This post was originally published on lessonly.com.
As a business owner or leader, it should be a main priority to create a training program for each department in your organization. That’s because training and on-the-job learning is actually something that the newer workforce is extremely interested in. And, if your organization fails to implement and deliver the best training programs, you could drive employees away from your company.
Creating an extensive training program for your company isn’t exactly easy, and it takes some time and intentionality. Simply providing a few video learning sessions will not yield the same high-quality results as an official and complete training program. Your training program needs to be engaging, informative, and have a purpose, or your employees won’t benefit from it. After all, the last thing an employee wants to do is complete a training program that doesn’t help them.
We clearly love to talk about all things training and online learning. And, to help you get on the right path to creating a great training program, we put together this quick guide that features some important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. Let’s dive in.
Before you get ahead of yourself with creating a new training program, it’s best to take a step back and get an overview of how your company is currently doing. Looking at the bigger picture of your company will help you identify areas of need within the organization and also show you where you’re already excelling.
As you try to get a feeling for how the whole company is performing, there are a few things you can do to move the process forward. To best gauge how everything is going, it’s helpful to talk to employees in your organization, regardless of position. If you are a smaller business, this could be something as simple as having a one-on-one conversation with each employee. Taking the time to meet and hear the concerns of each individual should give you some insight into what departments need improvement and how to improve them.
Some businesses may be too large to feasibly meet with each and every employee. If your business is in this situation something like a company-wide survey could be better. Using survey software you can ask your employees important questions about their day-to-day activities. To get better, more honest responses, we recommend that you use an anonymous survey. This may ease any concerns that employees’ may have when being brutally honest. After all, you want to get an accurate reading of how they feel about the company and their day-to-day workload.
After you take the time to gather employee responses and look over your organization from the bigger picture, you should be able to identify areas of need within your company and even within individual departments. The self-reflection step is extremely important when figuring out how to create or adjust your training programs.
Don’t go in alone
As a leader, it can feel like you need to handle each and every task associated with the business. In reality, a growing business needs to have multiple people who have different skillsets for various aspects of the business. So, in order to best guarantee that you develop a well-rounded training program, it’s helpful to work with training and subject-matter experts.
Having a team member who serves as a professional training manager will only help improve training at your company. That’s because training managers are well-versed in the world of training and should be able to help you further identify pain points in your current training program.
Depending on what growth stage your company is in, it may be worthwhile to bring in more than one training manager. This will allow you to bring in targeted managers who specialize in training specific groups of people or departments. Common training managers to consider bringing on the team are, sales training managers, C-Suite training managers, and customer service training managers.
Do allocate a training budget
The age-old mantra, you need to spend money to make money can sometimes be true. And, in this case, you need to spend money to improve training, which as a result will make your business more profitable.
When you go in to create your training program, try to allocate some sort of budget for the program. Having a budget will allow you to invest in the newest training tools and programs. A budget will also help you plan and prepare for any potential expenses that may be required when creating this program, and help you adjust the rest of your finances.
The budget you allocate to spend on training will be dependent on the size, scale, and financial situation of your company. The industry you are in should also dictate how much you spend on training. For example, businesses that have a larger team of more customer-facing individuals will likely spend more on training than a small dental practice.
There are also a few ways that you can fund your new training program in order to make sure you don’t have to dip into your business savings too much. These include:
Various state organizations and local governments often offer financial assistance for companies who are interested in workforce development. This financial assistance will come in the form of a grant, which is a lump sum amount of money that does not need to be repaid. Just note that grants will have strict sets of criteria that must be met to qualify for funding. If you are interested in applying for grants, use this grant lookup tool to see what you prequalify for.
Cut costs elsewhere
Depending on the situation you find yourself in, it may be worth cutting costs elsewhere to get your training program created and in place. For example, think about other unnecessary costs across the company. A minor cut back on extracurricular activities could be exactly what you need to get the program created, once it is, you can reuse the funds elsewhere.
Use a loan
For older large-scale organizations, a business loan is a perfect option to get a high amount of cash fast. For smaller businesses or new businesses, a business loan may not be an option due to strict lending requirements. If you are in this situation, you can use a personal loan to fund your business initiatives. Be sure to meet with a financial advisor or lending coach before you take on a loan. Both personal and business loans will have different payback terms and requirements so being as knowledgeable as possible is always a good idea.
No matter what route you choose to raise funds, it is necessary if you want to have an effective training program.
Don’t over do it
Any time you add something new to the business it can be easy to go overboard and make too many changes. If your employees have not experienced an extensive training program yet, consider rolling it out slowly. Overtraining can lead to employees feeling disgruntled and make them feel like you are a micromanager.
It’s also important to think hard about what you already have in place and come up with a long-term plan that visualizes where you want the program to go in the future. Having both short and long-term goals will help you reign in your excitement in the beginning.
And, to make sure you do not burn out employees with too much training, it’s a good idea to have an employee test group go through a trial run of the program. Selecting a variety of employees from different departments and of varying backgrounds should give you insight into how the program will be received when you roll it out to the rest of the company.
Once you do roll the program out, be sure to survey employees to see what they think. Make sure to ask them if the training is helpful, if there is enough or if it is too much, and areas where they’d like further training. This is your first run doing something like this and it will not be perfect the first time. The worst thing you can do is put out a new training program and never update or refresh it.
Do use training software
Technological advancements within the training industry have made creating and delivering training programs easier than ever before. Using online training software allows managers to create informative and engaging training modules for the entire company. Our software is easy to use which will save you the time and effort it would take to learn a complex program or coding your own programs.
When looking for the right training tool, there’s a number of features and benefits that you should consider. First, how easy is it to create and edit training content over time? Can you embed images, videos, and interactive quizzes into training for added engagement? Is it easy for your employees to access from their computer or phone? Do you need it to integrate with any other tools you already use? By asking yourselves these questions and more, you’ll ensure that you find a tool that fits your organization’s wants and needs.
It’s also important to consider what type of training data you’ll be able to access. Will you easily be able to see who still needs to complete training? Or, can you pull custom reports to share with your company? Data collection and reporting will be valuable as it provides you with actionable insights that you can use to identify where specific employees are excelling and where they need more training.
If you’re ready to take your organization’s training program to the next level—we can help. You can see what Lessonly by Seismic is all about by getting a quick demo.