We are going to outline the points you should consider when deciding how best to develop and train your employees. It includes information about the benefits to your business of investing in skills and also covers:
Why train your people?
Effectively training your employees can improve your chances of success and business growth. Developing your people and improving their skills can:
Decide what training you need
A training needs analysis (TNA) is a way of figuring out what training your business needs and where you have skills and knowledge gaps. Regular TNAs help you to keep on top of your changing skills needs as the business develops.
As a first step, try to gather information through:
When carrying out a TNA, you should:
Before you take on a new employee, you need to think about what you need them for. You may have an urgent skills gap that you need to fill in order to complete a specific piece of work. You may be preparing the business for a future challenge by hiring somebody with the skills that you know you'll need.
Writing a detailed job advert and person specification will help you to figure out the skills and qualifications that you need from your new recruit. It will also help you plan any future training needs for that person.
Find the right type of training for your business
If you decide to offer training in your business, you should consider the following:
There are numerous training methods that you can use including:
Choose the right training to suit your employees
Matching your training to your employees' learning preferences can help you speed up their learning and reduce your training costs.
For the purposes of training at work, people's preferred learning methods can be broadly divided into active and passive types.
Active ways of learning include:
Passive ways of learning include:
Core employability skills
While extensive training is useful, there are several basic skills - known as core employability skills - that are essential for most employees to do their job. Core employability skills include the ability to:
Types of training
Learning for most employees comes from informal on-the-job training.This could include job shadowing, coaching and mentoring. Even the smallest businesses with no training budget can carry out this kind of in-house training.
If your business doesn't have the necessary skills to design and provide in-house training, you may want to consider buying in off-the-shelf or tailor-made courses.
You can increase the profile of your business and the skills of your employees by having your in-house training recognised.
To do this, you could:
If you don't have the skills or resources to train your employees internally, you may need to use an external training provider. External training providers are likely to be specialists both in training and in your business sector, as well as being able to bring you and your employees up to speed on current best practice and new ideas.
You may be able to negotiate a discount by making a group booking for a course, or you could send just one employee on a training course and ask them to teach others in your business when they've finished.
Online and distance learning
Online and distance learning offers flexible, office-based training. Employees can complete the training at a time that suits them and your business.
There are many e-learning and distance learning courses available. Your employees can learn at a time and place that suits you and them. By choosing from the many modules on offer, the training can be tailored to suit your business needs.
Choose a training provider
When deciding what type of training or training provider you would like to use, consider the following:
Trade associations understand the current training needs of businesses in their sector as well as those skills likely to be needed in the future. They will often recommend approved private training providers or offer tips on finding reputable ones. Sometimes they offer their own training courses.
Professional bodies may offer or recommend training courses and information that are less sector-specific and more general, for example relating to exporting or accounting. They often have professional recognition, particularly if the training is part of a continual professional development programme.
Evaluate your training
Evaluating your training allows you to work towards improving it. There are several ways to get an accurate picture of what your training has achieved and what the limitations are.
Employee performance evaluations
Review the impact of the training on the employee's performance, as part of a regular appraisal process. This is a good time to discuss any additional training needs.
Business performance evaluations
Training can be evaluated by measuring tangible performance indicators, such as sales, production costs, output, absenteeism and staff turnover.
Qualitative improvements may be just as important. This could include higher quality goods and services, better teamwork, fewer customer complaints and greater innovation within your business.
Check that your training is geared to your business needs. How has the training helped your people deliver the aims or targets of your business plan? Investors in People's performance model principles can help you make sure that you get the best results from your training.
You could use training assessment or evaluation forms to ask your employees:
Any evaluation should be done soon after the training is completed.
November 14, 2017 Nick J. Howe
For years, employers have faced a troubling lack of preparedness among college graduates entering the workforce. Their response was everything from promoting better communication to establishing rules about wearing headphones in the office. Now, it’s apparent that the real issue – one that is true for more than young professionals – is incompetence.
The use of the word “incompetence” is not meant as an insult but merely to recognize a lack of knowledge or experience in particular areas. Incompetence is a two-fold challenge. The first is conscious incompetence, when people are aware of what they don’t know. Young professionals, in particular, can be overwhelmed by how much they don’t know or understand, which makes them unproductive. Although they sometimes appear uninterested, these young professionals may actually be frustrated by how much they don’t know, as well as the fact that they are not being effectively trained and have no idea how to reach out for help.
Although they sometimes appear uninterested, these young professionals may actually be frustrated by how much they don’t know.
The second is unconscious incompetence, when people assume that they know something but, in fact, they do not. Ironically, this type of incompetence can set in just as young professionals begin to learn about the company, its products and services, and how to perform their jobs. Training that consists of cramming as much information as possible is not only ineffective in promoting knowledge retention, but it can also trigger a bigger danger: Having completed the training, young professionals (and experienced employees, as well) may incorrectly believe they truly know the information. Instead, they are unconsciously incompetent, which can lead to serious errors, dissatisfied customers and even safety issues.
When Training Does More Harm Than Good
The obvious answer to addressing incompetence is more and better training, but here’s the tricky part: Far too often, training consists of rote memorization of the company handbook or product materials, or it focuses on the basics of HR processes at the expense of more meaningful development. Online training that involves nothing more than putting static material online undermines engagement and does not assess how much learners have truly grasped.
This one-size-fits-none approach compounds the problem for the new hires who are working in jobs far removed from their field of study – e.g., the art history major working for a mortgage lending company. When that disconnect is combined with poor onboarding and inefficient training, performance is low, and turnover at the entry level is high.
The one-size-fits-none approach compounds the problem for new hires who are in jobs far removed from their major.
The Adaptive Solution: Building Competence and Confidence
More young professionals are entering the workforce, equipping this group with the skills they need requires a proven approach that builds competence and confidence. Adaptive e-learning – a personalized, software-enabled teaching approach – has consistently demonstrated delivered on outcomes for learners at all levels. Adaptive learning is widely deployed in K-12 and post-secondary education; for example, in a study of seven U.S. universities, adaptive learning increased passing and retention rates as well as instructional efficiency. In the corporate space, adaptive learning is still an early-adopter technology, but it’s one that shows significant promise.
Adaptive learning uses a questions-first approach, probing what learners already know, where they have gaps in their knowledge and their confidence in what they know. When gaps are uncovered, the platform provides resources that are personalized to the learner. In addition, adaptive systems ask learners to rate how well they know a piece of content (measuring their confidence) before the correct answer is revealed. This self-assessment data can be used to further adapt and individualize the learning experience. As a result, learners become more proficient and more confident in their knowledge.
Adaptive systems are well suited to a mobile-first approach to training that aligns particularly well with millennials’ expectations for technology in the workplace. Organizations can also pair adaptive learning with the face-to-face interaction of mentorships to reinforce the practical applications of what employees have learned. The result is a blended approach that equips people with both hard and soft skills: the training and knowledge they need to get their work done and the people skills to interact with others.
Pair adaptive learning with the face-to-face interaction of mentorships to reinforce the practical applications of training.
The advantages of adaptive learning are numerous. At the top of the list for workforce preparation is continual self-assessment of both conscious and unconscious incompetence. Through individualized learning experiences, learners become engaged in a system that adapts to what they know and increases their level of confidence in their mastery. For young professionals, this learning experience may very well be the difference between success and failure.
For young professionals, adaptive learning may very well be the difference between success and failure.
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