If your business has grown to the point where you have multiple employees, you may be considering how you can create a training program for current and future employees. This can seem daunting, especially if you are a small business owner with limited time and resources. However, it’s a worthy and doable task if you just keep a few things in mind.
In this article, we will provide the top five tips for creating an effective employee training program to help your small business succeed. By following these tips, you can ensure that your employees are well-equipped to handle the challenges of their jobs and that your business can thrive in a competitive market.
Review Your Business Needs
Understanding that your business needs a training program is a great first step, but do you know the specifics of your needs? If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to start with an analysis of learning within your company. How have people been learning so far? What skills gaps are you aware of? What technology is being used to support a training program? Will you need additional staff (contract or employee) to support or build this program? The list goes on.
Take the time to look deeply into how your business is functioning and its culture. Use the information you gain from this analysis to create a plan of execution for your training program.
Establish a Budget
Knowing how much money you want to invest in an employee learning program will help you to see what resources are available for the development of the program.
Larger budgets may provide you with the ability to hire contractors to build your program or purchase a new learning management system.
Limited budgets mean you’ll need to be aware of your top priorities for the program and fund those items first. It also means that you may have to develop and deliver your learning content in-house.
Knowing the budget will help you create an effective plan as you’ll be aware of what you can include in your program immediately and what needs to wait for additional funding.
Understand Your Technology
You should be aware of the technology needs for your training program. Here are a few questions to consider:
If your program consists of virtual training, what platform will you use? Are you aware of the features that your platform provides that will enhance your virtual learning environment?
If you are using videos for training, where will your videos be stored? How will you track completion data?
Are you considering purchasing a Learning Management System (LMS)? What features do you require in an LMS? Does your IT team have security requirements for an LMS?
What medium will you use to create content? Are you going to purchase content authoring software or use already purchased software like PowerPoint?
What is your level of comfort with technology?
These questions (and more) should be considered when thinking about your training program. We live in a highly technical world, and technology will need to be factored into your planning.
Make Strong Content
Creating an excellent program plan with weak content will cause your plan to falter. When you’re ready to think about the content that should be included in your program, be sure to create items that are well-written, visually appealing, accessible, and align with adult learning principles. If you create content that is simply PDFs and meeting recordings, you take the risk that your employees will not absorb the lessons you are attempting to convey.
Remember that everyone learns differently; so, create content that addresses the many ways that your employees learn. If in doubt, contact an instructional designer to get some guidance.
Ask for Feedback
Involve your management and employees in the training program process. They will be the primary users of the program, and their feedback can determine if the program succeeds or fails.
Issue surveys early in the process to gain insight into what they would like to see included in the program.
You’ll also want to continually check in with them to see if adjustments need to be made in the program.
Creating an employee training program can be exciting but time-consuming. Taking the time to properly research and plan will increase your chances of launching a successful program.
Need help creating an employee training program for your business? Contact Gaitway Learning to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.