Organizational Wellness

How to Build an Effective Employee Training & Development Program

Jan 31, 2023
Last Updated Feb 22, 2024

If you’ve ever been to an event with a dancefloor, you’ve probably heard (and danced your heart out to!) the cupid shuffle. It’s a fun and easy dance that brings even the most unlikely people together.

There’s another popular dance these days with a similar name. But this dance happens in the workplace. It’s called the “Great Reshuffle.” 

The “Great Reshuffle” is a phenomenon that LinkedIn coined to describe the current state of work. Unlike the “Great Resignation,” the “Great Reshuffle” is about people leaving their jobs and finding new ones that meet their desires for career development, learning experiences, and more internal growth opportunities. 

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The good news is that your Human Resources team can shift your company culture and offerings to attract top talent and retain employees that get them dancing right over to you.

If you want to future-proof your business, invest in employee training and development that enhances job satisfaction. (And prevents people from dancing away from you). As people search for new jobs that offer workplace mobility and personal development, you have the opportunity to develop a unique employee training program that meets their needs.  

Why is Employee Training Important for Businesses?

Upskilling and reskilling employees are among the top priorities for companies worldwide. It helps to ensure that employees have the knowledge and skills to do their jobs effectively while enabling them to grow and progress within the organization.

The Benefits of Employee Training

Employee training is not just part of the onboarding process or a program for new hires; it is also a way to encourage internal mobility for existing employees.

With internal mobility, employees can gain new skills and knowledge related to the job they are transitioning into and develop new competencies and leadership abilities that could benefit the organization as a whole.

Other benefits of employee training and development programs include:

  • Increased employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction.
  • A more diverse workforce with a broader range of skills and perspectives.
  • Higher employee retention rates (twice as long as those without professional development programs).
  • Improved productivity and performance within the organization.

“Employees expect opportunities to learn and grow without limitations; managers who understand individual working styles and environments; and companies that offer flexibility as a standard of employment.” –Gogi Anand, Senior People Science Consultant, LinkedIn.

Steps to Launch an Employee Training and Development Program

The most successful employee training program varies depending on your company or organization’s needs and aspirations. That being said, there are some elements that all effective programs share, including:

  • A mix of instructional methods (including hands-on experience, lectures, and team activities).
  • The lessons tie into what employees will be doing day-to-day.
  • Follow-up sessions post education completion.
  • Coursework assessment to best understand where changes should be made.
  • Regularly scheduled employee training sessions to keep your team engaged and learning new skills over time.

  1. Assess Individual Employee Training Needs

There are several ways to assess employee training needs.

  • A skills gap analysis: Compare an employee’s current skills and knowledge with the skill set and expertise required to do their job effectively.
  • Survey employees: Inquire about their training needs and get a sense of which areas they feel require more development or assistance.
  • Assess current job performance: Evaluate how well employees carry out their duties. This will help you identify areas where more training may be necessary.
  • Consult with managers and supervisors: Use the knowledge of managers and supervisors to provide valuable input into the training needs assessment process.
  • Consider industry trends and changes: Be aware of changes in their industry and familiar with updated technologies, practices, and standards. This will help you find areas where employee education is required to maintain a company’s place in the market.

  1. Set Clear and Measurable Employee Training Goals

Setting employee training goals is critical to any business’s employee training program, as it helps focus employee development efforts and measure employee learning. When crafting employee training goals, make each goal specific (e.g., Don’t use vaguely worded objectives like “improve employee skills”) and measurable (e.g., assign a timeline to the goal to help ensure progress isn’t delayed or forgotten.)

Employee training goals that help them meet personal milestones and help your business achieve professional goals include:

  • Improving employee knowledge and understanding of new processes or technologies to enhance productivity and efficiency by X date.
  • Increasing employee competency in core job skills and providing development opportunities for specialized skills such as customer service, problem-solving, or sales and marketing.
  • Enhancing employee skills related to teamwork, communication, and collaboration to improve employee engagement and employee retention.
  • Improving employee skills in conflict resolution, time management, decision-making, problem-solving, or critical thinking to help employees become more effective at their jobs.

  1. Choose Relevant Employee Training Methods

Once you understand employee training needs and goals, you can decide on an employee training method. Choose instructor-led or self-guided training depending on what works best for your employees.

Types of employee training methods include:

  • On-the-job training: Involves a supervisor or experienced employee teaching new employees the tasks and duties related to their job. It also allows employees to observe an experienced employee’s work and gain insight into workplace culture.
  • Online courses (eLearning): Online training courses have the advantage of being relatively low cost compared to other employee training methods. With online courses, employees can learn on-demand and at their own pace, eliminating the need for large blocks of dedicated time to complete a course.
  • Workshops: An in-person or virtual group that discusses a specific topic related to their jobs and learns new skills or techniques. This method tends to be more engaging than traditional classroom learning because it allows for conversations between presenters and participants and provides opportunities for team-building activities within the organization’s workforce.
  • Simulations: If your team wants to put on their acting caps, simulations allow employees to practice real-life work situations.
  • Coaching programs: Individualized guidance from an expert mentor who can help identify areas where improvement is needed and create customized skillset improvement plans.

  1. Create Engaging Employee Training Content and Materials

Creating high-quality training content will ensure employee training is compelling. This may involve creating customized learning materials tailored to your organization’s goals. You can also partner with a professional training consultant to develop employee training content.

Examples of employee training materials and content include:

  • Video tutorials
  • Interactive modules
  • Webinars
  • Printable handbooks and guides
  • Detail presentations
  • Worksheets and intention-setting notebooks
  • Quizzes and games
  • Case studies and exciting speakers

Offer a variety of materials and content types to keep your employees engaged. Not only does this make for more productive employees, but it also creates an organizational culture that openly encourages a thirst for knowledge and skill acquisition.

  1. Train Employees in a Way that Makes Them Care

As you go through training, position your education in a way that makes your employees care. If they care about the learning they’re doing, they are more likely to remember it. And if they remember it, they will apply it.

You will undoubtedly have a few people here and there who need help understanding why you’re taking time away from their work to do training exercises. Consistently remind your employees why this training is taking place: to increase internal mobility, to help them progress in their careers, and to become the best versions of themselves.

Some of the top motivations to learn and participate in employee training and development include:

  • It helps them stay current and up-to-date in their field.
  • It is tailored to their interests and career goals.
  • It can aid in getting another job internally.
  • It can promote them closer to reaching other career goals.

Whatever the reasons, continue to have them reflect on these motivations throughout the training process.

  1. Evaluate Employee Training Effectiveness and Provide Feedback

Once employee training is complete, training audits help employers evaluate the programs and identify areas for improvement or new topics that need to be addressed. This can include assessing employee feedback and satisfaction levels, measuring employee knowledge and understanding of training topics, or tracking employee performance over time.

Tracking employee performance allows you to ensure that employees utilize their new skills effectively and reach the desired results. If they are not meeting expectations or need additional assistance in certain areas, you can adjust their training program or introduce a new one.

Employee training tools and resources

Learning management systems (LMS) are a popular tool among HR teams. LMS platforms make it easy to create, manage, and track employee learning activities in real-time. This makes employee training and development more seamless, efficient, and effective.

With an LMS platform, you can:

  • Easily upload content such as video tutorials, presentations, and other training materials.
  • Set up quizzes and tests to measure employee progress.
  • Provide interactive learning activities such as discussion boards or group projects.
  • Create custom employee certifications or badges.
  • Track performance and program data.
  • Regularly update the program to reflect changes in technology or industry trends.

There are many other helpful employee training tools to explore and determine which works best for you.

Make knowledge sharing a part of your culture

A practical employee training and development program encourages company-wide knowledge sharing. When knowledge sharing is part of the employee training process, it encourages employees to develop internal relationships, collaborate, and build a community within the organization. This can help drive employee engagement, increase employee satisfaction, and improve business results.

If you want to encourage knowledge sharing among your employees, create an environment where employees are valued and individuals feel comfortable speaking up about their expertise. 

One way to make your employees feel valued and satisfied is to focus on improving the wellbeing of your employees. Whether you establish a brand new wellbeing program or infuse work-life wellness into your current employee training programs, prioritizing health and wellness will reduce stress and increase job satisfaction. Not only will your employees be happier, but they’ll also be more motivated to participate in a collaborative workplace culture. 

Interested in finding out how you can increase team wellbeing through employee training and development programs? Talk to aWellhub wellbeing specialist today!

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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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