Training - Do's and Don'ts
It’s important to keep your workforce up to date with the latest processes and skills in order to keep them challenged and working to their best. Bringing in external trainers is an excellent way of going about this, but how should you go about designing a training programme and make sure that everyone is learning the skills they need without being overwhelmed? Here’ some valuable do’s and don’ts for procuring and designing training in your business.
DO - ask your employees what they would like to learn Your employees know better than anyone what areas they may need to develop or improve, so bring them and their managers in early when developing a training regimen. Each will also have their own career goals and aspirations which should also be taken into account when designing their training. This can (and should!) form part of their personal development goals, creating clear objectives for how they can improve using the knowledge gained. This will help employees understand how the training will benefit them and the business, making them more engaged and likely to take any lessons to heart.
DON'T - lay on anything cultural too thick Training is an effective way of attempting to change the culture of your office and to give your employees a new perspective on the work they do. However, it is important to get the tone of this correct. Delivering an overly corporate sermon on how Facebook or some other huge business met some internal target is not the way to get staff at a small business to react. Try to ground a new perspective in the day to day work of your employees down to the details in order to make it relatable and useful to them. Employees need to understand the vision for any cultural changes as well, so be sure to effectively combine the big picture vision with what it means for them individually.
DO - think ahead While you may have skill gaps now, you also need to be thinking in terms of potential disruptions to your sector over the coming years. Training is a great way of future-proofing your business from any changes in the market, particularly surrounding the adoption and application of new technologies. Think about what your teams may look like in five years and what skills they will need to acquire before working back to the present and designing stages of training that will allow them to gain the required skills and fulfil both their role and their career ambitions most effectively.
DON'T - view it as ticking a box Many businesses treat training as a compliance issue rather than the involved, aspirational process it can be for both the business as employees. Yes, there may be some boxes to check depending on your sector, but this should not be considered the ultimate aim of a training programme. Box-ticking often leads to micro-management which can cause employees to become disengaged from their actual work and more annoyed that they're having to follow rigid rules, especially when their performance has been satisfactory to this point. Training is about something bigger than the courses themselves; it's about improving and becoming the best version of yourself. This should be reflected both in the design of the programmes and the way it is communicated to employees.
DO - consider outsourcing You may not have any previous experience in arranging training for employees and teams and it therefore can seem daunting. Don’t forget that there are plenty of companies out there who can support you with all things people related in your business.