Employee training is undergoing a revolution in the HR world. The combination of globalization, the rise of the millennial workforce and the development of new Internet and mobile technology has created an environment where learning management systems are undergoing serious overhauls.
The modern workplace is defined by new challenges and characteristics, and corporate training should reflect that and provide workers with essential knowledge in a way that is convenient and flexible. As more employers create online courses, they should keep in mind what factors make such efforts effective to elicit the best results.
For employee training to be effective, it needs to be aligned with specific objectives, and this means that management must have identified a specific strategy that it wants to work toward and further develop. As Inc. magazine pointed out, first establishing key competencies is necessary for devising a training program to meet these needs. Rather than generic, one-size-fits all orientation, training should be directed and objective-driven from the start. Employees must know exactly what tasks they’re working toward, and the training should provide them with the skills and competencies to get there.
Training needs to be clear in outlining and communicating what success looks like, and should provide waypoints for trainees to follow in order to track progress, so employees can be sure to stay on track and keep shared goals and objectives in their crosshairs.
Flexibility of scope
Just because an employee was hired for a specific position doesn’t mean that the scope of his or her training should be limited to that one capacity. One trend that has been gaining popularity recently is employers cross-training their staff to learn the basics of a variety of tasks across positions other than their own. It may seem extraneous, but there are a number of benefits to cross-training that make it a worthwhile approach to updated training paradigms.
As Inc. magazine noted, cross-training can help develop a stronger sense of community between teams. When each employee has a better sense of the role other departments play in overall company operations, it can help put everyone on the same page, and the increased transparency can help foster more cooperative attitudes.
Of course, cross-training is an economical solution for employers as well. As the Society for Human Resource Management pointed out, providing employers with additional training to learn different aspects of the job is oftentimes cheaper than hiring additional workers to fill the competencies in question. And from an employee perspective, cross-training in additional skills provides them with tools to be more effective at a wider array of tasks. This not only raises their value but also fosters a feeling of development that is important to retain workers and keep them engaged.
The good news is that cross-training doesn’t have to represent a major personnel or time investment. Elearning software can provide an elegant way to outfit employees with a wealth of knowledge for expanding their knowledge, and the self-directed pace enables learning when it’s most convenient.
Most important in developing a new training solution is the understanding that training is an ongoing and developing process. The days of a single-day classroom session on a new hire’s first day have given way to a climate where training is more of a process than an event. Inc. magazine highlighted some strategies that have emerged in recent years designed to make continuing training and development a central focus. Folding training into company retreats or annual meetings can keep skills sharp at all levels. Similarly, adopting a “buddy system” – pairing new hires with a more seasoned colleague as a means to show them the ropes – can instill a greater sense of community and also inspire ownership of training objectives in the employees.