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Improving Employee Training Effectiveness

7th May 2018
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Effective workplace training could dramatically improve the performance of your employees. A study of 4300 employees conducted by Middlesex University found that an overwhelming 74% of the participants believed that they were not achieving their full potential at work because of a lack of development opportunities. In addition to this, a report published by 24x7 Learning found that only 12% of learners were found to apply the skills they receive from training on their job.

A big reason for poor workplace training practices is the disconnect that exists between the human resources and the department managers. In almost every organization, the HR is responsible for setting up training programs. Yet, the training itself is imparted by department executives who may not be aware of the process and the training objectives. The end-result is a system where the learners go through training without a clear goal and performance assessment.

Training objectives

The first step in building an effective employee training program is to establish clear training objectives. For instance, a software development firm may identify Hadoop as its next big area of growth. To achieve this, the organization may want to train a section of its developers on this new technology. A generic Hadoop training session is only adequate to get your learners acquainted with the technology. It may not be enough to get them execute Hadoop projects.

A clear objective in this case would be to identify specific client projects that these Hadoop programmers will be working on. Once this is identified, trainers may recognize the specific skills that the learners will need to execute projects independently. A practical programming session may be ideal and much more effective than a theoretical course on Hadoop.

To achieve this, there needs to be collaborative goal setting between the HR manager and the department head. This ensures better syncing between what the department heads need and what they actually get.

Improving engagement

Being highly engaged during a corporate training session can dramatically improve retention and effectiveness of the program. There are a few different ways this objective can be accomplished.

Practical application: Keep theory-based lessons to a minimum and focus on practical applications that allow your learners to think and express their ideas. This improves engagement.

Facilitate learning: The objective of a trainer should be to facilitate learning and not teach. The key difference here is to let learners identify problems and solve them independently. Spoon-feeding solutions is highly ineffective in corporate training.

Create incentives: Gamification and game-based learning techniques have been proven to be extremely effective techniques to improve retention. In addition to this, one report found that even little financial incentives (like a $5 reward for topping a quiz or assessment) can do wonders for improving engagement. This in turn is reported to bring about 15% higher productivity and 20% lower absenteeism.

High frequency assessments: It is common for training programs to end with a holistic assessment process. The trouble with this is that it is not possible to cover all aspects of the training program with one test. Replacing this with short and frequent evaluation systems make it possible for the trainer to assess the learners at a finer level. It is highly recommended to end the training program with a project that measures the learner’s application of the lessons at a practical level.

Exposure to real-world implementations

Regardless of how effective the training program itself is, one reason why employees fail to exhibit the desired levels of competency in real-world projects is the lag in deployment. In a majority of instances, employees are pulled away from ongoing projects for the duration of the training session. Once the training is complete, these employees are deployed back to the projects they were already working on. It can be several weeks or months before these employees are deployed into projects they were trained for.

This lag in deployment contributes to a great deal of reduction in productivity. It is a good idea to deploy your learners immediately to a project where they could put their lessons into action. This improves retention and productivity in their new area of expertise.

Corporate training sessions are a cost centre for the organization and it is imperative to maximize the ROI from these investments. The recommendations provided above should help a business improve employee productivity from their training sessions.

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By Melody Abboud
26th Jul 2018 12:38

I think that it is essential to keep in mind that learning is an experience and therefore, it needs to be as pleasant as it can be for learners and teachers alike. Personalising products and experiences has become a trend in any industry to keep up with more and more demanding customers. Using technology in the learning process can facilitate the engagement and retainment of students and enable customisation to suit their needs. Check out this very useful video about how technology is impacting today's industry of education: https://www.getadministrate.com/blog/ltechnology-revolutionising-education/

Melody Abboud
Operations Executive
Administrate

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