Employee training programs can help improve employee performance and engagement by boosting everything from job-specific compliance training and technical skills to soft skills that are important for leadership success and employee morale.
A good employee training program will upskill employees to succeed with more-advanced responsibilities. Companies engage in these programs to help produce higher-quality products and services, reduce safety concerns, improve company culture, and boost employee engagement — all of which can improve the bottom line.
Surveys conducted with a wide range of employees found that 94% say that they would stay with a company that invested in their training and development. To keep good employees and help them improve, companies across the board invested $92.3 billion on professional development in 2021.
Benefits of workplace training programs
With 94% of workers saying that they’d be motivated to stay with their current workplace if it provided a training and development program that opened up more opportunities for them, this is a serious consideration for business leaders who want their companies to succeed. Furthermore, note that the amount invested in employee development programs noted above is far less than the $500 billion companies bleed each year when employees are disengaged and jump ship. Employee training programs can have several valuable benefits, including:
- Employees who are more motivated and engaged.
- A safer, more efficient workplace.
- Employees with better communication skills.
- More creative and skilled employees who can solve problems and innovate.
All of these benefits can support a positive organizational culture that your workers want to be in and want to contribute to, which leads to overall success.
With 94% of workers saying that they’d be motivated to stay with their current workplace if it provided a training and development program that opened up more opportunities for them, this is a serious consideration for business leaders who want their companies to succeed.
Types of employee training programs
The type of employee training programs your organization needs may differ from those of other groups, but there are some important common elements.
Orientation training gets new employees up to speed on:
- How the company works
- Their role
- What benefits they can expect
- Their essential responsibilities
- How to use software, machines, or other equipment necessary to their job
For folks going into customer service or other people-facing jobs, you may involve soft-skills training and team-building exercises too.
An onboard training program picks up after orientation training and deepens the employee’s understanding and skill levels necessary for successfully integrating into the company. Instead of lasting just a few days, it can involve a mixture of online courses and in-person training sessions that help employees:
- Understand company goals
- Answer lingering questions
- Learn more about products and services to broaden and enhance employee skills in important functional areas
Compliance training ensures that employees understand the laws, regulations, and policies that apply to the workplace. It prevents bad conduct, security breaches, lawsuits, and reputation damage while creating a safer, more harmonious working environment for everyone. Some examples of compliance training include:
- Anti-harassment training
- Diversity training
- Business ethics training
- Cybersecurity training
Leadership training can help build upon and refresh the skills of current leaders while also helping other employees better develop personal attributes that can help them become successful future leaders. Beyond managerial training, leadership training helps:
- Build stronger teams
- Increase employee retention and morale
- Strengthen soft skills like listening, communication, problem-solving, and creative thinking
Of course, training completion is important, but remember to give future leaders opportunities to put what they’ve learned into practice.
Technical skills training is critical for helping employees master skills that can help keep them and your company competitive in a marketplace where new technologies and applications spring up daily. A blended training strategy of interactive, hands-on, and online employee training methods can be used to give employees on-demand technical training as needed.
Everyone can benefit from a soft-skill training session—or several. Soft skills go hand-in-hand with good leadership and team-building skills and can enhance important conflict resolution, communication, active listening, and problem-solving skills that people can use in literally every aspect of business and life.
The elements of a good employee training program
For a program to work, it’s important to get employee input, feedback, and buy-in — since they are the ones who will need to learn and apply the training.
Every training program should have some metrics that can help you gauge its training effectiveness. For a program to work, it’s important to get employee input, feedback, and buy-in — since they are the ones who will need to learn and apply the training. Good employee training and development programs help your employees set measurable goals that their managers can evaluate on a regular basis.
Employee training methods
There is a veritable smorgasbord of training methods available to employers and HR teams, and they come in a wide range of price points from relatively inexpensive to a long-term investment. Finding the right one for your organization doesn’t have to create a huge financial burden to bring positive ROI. Some employee training methods that work include:
- In-person training
- Online learning
- Blended training (a mix of in-person and online)
- Peer training
- Micro-learning (bite-size learning modules that last from 15-20 minutes)
In-person training can involve bringing a trainer to your facility, or sending employees out to another facility, which can generate travel costs. Online learning can also command a premium price but may be a good bet weighed against travel costs. Blending those two can bring good learning results that may be worth the cost in terms of productivity and performance improvements.
Choose the right training tools and resources
Chances are that you might have at least some of the right employee training resources and tools in-house already. So check before looking far afield for resources and tools. Some resources to seek out include:
- In-house experts
- Online-based learning programs
- Digital tools like mobile devices
- Industry-based training organizations
Build an employee training program
Looking through that list of training programs, you can evaluate where your company stands and what employee training and development programs you could seek out and launch to bring greater ROI for your organization. As always, there will be challenges and costs; be sure to weigh the costs against the benefits gained by having a better educated and trained workforce. When building or selecting a program, it’s important to measure progress over time so you can see the ROI. Zenefits can help HR teams and business leaders get the right training programs to catapult their employees and companies ahead.