As previously mentioned, it’s not unusual for employers to put off staff training due to time or money restraints. Therefore, when companies do take on the effort of training, it’s important to make sure money is spent wisely, which can only be done through creating an overall training strategy.
Analyse Your Needs
Analysing the company’s needs should be the first port of call when making an allowance for training and development. The preferred outcome has to be considered, and therefore CEO’s need to question what they want from the staff training and what changes they would like to see in staff performance or behaviour as a result of investing in training. Companies also have to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses as it will help determine the right type of training for the business. It’s important to take time when designing the training plan or sourcing development courses.
Identify Skill Gaps
When considering training, it’s important to identify possible skill gaps and address current and future leadership needs. CEOs should look at members of staff and how their performance relates to their job description. If there are gaps there, these should be addressed through the development programs.
Recognising the leadership style that drives the company to make it profitable is key. CEO’s need to assess the overall managerial traits and ensure they are in keeping with the style that is most successful. Again, if there are any gaps or dissimilarities, these have to be taken in to account so the preferred leadership skills are developed.
Companies should always balance the need to save with the long term benefit of training staff. Once the need for development has been established, CEO’s have to determine the best type of training within budget. If staff development is targeted to specific results, then a company will see a better return on money spent. However, if it’s not related to particular outcomes, then spend will be seen as a waste and will not have a positive impact on the business.
Secure Management and Staff Commitment
Before companies execute training programs, there needs to be an agreement between management that training is a priority, as the managerial teams will be pushing and most likely executing the training. Managers have to agree to milestones, costs, dates and deliverables to ensure that the training is successful and positive outcomes are achieved.
Employee commitment is also imperative. Companies should talk to their staff about expected goals being achieved and why they would appreciate a learning effort from the team. In today’s business world, employees tend to look favourably on training, as they see it as investment in their development and value opportunities to learn more skills.
Plan and Deliver Training
Once all the necessary requirements and potential limitations have been assessed, the next step is to decide which type of training budgets allow for and how it will be delivered. There are two options:
Internal Resources – companies should look at what resources they have to training in-house, as experienced employees may be ideal for coaching or mentoring their peers. Internal development is generally less expensive to provide and is often one of the most effective types of training.
External Resources – slightly more expensive but professionally developed, external training also yields positive results. External training generally takes place over a day or a couple of days and includes formal seminars, conferences and private guides/videos.
Delivery options depend on a number of factors such as what’s available, what best suits the company’s needs and what is within budget. Generally decisions include one-to-one or group sessions, e-learning or in-person mentoring and on-site of off-site.
Make Changes from the Start
Once training is in place for existing employees, companies need to ensure that new employees are provided with a positive introduction and orientation into the company culture. The introduction should provide newly appointed employees with induction training, focusing on the successful procedures that have been put in place.
As with any element in business, training can be costly, and therefore it’s imperative to assess its impact over time. In next week’s article I will concentrate on how to analyse company training efforts, as the results aren’t always black and white.
The contents of this article are necessarily expressed in broad terms and limited to general information rather than detailed analyses or legal advice. Specialist professional advice should always be obtained to address legal and other issues arising in specific contexts.