Overcoming Employee Training Obstacles

Most businesses have an onboarding program for new hires where they introduce everything from the corporate culture to methods and processes. But fewer have an ongoing training program in place to continuously assess and improve employee skills. In today’s global economy, the importance of training – for new hires and existing employees – has never been greater.

Training provides a good foundation for employees to grow their knowledge and develop a skill set pertaining to their new position. However, training, like learning, must be continuous for employees to maximize their skills.

Below are three of the biggest challenges faced in employee training programs.

Poorly designed training program

It is understood by training professionals that the single most important element to effective training is design. The structure provided before, during, and after your training program allows employees to practice and provide feedback. It may seem obvious, but many organizations fail to pay attention to the design of their training curriculum. Many companies outsource their training programs and assume the design is part of it. While vendors make sure the programs are “fun” and “interesting,” too often an employee goes back to work feeling unprepared. This can be avoided by performing a training analysis that clearly defines desired outcomes for the program.

Lack of training follow-up

Companies spend a lot of money on training yet most don’t follow-up with employees to ensure retention of training information. If they don’t use the skills soon after learning them, most employees will experience skill decay very quickly. That’s why training needs to be reinforced through assessments. Given the nature of most training programs – long sessions full of facts and concepts – it’s imperative for companies to provide resources outside of training for employees to access information they may have lost since the session.

Limited resources

Many smaller businesses face the issue of limited resources available to provide a quality training program. By making training and development a strategic priority, even a company with a limited budget can benefit from measurable ROI in the form of increased productivity and employee retention. By viewing training as an investment and not as an expense, business owners will foster a culture of learning and growth. One way to overcome limited resources is to assign multiple roles to existing staff. For example, have your lead instructor also create the content and design the training sessions. Another option is customizable online training that can be completed from your office and reduces the expense of sending employees to an off-site training.

Training is an essential element for business success, employee retention, and continuous personal growth. If you would like to discuss strategies for your training program, contact me for a free, one-on-one business consultation.

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