It’s the classic employee training paradox. Your organization needs new staff to get up to speed as quickly as possible to take on the growing workload — right now. But, although training new people adds to the workload, you can’t also afford to skip training because you’ll need those people to be truly prepared, and you cannot afford to leave them confused or ill-equipped.
The answer? Streamline your onboarding training program to make it faster without sacrificing your ability to ensure new hires are ready to hit the ground running. You can make your onboarding program more effective in less time by using these five key steps in development:
- Establish learning objectives and define how they align with business objectives.
- Identify behaviors and methods that empirically lead to success.
- Incorporate microlearning into your training program.
- Integrate learning technology with instructor-led training (ILT).
- Implement assessments and evaluations to track progress.
Employee training is a resource-intensive aspect of any organization. The faster new staff can take on a full workload, the better it is for the bottom line. Moreover, a well-prepared employee is less likely to experience dissatisfaction and confusion, and to make costly mistakes.
Read on for more information about how you can implement each step in the development process outlined above.
1. Establish learning objectives and define how they align with business objectives.
Until you know exactly how to define your training relating to how the business operates, you will have an inefficient training program. Often, the root cause is teaching new employees how to do their job without also linking it to why it’s important to the overall business goals, such as safety or waste reduction.
By analyzing current training content, you can determine which content pieces might not actually be necessary and remove them from the program. Equally, it’s easier to find what content is missing, as well as those skills that employees discover that they need but weren’t taught during training.
Effective training also has the benefit of increasing employee trust. When they feel that their time was not wasted on irrelevant or unhelpful knowledge, they are more likely to be receptive to continuing education and development during their tenure with your company.
This first step is foundational to effectively streamline your employee training. A thorough review and assessment of current employee training and development gives you the foundation from which to implement next steps.
2. Identify behaviors and methods that empirically lead to success.
The goal of learning and development (L&D), in this case, is to prepare employees to start working efficiently as soon as possible once they have completed onboarding training. By determining best practices that current high-performing employees use, you can teach those skills and processes right from the start.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel; in fact, trying to do so just slows everything down. By introducing new hires to the behaviors and methods that lead to success means they will not need to learn or develop those skills while managing their workload.
Evaluate current employees and determine what actions they take that can be taught to new staff. Link performance behaviors to outcomes. Research what industry thought leaders are discussing in terms of productivity. Consult with management about what would help them better manage staff.
3. Incorporate microlearning into your training program.
Microlearning is one of the latest employee training methods that focuses on how adult learning works, and how to make it more effective. Microlearning is about improving performance through short pieces of content. Adult learning outcomes are better when content is concise and potent.
Ideally, microlearning modules should include rich media, such as videos and infographics, leading to better knowledge retention. This allows learners to grasp important concepts quickly. Microlearning is also excellent for ongoing L&D as new skills or cross-training is required for existing staff.
4. Integrate learning technology with ILT.
With microlearning comes learning technology. Much of the impact gained from microlearning comes with how the content is delivered. Online learning enables businesses a wider range of options to engage learners and ensure that all new employees are receiving the same instruction.
Combine the interactive nature of learning technology with the more traditional ILT and employee training becomes more engaging, with faster information uptake and better knowledge retention.
5. Implement assessments and evaluations to track progress.
Ultimately, unless there is a way to determine if training is producing the right results, all of your efforts will amount to random shots in the dark.
Every training program needs a way to evaluate the learners’ progress to ensure that they are prepared to be productive employees, as well as to assess whether the training program is supporting business objectives.
Learning technology can be an asset in this case, as it can track learner progress, and also provide assessment tools to aid instructors in evaluating both new hires and the long-term impacts training has had on achieving business goals.
Employee training is as critical as any other part of a business. Poorly trained staff make avoidable mistakes, have higher rates of dissatisfaction and turnover, and ultimately impede company progress.
By ensuring that training objectives align with business objectives, identifying productive behaviors and methods, incorporating microlearning in tandem with learning technology, and creating assessments to gain insight into overall impact, you can streamline your onboarding efforts. And by making training faster and more effective, your employees will become faster and more effective, too.