Tips to create a more effective training and development program in 2011.
By Michael P. Savitt, PR/Communications Marketing Manager, HR Solutions, Inc.
In its 2010 Training Industry Report, Training
magazine reported U.S. training expenditures at $52.8 billion. But as the economy recovers and global employee engagement levels continue to wane, organizations must make a concerted effort to devote more time and money toward the training and development of their employees. With the limited number of career advancement opportunities currently available, such an effort will help organizations engage and retain their employees.
Here is a list of several tips your organization can follow to create a more effective training and development program that accommodates different generations and fosters a productive, engaged, and loyal workforce.
1. Your HR department should have the complete support of the senior leadership team to promote a new and improved organization-wide training and development program. Since senior management will provide the financial means to build and maintain such a program, establishing a plan and regularly communicating it with your senior leaders is necessary to ensure the program’s success.
2. Your organization should designate one HR employee to be entirely focused on facilitating your organization’s training and development program. The major responsibilities of this individual would include, but not be limited to, creating new training opportunities, conducting seminars, delivering updated training manuals, and writing formalized training policies and procedures for each department.
3. During performance evaluations, managers should recommend specific training opportunities to fill an employee’s job requirement gaps or to satisfy areas for development based on an employee’s desired career path. As soon as employees receive their managers’ recommendations, they should allocate a set amount of time each month to complete the suggested training to fulfill performance goals outlined in their last performance evaluation.
4. Your organization should conduct a Training Needs Assessment by department. The brief assessment typically contains open-ended questions such as:
“What barriers do you and your department have to do your job effectively?”
“What are the most critical training needs for you and your team?”
“How would you improve training at this organization?”
Once all of your employees complete the assessment, your organization can review their responses and eventually develop training programs and seminars based on their feedback.
5. Your organization should provide management training to all supervisors and managers on a quarterly basis, focusing on topics such as administrative procedures, HR policies, interviewing/hiring, employee development, performance management, counseling for corrective action, discipline and discharge, management best practices, interpersonal skills, effective communication, situational management, behavior assessment/modification, and teambuilding. Such training will engage your managers, broaden their skill sets, eliminate inconsistent managerial practices, and increase fairness throughout the organization.
6. Your organization should weigh the pros and cons of offering e-learning as a training and development option for employees. If your organization already purchased e-learning, make sure you are taking full advantage of all the resources and features the system currently offers.
By following these tips, organizations will be well on their way toward providing their employees with effective, engaging training and professional development opportunities. Engaged employees take great pride in not only enhancing their professional skills but also learning about new technologies, practices, procedures, and equipment that will help them perform their jobs better and advance their career. So, what are you waiting for? Jumpstart your organization’s training and development program today.
Michael P. Savitt is PR/Communications Marketing Manager at HR Solutions, a Chicago-based international human capital management consulting firm specializing in employee engagement and exit survey design, implementation, analysis, and results. For more information, visit http://www.hrsolutionsinc.com.