10 Steps to Building a Solid Training Program
Educating your frontline workforce on in the ins and outs of safety and operations as well as the WHY of compliance increases employee engagement while helping to boost your bottom line.
On the other hand, poor training can lead to high employee turnover, product recalls, and safety incidents—all of which will hurt business and cause numerous headaches.
Intertek Alchemy’s eBook, “Building a Solid Training Program” provides the necessary steps and best practices to help you plan an effective training strategy. Below are 10 key takeaways from the eBook to help you get started.
1. Assign Roles & Responsibilities
The first step in crafting an effective training strategy is assigning key roles that will be paramount to the program’s success. Identifying roles such as the training program manager, key subject matter experts, and an IT Manager will all be crucial.
Having support from at least one member of the executive leadership can be pivotal for the success of the program. Everyone should be updated regularly on planning, execution, and implementation so that they can share regular program milestones with the rest of the leadership team.
2. Set SMART Goals
Effective training programs should demonstrate a solid return on investment. When planning a training program, ensure there are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) goals around it. It’s important to look at program goals from both a short- and long-term perspective.
3. Develop Required Training Content
Determine what content effectively trains employees while also aligning with corporate goals. Organizations with effective orientation programs experience 54% increased new-hire productivity and 50% greater new-hire retention. Audit existing training materials and ask yourself: Does the material still fit my organization’s goals?
4. Identify Audience Needs
When thinking through your audience’s needs, it’s important to understand that training cannot be seen as one size fits all. Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating the needs of your audience:
- Create multilingual content for your diverse workforce
- Create easy to understand content. Employees will often have varying education levels and ability to process information. Keeping training content to a middle to high school level helps to ensure comprehension
- Create engaging content. Humor, knowledge checks/quizzes, games, and prizes all help to deepen the level of engagement
- Utilize training to create paths for professional development. These training courses can be precursors for certifications necessary to apply for higher paying jobs within the organization.
5. Determine the Appropriate Training Method
You will need to determine which training method is ideal based on the workplace, topics, and audience. Three of the most popular types of training delivery are technology-based learning, on-the-job training, and classroom presentations.
6. Create a Training Schedule
When creating a training schedule tailored specifically for your audience, consider packaging content into 15–20-minute sessions. This helps keep employees focused and engaged while giving them a better chance of retaining the information.
It’s also important to proactively set up refresher trainings to keep new and relevant information top of mind. According to Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve, 90% of what individuals learn is forgotten within the first month. The goal of these refresher trainings should aim to keep new and relevant information top of mind.
7. Secure a Functional Training Room
Depending on the method of training delivery, it may be necessary to secure a dedicated training room. An appropriately sized room, conducive to individual or group-based trainings and equipped with up-to-date equipment such as projectors, monitors, and remote controls can ensure a smooth roll-out of the program.
8. Create a Company-wide Launch Plan
Creating excitement and interest around the training program can also be important to the success. Think about the following questions when planning your launch:
- Who should attend the launch?
- When should the program be announced and launched?
- What important pieces of information should be included in the announcement?
- How should the announcement be made?
9. Determine the Reporting Structure
Consider what type of actionable data needs to be reported and to whom. An automated reporting platform that reports to supervisors, department managers, and members of corporate leadership can save time, resources, and money.
10. Share Progress & Results
Regularly share program wins, shortcomings, and updates through company-wide newsletters, emails, and bulletin boards. Employee incentives such as gift cards for high marks and manager bonuses for high completion rates can also be impactful to spur engagement with the training program.
By incorporating these 10 strategies, you can ensure your training programs are set up for success. However, it’s important to continually revisit, re-evaluate, and refine your program. The constant drumbeat of mergers, acquisitions, changing regulations, consumer demands, and turnover ensure that content that is not regularly updated will be deemed obsolete and out-of-date.
For more details, insights, and tips on planning an effective training program strategy, read our entire new eBook, “Building a Solid Training Program.”