It’s far and away the biggest reason employees voluntarily leave their jobs. Of the employees lucky enough to receive training and development, 90 percent say it improves their job performance, according to The International Journal of Business and Management Research. And it may just be the best way to address the workforce skills gap that 87 percent of executives are struggling with.
Employee training initiatives can solve all sorts of problems businesses face. High turnover, low engagement, and poor productivity are just a few of the reasons 67 percent of companies are increasing their learning and development (L&D) budgets in 2022. But how, exactly, are companies developing and delivering their employee training initiatives?
Challenges To Learning and Development for Businesses
Recent trends in employee training initiatives are driven by the unique challenges today’s companies face.
Voluntary turnover is an ongoing problem that costs U.S. companies $630 million per year, according to the Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report. Accounting for 20 percent of voluntary quits, lack of career development is the leading reason for employee turnover. Investing in learning and development for employees is one of the most effective ways to increase retention.
The skills gap is real and affects every industry. According to one report, more than half of IT hiring managers have empty chairs they can’t fill. Deloitte reports that 2.4 million manufacturing positions will remain unfilled through 2028. In an effort to bridge the skill gap, more companies are willing to train the right people.
Covid-19 changed the workplace so quickly that many companies and their employees have struggled to adapt. The new “distance economy” means businesses are adopting new software and technology. Additionally, employees must adapt with stronger time management and collaboration skills.
Employee engagement is increasingly important in an uncertain and competitive marketplace. The pandemic taught companies to leverage assets they previously overlooked to buffer themselves against the next unavoidable crisis. One such resource, employee engagement, can increase profitability by 21 percent, according to Gallup. Investing in employee learning and development can positively impact at least four of the 12 markers of employee engagement.
Expand Your Definition of Employee Training
While classroom training that results in certification is still an important part of L&D programs, today’s companies are creative when it comes to employee training. Consider alternative ways of delivering training to your employees.
- Lunch & Learn: Many companies are inviting experts to talk to their employees during lunch. The more informal setting facilitates learning by encouraging questions and conversations.
- Mentoring & Coaching: A mentoring program is an excellent solution for an intergenerational workforce. Employee assessments can identify individuals with leadership potential to be matched with a mentor to facilitate their career growth. But don’t underestimate the trove of knowledge in your younger employees. They can help bridge existing gaps in software or social media skills that may exist in your longer-term employees.
- Company Organizations: Consider using small groups to facilitate training. A Toastmasters group can help your employees learn leadership and public speaking skills, while a book group can focus on popular business and personal development titles.
- Customized Training Solutions: Oftentimes, companies lack the knowledge and resources to develop a training solution from scratch. And sometimes, formal industry certifications are out-of-reach or irrelevant to the company’s needs. Consider using a training solutions provider to create a customized approach to your L&D needs.
Develop Employee Training Initiatives That Get Results
Investing in learning and development for your employees undoubtedly improves several of your company’s performance metrics. But as everyone in business knows, you can’t solve a problem just by throwing money at it. How can you develop the kind of employee training initiatives that will yield the benefits you’re looking for?
Identify your goals for employee training. Start by identifying the problems you’re trying to solve. Are you struggling to attract and retain talent? Or are you unable to find applicants with the skills you need? Perhaps your most recent batch of customer surveys revealed service issues. When you identify your reasons for employee training, create a measurable goal that creates a path toward the solution.
Create an employee training framework that embraces individual learning styles. Employees will learn best when new material fits their learning style. Employee training can take place in a classroom or online. Some employees may flourish when provided with a mentor or reading materials. Employee assessments can help you identify your employees’ skill gaps and their preferred learning styles.
Create clear expectations. Whatever their learning style, employees will learn best when they have clear goals and expectations. An assessment or special project using their new skills will help your employee retain information and understand how to apply their new skills and abilities to improve their performance.
Assess your employee training initiative. Today’s employee training initiatives are backed by data and measurable results. From assessments to engagement surveys, you’re able to determine how well your employee training initiatives are performing.
Remain agile and adapt your L&D program to future trends. Collecting ongoing data about your L&D program’s results with an eye to future trends will help you get the most out of your employee training investment. Emerging technology, such as AI, virtual reality, and emotional analysis, are being developed to improve employee training solutions. Additionally, outside forces, such as the Great Resignation, continue to influence and shift the role of learning and development in the workplace.
Consider External Training Solutions For Your Business
Developing your own training solutions can have drawbacks. The initial cost of research and development may not yield a return on your investment if your needs change quickly. Many employee training initiatives are associated with avoiding potential litigation, such as harassment or diversity training. Companies simply cannot afford to make mistakes when implementing these training solutions.
Outsourcing your employee training initiatives to trusted experts can ensure your L&D program is flexible, scalable, and effective. Human Capital Concepts can help you design, develop and implement your training program. Let HCC provide your employee training to lower your costs without sacrificing quality.
Contact us today to find out how HCC can help you simplify being an employer.