Learning Environment
Now that you have determined who you will be offering the training to and what the training will entail, it is time to focus on where the training will take place and the circumstances in which the training will take place. The following are some of the questions that can help you determine the learning environment;
- Who is the primary decision maker?
- Who are the stakeholders and who can provide useful information for the project?
- What resources and technologies can be used in the project?
- What kind of media will be used during the training?
- In what format will the results be presented to the client? Will you use SCORN or present the results in a PPT presentation with a Word script?
- Are there deadlines and what is your plan for meeting them?
- What is the budget for the entire project?
Part 2: Designing the Outline for the Program
Now that we are done with the analysis stage of the planning process, we are ready to begin developing an outline for the program. This is where you will find and identify the content that matches your needs and a format for distributing the content, preferably one that will also make it easy for you to measure your results.
- Determine the Learning Objectives
The learning objectives that you want to determine here should be centered on the learner and what they should be able to do or what they should know at the end of the training session. Since this is a company, you may want to tailor the learning objectives to connect to the on-job results you seek.
And because most training programs often consist of more than one learning module, you will also need to determine the sub-goals for each module. For example, if the goal is to teach someone how to bake cookies, the module sub-goals may be something like;
For lesson one- Learn how to turn on the oven
For lesson two- Learn how to measure the ingredients
For Lesson three- Learn how to make the cookie dough
For Lesson Four- Learn how to tell when the cookies are ready
- Determine the Instructional Tactics to Use
A good training program comprises these four tactics; preparation, presentation, practice and performance.
The preparation stage is designed to provide material that will arouse the learner’s interest in the topic. It is also at this stage that you should deal with any negative feelings that the learners may have about the subject matter.
In the presentation stage, you provide the students with the course material in an engaging and meaningful way. Here, you will need to find ways to hold and retain the learner’s attention. A weak presentation can jeopardize the entire learning experience.
Practice is essential to the learning process as it allows the students to fully comprehend the subject at hand and gain hands-on experience at the same time.
Finally, there has to be a way to measure the performance of the learners to determine the areas of the subject matter that they may be struggling with.
- Determine the Structure of the Program
The next step is to determine how the course material will be organized. For example, if we stick to our example of teaching someone how to bake cookies, it may not be prudent to begin with how they can tell if the cookies are done when they don’t now how to turn on the oven.
It pays to organize the learning models in increasing order of complexity with the simplest aspects of the subject first. This will make it easier for the learners to not just understand the subject matter more easily, but also gain on-the-job experience that can be priceless.
Part 3: Developing the Content
Now that you have a clear idea of the course’s structure, you are ready to begin developing the content for the course. While the content can take many different forms from e-books, lectures, videos and even games that are used as interactive learning tools, they need to include many different types of activities to retain the learner’s attention.
- Creating the Training Module
Whatever type of content you choose to use, the following simple module structure will help you to come up with content that is highly engaging;
- Begin by giving a general overview of the module
- Provide the necessary details
- Add real-world examples
- Summarize the content in the module
- Developing the Learning Materials
The final step is to create the actual learning materials that you will need for the training program. Again, these can take many different forms but once you have a clear structure for the content, they will be relatively easy to create.
You will however need to determine if you will be creating the course material yourself or if you will be seeking the help of professionals such as video editors and graphic designers to help with the project.
Now that you have a clear picture of the process of creating a training program, note that the steps described above are not set in stone. You may find that your particular project may require additional steps such as research and collaboration with other stakeholders outside the company. Don’t be afraid to start and the tweak the process depending on your needs.