How to Select the Right Training Courses for Your Employees
Globoforce reinforces this with research showing that organizations scoring in the top 25 percent of employee experience have almost three times the return on assets in comparison to organizations at the bottom of the list. This means that investing in employee engagement and happiness is more than a feel-good thing – creating an outstanding employee experience should be considered a key component of a company’s financial strategy.
One proven way to enhance the employee experience is to offer your employees ample opportunities for training and development. After all, an Execu-Search study found that 76 percent of millennials think that professional development opportunities are one of the most important aspects of company culture.
In this post, we’ll review the different ways that you can approach external training for your employees, so that you can make your company a great place to work!
Assess training needs
Before you start searching for courses and providers, you’ll need to find out what kind of training is needed within your company. Since this training is part of your employee engagement strategy, your employees are the first place you should go to determine what you should offer.
Ask each employee to send you or their direct manager a list of up to five skills that they would like to learn, with a reason for each. Not only will this help you determine what training will make your employees happy, but it’ll give you the opportunity to find out about their ambitions for the future within your company.
After this, you should speak to managers about what type of training courses they think would benefit their employees. Are there technological skills that need development? Or have they noticed that their team needs to get better at time management? Most likely, they’ll have some ideas that your individual employees didn’t suggest.
From here, pick up some common threads to determine which skills most need development across your company. How many of these you will offer training for will be dependent on your budget, but you should have a plan in place for delivering top priority training, let everyone know what it is, and deliver.
Explore training options
While bigger companies may have trainers on staff, most small businesses will need to source training from external training providers. This can be a huge advantage! Rather than being stuck with the topics internal trainers are already comfortable with, you can choose from a plethora of options – ensuring that you can find exactly what you need within your budget.
Some of the training your company needs may available online from platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, who offer a great classes in a variety of topics. By giving your employees access to these platforms, they can choose the courses that they feel will be most valuable to them.
When it comes to online training, it’s easy to think that employees will automatically dedicate some time in their schedule to study. This may or may not actually happen, since they’ll probably prioritize work tasks while on the job. To ensure that everyone takes advantage, be sure to build time for learning into their schedules and ensure that their manager is monitoring their progress.
While large online training platforms are a fantastic resource, smaller providers with expertise in specific areas can also be a great source of knowledge – especially if you’re looking to offer training on-site for a group of employees.
One benefit of working with smaller providers who focus on specific training areas is that they’re likely to be very flexible with their course offerings and willing to customize their training to your needs. In addition, although they may only offer training in one of the areas your company needs, they are likely to be an expert in their subject, meaning that training from them will be high-quality and focused.
In cases where you have just one or two higher-level employees who need training in a topic, you might consider sending them to a seminar or classroom course. Because this training format is often more expensive and will require travel and time away from work, it may not be something you can offer everyone. That said, these courses offer the valuable opportunity to gain new skills from industry experts and network with other professionals.
If you have employees who need specialized knowledge and are a great representative of your company, you shouldn’t shy away from sending them to these programs. As a bonus, they can share the knowledge that they have gained with the company afterwards.
Reap the benefits!
As mentioned in the introduction, professional training and development should be considered in order to engage and retain employees. However, this is just part of the picture. The more skills your employees have, the more value they can bring your small business! All companies need talented employees, but if you have a small staff, their abilities become even more important.
Professional training is truly a win-win proposition. Offer your employees the training they want and need, and they’ll repay you two-fold in performance and engagement!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.