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Emma Uchendu: How To Build Your Employee Training Program

If adequately armed with these basic steps as a guide, building your first employee training program shouldn’t be tough. With the right questions rightly answered, coupled with these basic steps, you will be off to a good start.

Emmanuel Uchendu

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Employee training or development programs are built to upskill, develop and fill the knowledge gap of a firm’s staff. It is the cornerstone of every company’s success, if thoughtfully planned and implemented.

It doesn’t matter the kind of company you run. Whether an established brand or a new startup, ignoring to provide your employees with the best possible training is one thing you cannot afford to do.

However, building one is not easy. Companies, mostly startups, find it difficult to identify what training should be done or who does the training. Also, there are difficulties in deciding what is needed, how to set goals and build their first employee training programs.

For startups, millennials are great ambassadors for new ways of training, because they are able to communicate to their team with clarity and passion. They are also conversant with online learning platforms, compared to the old generations. If adequately armed with these basic steps as a guide, building your first employee training program shouldn’t be tough. With the right questions rightly answered, coupled with these basic steps, you will be off to a good start.

What are your training needs
This is the very first step in building your firm’s training program. Your program should always aim to develop and fill the firm’s need and desired skills. It would be to the best of your interest to find out what you need an employee training and development program for, the skills you would love to see your employee develop during and after the program, before designing one for your company.

Conducting a skill gap analysis in this situation is definitely a great way to start, as it ensures that a lot of things are taken into consideration. To find out what your training needs are, you have to plan, measure current skills, and identify skill that improves your employee performance, turns managers into better leaders, and increases employee retention and engagement. And finally act on those data, train or hire for those gaps.

Ask your staff
Since training programs are targeted at employees to enable them perform optimally, the employees are therefore the right persons to ask what they actually need to do their best. Get them involved. Let them contribute to the planning process of the training program

Learn what works for them, their interests, challenges and what makes them comfortable. Ask them questions and use their answers in formulating your training process, strategies and objectives. You can’t get it wrong with this approach.

Set your goals/objectives
What are the goals and objectives for your training programs? What end result do you wish to achieve from the program? Have you developed a scale for measuring employee performance after the training? Would they be able to make more sales, become better managers? You need to ask yourself these questions.

Your goals should be concise, measurable and attainable. For example: “Sales team will be able to boost sales rate by 20% within the next 2 months after the training.” “Sales team, by the end of the second week of training, will be able to decrease turnover by 10%.” “XYZ employee will become perfect in Microsoft Excel for better data analysis.”

Choose the type of employee training
Choosing the right type of training generally depends on your company’s needs, budget and expected outcome. However, it is important to note that there are different kinds of training programs addressing different issues and needs. Here are some of them:

  • Quality training, which is used to ensure and boost employees’ understanding on compliance to standard.
  • Safety training, which aims at enlightening employees on safety against accident, fire disaster, etc.
  • On-the-job training, which focuses and works better on new hires of your company.
  • Skill-based training, which helps you hone the skills of your employee to aid them perform excellently.
  • Individual/group training, which is targeted at a group, department or individual. For example the sales team, finance department or X employee. But group training is highly advised, as more people can actually benefit from a single training.

Examine/assess your training programs
The firm should ensure course completion after the program. Doing this will ensure set objectives are achieved.

After doing all of the above – carrying out your firm’s training program – it is wise to ensure that course or training were completed. Examine and assess the employees, the program’s performance, and its impacts, using your set goals and objectives as a scale. Ask them what new tool or skills they learnt.

Learn how it helped them do their job. Assess if what they learnt is in line with your set goals and objectives. Get to know what they liked or did not like about the program. What they think can be improved. Use the feedback from every employee to develop, redesign and inform processes.

I hope this helps.

Emma Uchendu is an Accountant, HR Professional & CEO EveritinJob Services Ng. He is passionate about providing sustainable solutions to unemployment & employability issues by helping job seekers land a job, kick off their career journey smoothly, and acquire valuable employability skills for workplace through online and physical courses. Email: [email protected]

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