Employee development programs include traditional classroom training, new hire orientation, leadership training and professional development workshops for aspiring leaders. Improving employee access to development programs is essential; however, improving the substance and usability of training and development programs is just as critical. Organizations that offer training and development to employees discover it’s a benefit that pays for itself in terms of employee performance, productivity and engagement. Improving the quality and access to training and development requires interaction with training staff, supervisors, managers and employees.
Review every type of employee development opportunity in the workplace. Employee development begins with new hire orientation and includes leadership training, as well as mandatory employee training on topics such as equal employment opportunity policies and safety measures.
Examine training materials to ensure they’re up-to-date and that they contain accurate workplace information. Replace outdated materials and upgrade training tools using the newest technology available.
Meet with training and development staff about their curriculum and learning objectives. Review employee evaluations received after orientation, leadership training and in-house professional development sessions. See where the strengths lie in the training staff. Even if they receive consistently high evaluations from both new employees and seasoned workers, encourage the training staff to explore new training methods, coursework and other mediums that will create enthusiasm about workplace training.
Construct an employee opinion survey for the sole purpose of obtaining employee feedback and suggestions on training and development opportunities. Ask for employee ratings on orientation, supervisors and manager training, as well as professional development opportunities.
Inquire about training employees would like to see the organization provide on a regular basis. For example, employees may feel they need additional skills training with the release of every new product or service rather than annual classes. Employees who seek these types of development opportunities are usually looking for ways to improve their performance and strengthen their knowledge about company business.
Analyze employee opinion survey responses. Determine where the company needs to increase the availability of employee development options.
Segment responses to survey questions according to evaluations of training already provided separately for employees and leadership, and responses to questions about development programs employees would like to see in place.
Confer with training and development staff to review employee responses and discuss the feasibility of offering development programs that employees request.
Explore in-house resources as well as outsource providers and training experts for input on the types of training and development opportunities best offered at the workplace and the types of professional development programs available through colleges, universities and workshop sponsors.
Reconfigure your training budget. Human capital is the most valuable resource within an organization. Nevertheless, an organization’s training budget is often the last one to see money coming in and the first to see money going out, particularly when there are budget constraints.
Lobby for the training budget to become a line item, using employee performance and employee satisfaction measures as leverage. Argue that improving employee development can improve performance and productivity, and in turn, profitability.