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.