Employee Training, Employee Onboarding, Online Learning

5 Elements of an Effective Employee Training Program

by Debbie Williams

What does your employee training program look like? If it’s anything like most programs, it probably begins and ends with new employees. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t implement ongoing employee training programs that help their workers hone skills, learn new ones, and cultivate opportunities for advancement.

They should. According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), companies that provide comprehensive training programs experience 24% higher profit margins.¹ Not only that, but a great employee training program and a great corporate LMS can enhance satisfaction rates and significantly boost productivity.

Let’s look at some of the key components your organization will need to implement an effective training program that puts them on the right path to seeing business benefits.

employee training program

5 Components of a Great Employee Training Program

1. Microlearning
The average person’s attention span is only eight seconds.² Microlearning allows employers to deliver short, specific bursts of content that hold employee’s interest. Here are four microlearning requirements that can be used to create more effective training programs:

  • Lean – the solution can’t require an “army” of trainers to implement
  • Scalable – the solution must align a large variety of employees across all locations
  • Simple – the solution must be easy to adopt
  • Seamless – the solution can’t rely on in-person training

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2. Multimedia Content
The days of plain-text training materials are extinct. Effective training programs must embrace multi-media content to create a more diverse, interactive educational experience. Consider implementing at least one type of multimedia content in order to improve training productivity:

  • Video– Extremely engaging and provides a memorable combination of visual and audio content
  • Interactive content – Give employees tasks to complete, such as taking a quiz or poll, engaging in community boards, or playing games
  • Images – Photos, infographics, and diagrams catch attention and can illustrate concepts better than step-by-step instructions
  • Audio – Podcasts and other audio-only content are popular ways for employees to learn while performing other activities

Multimedia not only improves employee engagement, it also improves learning and saves time by eliminating the need to read hours of training materials.

3. Pre- and Post-Training Assessments
Assessments are one of the best ways to determine what your employees need to learn and how well they’re retaining material from your program. Pre-training assessments will help you gauge what your employees already know and what they need to be taught, while 

a post-training assessment is one of the best ways to identify areas of improvement for your training program. Here are a few easy tips for assessing training needs:

  1. Ask open-ended questions
  2. Review how the organization’s training objectives align with how employees perceive their professional development goals
  3. Perform task and skill-based assessments that evaluate performance

To avoid the dreaded “test” mentality many employees associate with evaluations, try using gamification to make assessments more fun and less stressful.

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4. Easy Delivery and Access
Making training materials easy to access and interact with is essential to an effective training program. That means using learning management system (LMS) to deliver educational courses and training electronically. An LMS is a great way to increase employee productivity through continued education. It also allows the instantaneous release of important company content in a cost-effective manner.

5. Learning Paths
A Gallup poll found that 87% of millennials say career development is important in a job.³ Your training program should provide professional development opportunities.

Building defined learning paths will help attract top talent, boost employee satisfaction, and improve retention rates while lowering turnover. You can build learning paths into your training program manually, or use tools in your LMS software to create more diverse learning paths that are customized for individual employees or roles within your company.

Investing in Your Employees is Part of Investing in Your Business

Employees are one of your most valuable assets but unfortunately, 74% of employees don’t believe they are reaching their full potential.⁴ A great employee training program can help improve how employees see themselves in addition to boosting your profitability and encouraging a more productive work environment.

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¹ http://businesstrainingexperts.com/knowledge-center/training-roi/profiting-from-learning/
² http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/
³ https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/191435/millennials-work-life.aspx
⁴ https://guthriejensen.com/blog/statistics-employee-training/

Debbie Williams

Debbie Williams

Director, Marketing