June 13, 2022
Author: Jeff Doran, President – CCEOC Inc.
A targeted training and development plan is one of the best retention strategies any organization can implement. The benefits are tremendous – it makes employees feel more independent, helps satisfy their thirst for knowledge and creates better job performance. There’s higher job satisfaction, better engagement, increased opportunities for advancement, a better customer experience, better problem-solving capabilities, higher level of self-confidence, better decision making and the list goes on.
Why is it then, when organizations are looking to reduce costs, training and development is the first area to take a hit. If you are looking to attract, retain and engage staff, you must deliver on your training and development promise.
It’s important to align your T&D program with your vision and values. Employees need to see a connection between your goals and objectives and their knowledge and skill set.
So where do you start?
First, you need an overall plan with clearly stated goals, objectives and timelines. You need to ask yourself, as an organization, “What do we want to accomplish with our plan?”
You also need to communicate to staff that you are establishing (or revamping) your T&D program and manage expectations based on what you are able to deliver. Remember, be realistic. It’s much better to under promise and over deliver.
You need information. You need to review individual job descriptions, past performance appraisals and future career pathing with each employee to better understand where they are, where they are going and what they will need to get there.
What type of training is required? Is it industry or job specific? Is it hard skill or soft skill training? Is it management or non-management related or possibly technology focused? What unique approaches are required for new hires and longer tenured employees? Again, you need more information and one of the best sources for this type of data is your employee base. Ask and ye shall receive!
You need to determine how the programs will be delivered. Will it be classroom or one-on-one, instructor lead or self directed? Will it be on-site or remote, cloud or premise based, hybrid etc? You will more than likely require a combination of these delivery modes to ensure you’re reaching all staff in their desired learning style. A mentorship program should also be included in the mix to help employees navigate through new learning experiences.
One method of training that is very popular these days is gamification, where computer games are used to teach and reward employees for completing a lesson or course. Most gamification programs are subscription-based, so you will really need to do your homework and determine if this is appropriate for your organization, is it cost effective, and will it deliver the expected outcomes.
One of the most important pieces of the puzzle, is a method to measure the impact of your program. This is the only way to determine if you are getting your money’s worth. As a team, decide how you will measure outcomes and receive feedback. Make sure your measurement process is rigorous, consistent and fair. All employees have a right to know how well they are doing in relation to expectations and where they have opportunities to improve.
Well, that’s a pretty quick review of the components of an effective training and development plan and is by no means an exhaustive list. But it is a good starting point, and it will help you get going on creating your own plan that works for your organization.
Final thought – I always like to keep in mind what the great management guru Zig Ziggler said about training, “The only thing worse than training employees and losing them, is to not train them and keep them.”
About CCEOC: Jeff Doran is the President at CCEOC and runs the Boating Industry Canada Employer of Choice program including the Annual Employer of Choice Awards. For more information visit: https://www.biceoc.com