The new year brings a new chance to finally put your internal training program in place.
You’re not alone.
According to Inc.com, 54% of employers surveyed in the 2018 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Study said they have no training programs in place. And fully 82% of respondents say they’re failing to give employees the help they need to actively develop themselves and chart pathways for their careers.
The reasons are compelling. Time is money, and in today’s fast-paced economy, who has the time to pull employees away from work for training? If your employees weren’t qualified for their jobs, one argument goes, they wouldn’t be in those positions in the first place.
Compelling, but short-sighted. Better-trained employees produce higher-quality work more efficiently. And without ample training opportunities, employees see internal promotions as driven by tenure, title and internal politics. That’s a recipe for if not disaster, then simmering discontent. It leaves employees feeling underappreciated, frustrated, and, sooner or later, looking for an exit.
The high cost of turnover is well-documented, and its attendant headaches are well-known. Still, your reasoning for investing in internal training should go deeper than the simple desire to avoid the cost and pain of churn.
Why exactly should you invest in internal training? What does an effective internal training program look like? And what tools will help you open training opportunities to your employees without driving productivity through the floor?
Let’s take a look.
Why: Internal Training Works
Your training needs are unique to your organization. You have your own problems, methodologies, language, and relevant examples. Management consultant Susan Heathfield offers these points on why internal training can be effective.
- Internal training offers employers and employees advantages that are not found when you send an employee to an external training program or seminar.
- Training transfer occurs more naturally and employees cement learning through training co-workers.
- On-the-job training that enhances an employee's skills and ensures her readiness for the next promotion is generally far superior to a public seminar.
- Internal training uses real-life examples, problems, and challenges that participants encounter every day at work. Successful internal training identifies the exact skills and knowledge that participants need to succeed in their jobs. It also prepares employees for success in their next job.
What: Build the Training Program You Need
One business leader followed these steps and found immediate improvement in employee performance. Employees learned meaningful skills that improved their daily performance. They felt empowered by management’s attention to their needs, and management found an immediate increase in effort and loyalty.
Assess skills shortages. Establish what skills your company lacks, and which ones have a direct impact on employee performance, engagement, and loyalty. For example, do employees really understand your products or services? Are customer service skills lacking? Do people understand the computer system as well as they should? This assessment provides a list of most urgent training topics.
Identify in-house experts. Every organization has employees who both know a particular topic really well and who want to share their expertise with others. Enlist these individuals to lead your training. Though chances are good that your enlistment will prove rewarding in of itself, rewarding them in some other meaningful way will drive the point home. Make them feel particularly valued and appreciated, and they will likely pass along that vibe to their students.
Build individualized training programs. Match topic experts with individuals who have the greatest need or interest in learning the expert’s topic. How information is shared is up to you. Small, hands-on training classes; short, specific video lessons; self-directed workbooks, webinars and tests are all options. Hold employees accountable for completing the lessons and all the action items in their programs, and distribute follow-up plans to employees’ direct report managers. Once employees complete their first program, let them sign up for others.
How: Build Out Your Employee Engagement App
Whichever way you choose to develop and execute your internal training programs, consider how technology can help you save time, money – and the energy required to sort out logistical challenges. There’s no need to shut down your organization for half a day, as Starbucks did in May 2018.
In fact, the right employee engagement app brings the bulk of your internal training program to employees’ smartphones or tablets. The hubEngage employee engagement platform, for example, is built on our exclusive CoIL Engagement Framework, which gives you four key capabilities that are ideally suited for internal training programing.
The four key capabilities allow you to perform the actions:
- Inform & inspire: Engage employees with training comprised of interactive content, messaging, and fast-track career advancement opportunities.
- Hear employees: Identify both the biggest training needs and the internal experts on your staff. The app allows you to get and share employee ideas, insights and opinions with instant feedback surveys and polls. You can stream the content they need when they need it.
- Reward & recognize: Training that’s fun doesn’t seem like training at all. Reward and recognize employees who view and share content with points and badges that may be redeemed for prizes and certificates.
- Analyze metrics: View employee engagement levels, satisfaction, knowledge scoring content advocacy, app usage, gamification stats and more so you can adapt programs for maximum performance.
Learn More Now
An employee engagement app platform like hubEngage gives you an incredible tool for developing and executing internal training programs that both create a workforce invested in their work and an effective means of measuring the effectiveness of various training initiatives in real time.
We invite you to try the hubEngage app for free. Discover for yourself how our platform can help you make your internal training programs as effective as they can be.