A lot of companies spend on training courses and that is great. Sadly, a big chunk of these companies end up simply wasting resources instead of investing.
The problem is they know trainings for employees are a good thing, but that’s it. Companies generally think you simply book a training and after it is done, the employees are automatically much better at their jobs. Or to take a page out of gaming: they have leveled up.
Sadly, it is not that simple. Organizations usually have different approaches on how to maximize the ROI of booking a training for employees. For example, some let employees form groups themselves and simply say to the management what training they want or need. This is a good way to make sure the participants would actually be involved and invested in the course. They shouldn’t simply attend it because they have to.
Such an approach though only works in some cases. For instance, if it is a big IT department with people working on several platforms. But if you need to train specific workers on a specific platform, then they might not have such options. Happily, surveys show that most of the time employees themselves urge management to provide them with the necessary training and information.
If they don’t you would need to get them engaged more and show them the true benefits of actively participating in a training. It might be that they will get to do more faster. It might be that their workflow will be more streamlined and easier to manage, thus easing the stress. Show them some benefit other than the obvious “you will improve your skills”.
Organizations must also realize that training don’t solve problems by themselves. Poor employee performance, issues with the workflow and all other challenges are something that can be tackled with proper training, but can’t be solved completely. A training is merely one of the tools you need to solve a problem. If the organization poorly handles resources or has poor processes, these will reflect on the trainings, too.
A training should be held when:
- employees know exactly what they want or why they have to do it
- the company knows exactly what it needs from its employees
- employees are invested in the idea
- the company has a clear process of what will do after the training
- the company is realizing that a training is one of the tools, not the complete problem solver
- the company has put in place everything needed for the employees to actually use the new skills after the training (this includes readiness to adapt fast to the changes which will stem from the new skills and needs of the workers)
What all of this means is that you would have to invest more time than money in ensuring you get the most out of a training. Plan the entire process (or have the training organizer do it for you) and clear the goals for everyone involved. You can even approach it as something you would be offering a client – it’s all about the experience and the quality. It’s the added value. It’s the idea and emotion. The attention to the details.
Create the thirst for knowledge and the desire to improve and develop in your employees. Show them the long lasting benefits of acquiring new skills which will be useful to them even outside the workplace. Give them the freedom of choice when possible. Let them not only feel, but be part of the process, to take the initiative. A company is only as good as the employees who work there. Make them the best and most of them will repay you wit performance and loyalty.
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Breyten Ernsting