Every business understands the value of a high-quality training program. It’s universally-accepted that employee training can create greater efficiencies, lower costs, and better profit margins. But there’s a big difference between an average staff training and development plan and a one that will actually work.
Your average training scheme runs employees through the process quickly and churns them out as rapidly as possible. Get ‘em in, train ‘em up, and churn ‘em out.
But that’s not all that training should be. A good eLearning initiative is more thorough. It is well-thought out, executed with care, and reviewed for improvements.
Creating effective training is not easy, but with the right plan, execution, and follow-through, you can build eLearning that truly is a valuable asset to your business!
Identify Your Specific Goals in a Clear, Direct Fashion
Somehow, when managers and HR professionals create a new employee training plan, they often neglect the important task of identifying and communicating the specific goal. They may create broad, vague, or even unstated goals, such as “we want smarter and better employees,” but this doesn’t directly help the company, nor does it identify the purpose of training.
You can start by identifying the business objectives. Whether it’s to increase efficiencies, improve sales-conversion rates, or reduce expenses, knowing the business objectives can help you mold the goal for training.
In the end, you want a goal that looks like this:
“The goal of this training is to ensure that 75% of the staff understands how to use SharePoint software.”
When you identify the specific goal for your training program, you give your employees better direction and understanding from the very beginning.
Plan the Training Materials and Schedule
Now that you and your employees understand where all of these efforts are headed, you can begin formulating the training materials and developing a schedule. For a business training plan, it helps to give yourself at least a couple of days (or more depending on needs) to hash it all out.
During this step, think about what your training will look like, what software you’ll use and what the schedule be. Will employees be training for an hour every day, for example, or for two full days?
It really does help to be thorough and patient when designing a corporate eLearning course, as proper planning will help make your training as smooth as possible. Besides, employees certainly don’t want to feel like their time is being wasted on ill-prepared, fast-tracked training.
Develop the Training Materials
Now that you have the goals and outlines for training materials, you can start to develop your employee training plan. This is the phase where you get to work creating the actual materials that will help your learners acquire knowledge and skills.
If you have trouble creating your online training plan, you could consider hiring an outside partner. There are companies that specialize in creating staff training plan templates and building sources like posters, cards, and even videos. Their assistance can create quality resources that increase employee engagement.
As a final step before actually bringing in the employees, give notice to your team (including supervisors) that there will be new training and certain people will attend. Be sure to send this message well in advance so busy employees have time to coordinate their schedules.
Implement Your Training Program
This is the phase when you finally bring in the employees and implement the employee training plan that you have worked so hard to develop.
Throughout the training, you may find that actual implementation takes many different forms. You could have gamification features, instructor-led training, and video conferencing to make sure the information is being absorbed.
At this point, don’t underestimate the importance of break time throughout the day. Numerous studies and surveys emphasize that down time is not just good for morale, it actually allows the brain to absorb more information.
When you are implementing your corporate training, be sure to allow a few 5 or 10 minute breaks throughout the day to allow team members to maintain effective learning potential.
Final Step – Revise, Rework, and Repeat
The United States Army has a review system called the AAR, for “After-Action Review.” This is a formal procedure used after any operation, project, or event. From Army engineers who built a bridge to elite troops who performed a covert operation, the AAR remains an important part of enhancing the military’s effectiveness.
No matter who uses it, the point remains the same: to identify what happened, why it happened, and what can be done to improve outcomes.
You can use the principle of an AAR to improve your training procedures.
The post-training assessment should be done at a few different times, starting with immediately after the employee training plan has been completed. During this assessment, you can look at factors like
- How was the training received? Did team members seem eager to participate? Did enthusiasm seem to grow or decline?
- How did employees perform on testing and quizzes?
A month or two down the line, you can ask questions like:
- Have employees implemented the skills learned during training?
- Has there been a quantifiable business result?
- Have the initial goals been met? Are we closer to meeting our goals?
After every training round has been completed, and at certain intervals, take the time to assess your program and make appropriate changes. With practice, patience, and an honest assessments, you can create a training scheme that enhances your business and brings greater success to you and your team members!
Three Tips to Create a Training Plan That Works
Success Tip #1: Utilize the Training Immediately
Your employees have a lot to remember, and forgetting information or losing skills is all too common if those skills aren’t applied. Don’t wait a week or even a day to implement the skills learned during a training program. Whenever possible, use them right away, as in today!
The very moment that someone returns from a training program, give them a real assignment or task that directly uses their new skills or knowledge. If possible, you may even want to delay tasks that require the new skills until the training is complete. This will give the employee a real-world situation immediately after training.
Success Tip #2: Submerge Your Employees
No, we don’t mean dunk their heads in cold water! We mean you should, at some point during the training, allow your employees to work directly in a real situation (or as close as possible) with whatever training you are implementing.
No one has ever learned to swim by watching videos. Eventually, they need to jump in; they need to be submerged in the tools or techniques you want them to implement.
For technology systems, this is easy; just give them time to use and experiment with the software. For skills like sales techniques, it may require role playing or other creative solutions.
Success Tip #3: Conduct a Post-Training Survey
As part of your post-training assessment, consider creating a survey that allows team members to give their thoughts and feedback on the training. You may not like what they have to say, but this information will help improve your training plan template for employees in the future.
Make this one of your permanent steps in developing a training program and you’ll eventually have a world-class eLearning initiative and a world-class team!
Create a World-Class Training Plan with TalentLMS
Use these steps and important tips to create the right kind of training for your business. A quality staff training plan template can be increasingly valuable to the long-term success of your organization, so keep these tips in mind and you’ll position your company as a leader in your industry!
You can use our innovative cloud-based training platform to create effective training for employees, partners, and customers. Contact TalentLMS today and we’ll make sure you have all the tools to implement a training program that actually works.