Training

What to do When Employees Say Company Training Isn’t Helping – JP George

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Company training is one of the most important parts of a business. For a successful company, it starts when an employee is hired, but continues throughout their experience and growth within the company. However, while company training is an omnipresent part of every business, that does not mean that it is easy to carry out effectively. In fact, one third of workers say that their companies are not giving them adequate skills training, or making them promotion ready.

There is no need to point out that this is a problem; so what do you do when your employees are saying that your company training is not working? How can you figure out what the problem is and tackle it head on? Here is a breakdown of a few of the best ways to fix it.

Get Specific Reasons Why

First and foremost, you need to figure out why your employees feel this way. If you do not know exactly what the problem is, you have no hope in trying to rectify it, and you’ll just be poking in the dark trying to fix all the wrong problems—it’s like replacing your quarterback because you keep missing field goals. So how do you find out where the problems are? There are a few simple, yet crucial, ways.

To start it off, you need proper engagement surveys, that ask the right questions and leave space for any answers or concerns that your employees have. You also need to actually talk to them. Both in meetings as a group, and in one on one situations, take some time to really talk to your employees, and find out what they are learning and where you are falling short as a trainer or educator.

Another thing that can really help with this is a good learning management system (LMS) that allows for tracking and feedback—allowing you to see breakdowns by each module, and understand where people are struggling, so that you can tackle problem areas directly.

Craft a More Individualized Approach

These methods can be introductory avenues into a key philosophy that will help you to craft the very best training program—focus on the individual. As much as you possibly can, avoid a “one size fits all” training program. Every employee is unique, has a unique learning style, and works at their own pace.

Work with people on a one on one basis, and foster better communication so that they feel comfortable expressing concerns and asking questions. This is where technology can really help. If you craft a training program using a mobile LMS, employees will be able to work individually, at their own pace, but still have access to many communication and social channels for when they need help.

Target Strengths as Well as Weaknesses

Of course, in order to become the most well rounded employee, you need to be able to identify and target your weakness. However, a common company training pitfall is overfocus on weaknesses. It can soon become demoralizing for a person to only hear about the things that they are doing wrong, and overall company morale can be negatively affected.

Company training should provide an avenue for employees to also identify their strengths, and build them as well. This benefits the company greatly, as it allows people to improve upon their more exceptional skills and talents, and use them to contribute more to the company.

Focus on Practical Skills

Research has shown that people tend to remember 90 percent of what they do, 75 percent of what they say, and only 10 percent of what they hear. The implications of this in a training environment are obvious—while theory is good, and it can help to know the “why” behind certain rules and guiding principles, there is no real substitute for doing something yourself. As such, practical, real world skills should be emphasized in training.

Spend a large part—if not most of—your training providing real world scenarios and role play situations for your employees, where they can learn to actually apply their new skills. This can help your employees to learn with a more hands on and applicable approach, while also providing them with training that will be far more likely to stick.

Experiment With New Methods

One of the main reasons why companies are stuck with training programs that are failing is because they are not adapting and changing to suit the changing workplace. Both the technology that we use, and the workforce itself are vastly different to how they were even just a few years ago. Don’t be afraid to branch out into more unique and experimental training methods in order to reach them, whether that means new tech or new concepts.

Some examples of new—and effective—training methods include things like including a test out option for each module. This streamlines the training process, and prevents employees from wasting time on “learning” things that they already know. Another popular idea is to insert elements of gamification into your training program, as these can help to both motivate and engage employees better, as well as providing an easy way to reward them and create a sense of friendly competition. Both of these training methods can be introduced using any good mobile LMS.

As you can see, proper company training is not rocket science (except in cases where it is, in fact, rocket science). All it takes is an open mind, a willingness to be flexible, an environment that is open to feedback, and a sincere desire to provide the very best experience for every employee at the company. It is a foolish manager that ignores employees when they express dissatisfaction with the current training options, and a successful one that invites constant feedback and actually listens to it. If you do that, you will be able to create a training program that not only works better for your employees, but that will have a much better payoff for your company as a whole.