The majority of executives feel that improving staff skills is vital to improved performance. Employees, however, do not believe they have the time to do so.
They won’t – or can’t – take the time to learn how to do their jobs better because they’re too busy doing their jobs.
According to Cornerstone OnDemand’s research, more than 60% of employees say time is a barrier to their professional development.
However, consider this:
According to researchers at the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, increasing training and education by 10% results in an 8.6% increase in productivity. As a result, someone performing at 50% can improve to approximately 60% with training. Someone who is killing it at 80% may rocket to 90%!
Many best-in-class organisations use unique and research-proven strategies to develop employee skills quickly and effectively.
Here are 11 of them for you to think about and potentially put into practise.
Long-term training is essential.
Many training programmes are designed to educate one or two skills or to teach a new technology or technique.
According to The RAIN Group’s research, world-class training focuses on skills and ideas that employees will need for several years.
This begins with training that is oriented toward the organization’s long-term goals. Create a curriculum based on the abilities your employees will need in the future. To match the skills and knowledge base with the primary vision and goals, you’ll want to collaborate with top-level executives.
Of course, if you have a short-term need, you’ll need to adapt your method. However, for the organization’s long-term goal, you may maintain the curriculum focused, organised, and logical.
Train for more than just career.
Employee talents outside of their job function are developed by best-in-class firms.
Offer a range of soft skill training, including as time management, public speaking, and leadership, to help employees enhance their talents. Allow them to chose what best suits their professional ambitions and the company’s vision.
Long-term-oriented organisations generate training content that is relevant to employees in the present.
Employees want – and possibly need – to put what they’ve learned into practise right away. As a result, the greatest training sessions and materials are current and relevant to your company’s and industry’s current events.
Trainers should discuss real-world scenarios and provide practical recommendations for working in or reacting to them. Then, until the circumstance changes, reinforce the message with follow-up reminders.
Form learning circles.
Many individuals have amazing ideas, performance hacks, and unique ways that others in their group, or even throughout the company, may benefit from learning about. Rakhi Voria, a former Director at IBM Global Digital Sales, recommends “learning circles” for salespeople and management to encourage staff share their knowledge.
Voria’s team formed small, peer-led mentor groups while they were dispersed over eight sites. She matched supervisors and staff on a monthly basis. She provided a structure for discussion in the groups, but it was up to the team members to conduct the conversation and share takeaways.
Build failure into your training process, advises Christian Valiulis, CRO at APS Payroll, in a Forbes Business Council article.
Employees at APS were trained to spot traps before they walked into them by including little failures in their training. As a result, when employees make mistakes in training – rather than actually doing the job – they learn the skill as well as a lesson from their mistakes.
Important point: Allow for tiny failures without making staff feel discouraged or reluctant to attempt again. You want failures that are easy to spot, recover from, and learn from.
Morrissey says that “best in class organisations believe that everyone deserves to be coached.” “In the old days, you pounded people until you got what you wanted. Now you want to put money towards coaching and development that everyone can benefit from.”
Leaders in some organisations place a premium on mid-level performers. They may see low achievers as hopeless cases. They might not even bother with top performers, who often just stick to their own set of rules.
When you provide equal training opportunities, however, you may be able to assist employees in determining where they belong (or don’t). For example, a low performer might be better suited to a niche role. Perhaps you’ll come across a top performer who would be an excellent mentor and coach. You won’t know unless everyone has a chance to participate in the same training and coaching.
One person takes a step back, while another takes a step forward.
For mentor-like training and skilling, consider pairing veteran employees with newer employees.
For example, a sales manager may assign new hires a shared quota with an experienced salesperson. That way, newer employees can ask questions that they might be hesitant to ask a manager and get real-world, in-the-moment advice. Because of the shared stake in a win, the senior employee has an incentive to provide excellent training to the reps.
So look for roles that allow you to combine shared goals and employee development, as well as coordinate training relationships.
Make use of the expertise of others
The best training organisations don’t try to do everything on their own. For distinct views and inspiration, they refer their staff to industry specialists.
Encourage workers to read blogs and/or watch videos from experts in their profession – and their circles of interest – to supplement their training.
Keep up with the latest training challenges.
Great training tactics won’t function unless you can overcome the two most difficult obstacles: finding the time to hold it and persuading people to participate.
“To overcome such problems, top-down training must be implemented and supported,” Morrissey adds. “Senior executives must promote it. Treat it as if it were a regular event on the calendar.”
Make training and re- or up-skilling a part of your operations schedule if at all possible. Employees should be invited (or required) to participate in continual training, and they should be rewarded for doing so and implementing what they’ve learned.
Use video to keep track of time.
Managers and employees who are subject matter experts can create short videos to share their knowledge, skills, and theory. Then there’s the new hires, upskilling, and refresher training. Employees can use them whenever it is convenient for them.
Evaluate the training
You should evaluate the effectiveness of your training techniques and tactics, regardless of which ones you apply.
Any of the following ways of evaluation is effective:
- Knowledge Checks: A week, month, and many months following training, try quizzes or assessments – formally in your internal communication tool or informally through email.
- Simulation. Managers may ask staff to show new abilities in real time while working or role play during one-on-ones.
- Observation. Managers will want to monitor staff on a regular basis to ensure that their abilities are on par with the training.