Employee training plays a critical role in ensuring organizations remain competitive, agile, and equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet their goals.
In this guide, I want to help managers and trainers see employee training through the lens of the employee journey. Doing so will help you create strategic, high-impact training programs for employees.
I will explain the importance of training in employee development. Then, I will recommend specific training programs for each stage.
Employee Training and Development
Training is a critical component in the development and growth of both employees and organizations. But what exactly is training, and why is it so important?
What is training?
Training refers to the process of enhancing employees’ skills, knowledge, and abilities to improve their job performance and adapt to evolving organizational needs. Training can encompass a wide range of activities, from onboarding new employees to ongoing professional development opportunities.
Training can be tailored to address various aspects of an employee’s role, including technical skills, soft skills, and compliance or safety requirements.
For instance, a manufacturing company might implement training programs to teach its employees how to use new equipment or software.
This ensures that the workforce is competent in using the latest technology and can maintain productivity and efficiency.
Why training matters?
Investing in employee training has numerous benefits for both the individual and the organization. Here are some reasons why training matters:
Well-designed training programs equip employees with the knowledge and skills to perform their jobs more effectively, leading to increased productivity and better results.
A company experiencing high customer complaint rates might implement customer service training to address communication, empathy, and problem-solving skills. This training could lead to a significant reduction in complaints and an increase in customer satisfaction.
Employees who receive regular training and development opportunities are more likely to feel valued and remain committed to the organization, reducing turnover rates and associated costs.
Master Your Soft Skills
As industries and technologies evolve, companies must adapt to stay competitive. Training enables employees to acquire new skills, knowledge, and abilities, making the organization more agile and responsive to change.
A retail company transitioning to e-commerce might provide its employees with training in digital marketing, e-commerce platforms, and customer service for online sales. This equips the workforce to adapt and contribute to the company’s new direction.
The concept of an “employee journey” might sound a bit like buzzword bingo, but it’s actually a really useful way to think about your team’s experience from start to finish.
It’s the entire series of experiences that an employee has during their time at a company, from the moment they first learn about the job opening to the time they exit the organization.
Why is it important?
Understanding the employee journey is essential, and here are five key reasons why:
- Boosts Employee Engagement: When you understand the employee journey, you can tailor experiences to the needs and expectations of your team. It’s like tuning a radio to your favorite station. When the frequency is right, the reception is clear, and the result is a much better listening experience.
- Attracts and Retains Talent: A positive employee journey can turn your company into a talent magnet. Potential employees will be attracted to your organization, and your current staff will want to stick around too.
- Improves Productivity: A well-managed employee journey helps employees feel more connected and committed. When people feel invested, they bring their A-game to work every day, driving up productivity.
- Strengthens Organizational Culture: By understanding the employee journey, you can foster a strong organizational culture. The journey can highlight the values and behaviors that are expected at each stage, setting a clear tone for the entire organization.
- Fosters a Positive Employer Brand: A well-structured and positive employee journey can help improve your organization’s employer brand, enhancing its reputation and making it stand out as an employer of choice.
Seven Essential Stages of the Employee Life Cycle
While there are many ways to break down the employee journey, I’ll be using Gallup’s version for our discussion. It’s a clean and straightforward framework that’s easy to understand. It breaks down the journey into seven key stages:
Attraction: This is the “first date” stage, where potential employees find out about your organization and what makes it special. Your goal here is to project a positive image that makes people want to be a part of the team.
Recruitment: Now you’re in the “getting serious” stage, where you’re deciding if you want to make a long-term commitment. It’s about ensuring the recruitment process is both fair and effective, allowing you to select the right people for your team.
Onboarding: Welcome to the “honeymoon” phase, where new employees get introduced to the organization. You’re providing them with the resources and information they need to become valuable, productive members of the team.
Engagement: Now we’re in the “keeping the spark alive” stage. You’re trying to maintain interest and investment in the work. It’s all about creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued and heard.
Performance: This is the “let’s see results” stage. You’re focusing on managing and improving employee performance, providing regular feedback and ensuring that employees have the resources they need to excel.
Development: Now we’re in the “growth and maturity” phase. You’re providing opportunities for employees to develop and grow, both in their current roles and in their careers at large.
Departure: Finally, we come to the “parting ways” stage. When employees leave the organization, you want to ensure they do so on good terms, with a chance to provide feedback on their experiences.
In the next section, we’re going to explore how each of these stages offers unique opportunities for employee training.
We’ll talk about how to craft a training program that supports your employees throughout their entire journey.
Train Employees Creatively
Training for creative leaders and intrapreneurs needs to be game-changing.
When seminars, workshops, masterclasses, and boot camps are learner-centered and results-driven, you can make training a multiplier.
I won’t say forget the so-called 70-20-10 myth because there is no real basis for that. We can still use it if we can make the equation 70 x 20 x 10.
We learn from personal experiences, social interactions, and training. The truth is that the value of classroom training can multiply results a hundred-fold.
The 70-20-10 myth is better than not having a model at all. But I have just changed that model for you. Consider my 70 x 20 x 10 model.
Everything we do, including classroom training, is an experience. Most of us learn one thing or two when we are open to learning experiences.
When we keep our sense of wonder, we experience moments like magic. Something comes out of nothing.
I say that 99% of our learning experiences are outside the classroom. Yes, 99 percent that we can help creative leaders learn from. Yes, 99 percent we can use to turn our employees into intrapreneurs.
We don’t put learning experiences into segments. We design with the end in mind. You blend learning experiences. You can make training for creative leaders and intrapreneurs.
Do you use training to develop leaders and engage employees? Do you ensure your personal growth and success by enrolling yourself in seminars and workshops?
An organization that invests in training is always ahead of those who don’t. However, not all training programs are equal.
You can double your results by exploring what effective training is – and how you can design excellent learning solutions for your organization.
In most Philippine companies, training is the default intervention.
Some training professionals work like doctors: they cure skills gaps and show learners how to take care of their careers. Others are like market vendors who sell you training products – even if you don’t need them.
Companies invest millions of pesos in training employees each year. Unfortunately, most of the training programs offered to employees do not work. You can make training work for you.
Leaders Need Real-World Learning
You can go beyond the typical public seminars or webinars where you have an instructor or trainer who uses more than a hundred PowerPoint slides and who employs energizers between modules to wake you up from the stupor caused by long lectures and an overwhelming knowledge dump.
For example, let’s say that you are joining a typical public speaking seminar in the Philippines. Commonly, you will find yourself listening to a public speaking instructor who explains to you every bullet in his slides for two to five minutes. Like a child in school, you are expected to listen to him 90% of the time.
I call that public listening, not public speaking.
In my public speaking workshops, you are not going to be a passive listener. You will learn by doing. You will leave the workshop with improved confidence and mastered speaking skills you can readily use in your next speaking assignment.
I will show you how you make presentations in boardrooms before five executives whose time is more expensive than most of us – and on stage in front of thousands of people.
Try new learning experiences so you can accelerate professional development, become better leaders, and 10x your business.
Reinvent Your Seminars and Webinars
To ensure maximum learning, I limit the number of participants in each course.
Some courses are offered only twice a year.
I may open a new session when there are at least ten from your organization interested in enrolling in these courses offered to the public. Then, I will invite others.
For in-house programs, I can run any of these programs, even for at least seven leaders.
So you can make the most of these training courses, I invite you to switch your thinking about training if you are one of those who only want to get a certificate of attendance.
I did not design these programs for those who only want to listen and receive a Certificate of Attendance.
I want you to get a Certificate of Awesome Participation.
These webinars are interactive. I know this is difficult to do. But we are trying our best to do what’s best for you.
You won’t consider each seminar or webinar like the public seminars you have attended before.
Do you remember those seminars where you have 80 or more people in the room listening to a lecturer who explains every bullet point of his 200 PowerPoint slides?
Forget those seminars.
Join a workshop.
Join a boot camp.
Bring with you the moxie of someone who has learned something useful and meaningful. Reimagine training in the Philippines—experience enjoyable and high-impact learning.
Make Training Work For You
Leadership and innovation training courses provide you with more opportunities to learn. In many training sessions that I have attended, participants were trained to become patient listeners to many excellent speakers.
But there were very few excellent speakers.
In these training courses, I want you to be the learning hero. You will be the actor, not just a spectator.
Here are 13 ways you can learn from the learn-by-doing nature of these training courses.
1. Learn from experience. During our workshops, enjoy our learning games and experiential activities.
2. Learn through observation. Call it vicarious experiences. You can learn by giving attention to what others are doing.
3. Learn through interactive mini-lectures. Short lectures help you learn new knowledge and skills faster. Sometimes, I use group contest for these short lectures.
Imagine yourself winning and learning. It must be real fun.
4. Learn through reading materials. Adult learners are capable of learning. And believe me, you can read faster than me talking.
When learners read intentionally, they get to learn 10x faster.
5. Try and apply the techniques. The beauty of these training courses is that you don’t have to wait for the “right time” to use the workshop’s techniques.
You get to apply them during the workshops – and get instant feedback.
6. Learn by doing. You discover deeper learning by doing. The workshop approach is activity-based learning.
7. Learn by reflecting. I use creative debriefing techniques. Debriefing helps you reflect on your experiences, gain valuable insights, and validate your learning.
8. Learn from each other. We are social beings. We learn better when we learn together. I used lots of group activities and collaborative learning activities.
9. Learn from my website. You will find more than hundreds of new growth ideas on my website as value-added resources. And the high-value content is growing daily.
10. Learn something every week. You may subscribe to my newsletter. You may also get updates through email lessons.
11. Learn something from your peers. Learning happens even after each training course. You can go to my forums and join the learning community.
12. Learn something from your mentors. In every workplace, there are mentors. During the workshops, you’ll know where and how to find your mentors.
13. Learn something from your organization’s follow-through. These training courses are designed based on measurable goals. Your organization is genuinely involved.
Most Effective Employee Training Methods
As a manager or HR professional, you’re likely aware that effective training is key to employee success and organizational growth. But which methods work best?
Let’s explore some of the most effective employee training techniques.
On-the-job Training: This involves learning while performing the job. New employees work closely with a seasoned colleague or supervisor who provides guidance. It’s practical and highly relevant, but the quality of training depends heavily on the mentor’s skills.
E-Learning: Online courses and webinars offer flexibility, allowing employees to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule. They are cost-effective and can be easily updated to reflect the latest knowledge or industry standards.
Simulation and Gamification: These methods offer a safe environment for employees to practice new skills without real-world consequences. Gamification adds a competitive element, making learning more engaging and fun.
Instructor-led Training: Traditional classroom-style training remains effective for complex topics that require expert guidance. It also provides opportunities for immediate feedback and direct interaction.
Microlearning: This involves breaking down information into small, digestible chunks, often delivered through digital platforms. It’s ideal for busy employees who may struggle to find time for longer training sessions.
Role-playing: This interactive method allows employees to act out different scenarios, improving soft skills like communication, conflict resolution, and customer service.
Self-directed Learning: Encouraging employees to take charge of their learning can be highly motivating. This might involve reading, attending seminars, or completing online courses of their choice.
Blended Learning: A mix of e-learning and instructor-led training can provide the benefits of both methods. It offers flexibility and convenience, while still providing opportunities for interaction and feedback.
Remember, the best training method depends on the content, the learner’s preferences, and the resources available.
Often, a blend of several methods will yield the best results.
Whichever methods you choose, make sure they align with your training objectives and support your organizational goals.
How to Build Employee Training and Development Programs
As a manager or HR professional, your role in fostering employee growth is pivotal.
But how do you develop effective training and development programs?
Identify the need. This starts with understanding your company’s strategic goals. Is there a skill gap preventing your team from reaching its objectives?
It’s important to conduct regular performance assessments to highlight these areas. You should also solicit feedback from employees. They often know best what training they need.
Set your objectives. Define what you want to achieve from the training program.
For instance, do you aim to improve team productivity?
Or is the goal to reduce error rates in a particular process?
Clear objectives will help focus the program and measure its success.
Design the program. A good training program should be engaging, practical, and relevant.
Use a variety of methods to cater to different learning styles. Lectures, hands-on practice, group discussions, and online modules can all be effective.
It’s crucial to align the training content with your objectives. For instance, if you aim to improve digital skills, your program might include training on software use, coding, or data analysis.
Furthermore, consider incorporating real-life examples and scenarios to make the learning process more applicable to the job.
Training shouldn’t be a one-off event. Develop a schedule for regular training sessions, ensuring that employees have ample opportunities to learn and grow.
This also encourages continuous improvement and adaptation to changing business environments.
Finally, evaluate the program. Use surveys, tests, observation, and interviews to assess the effectiveness of the training. Are employees applying their new skills? Has productivity increased? Feedback from employees is also invaluable in improving future training.
Remember, employee development is not just about training. Consider other development opportunities, such as mentoring programs, job rotation, and professional development courses.
These can complement your training programs and further enhance employee skills.
You can build effective employee training and development programs that align with your company’s goals.
This boosts performance and motivates employees, fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth.
it’s crucial for trainers and supervisors to have a solid grasp of the key terms and concepts. This comprehensive glossary serves as a valuable reference for both experienced professionals and those new to the field.
With 40 essential terms related to training, this glossary covers a wide range of topics, from learning theories and instructional design to training delivery methods and evaluation techniques.
By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you can enhance their understanding of the principles that guide effective training programs, as well as the latest trends and best practices in the industry.
This glossary can serve as a handy resource for clarifying terminology during discussions, meetings, or training sessions, ensuring clear communication and a shared understanding among team members.
Here is a list of 40 training-related terms along with their definitions:
- Active Learning: A training approach that encourages learners to actively participate in the learning process through discussions, problem-solving, and hands-on activities.
- Adult Learning Theory: The principles and practices that guide the education of adults, acknowledging their unique characteristics and learning needs.
- Andragogy: The method and practice of teaching adult learners, emphasizing self-directed learning and practical application of knowledge.
- Asynchronous Learning: A self-paced learning model where learners access training materials and complete tasks at their convenience, without real-time interaction with instructors or peers.
- Blended Learning: A training approach that combines multiple delivery methods, such as in-person instruction, online resources, and hands-on activities.
- Bloom’s Taxonomy: A classification system for learning objectives, consisting of six levels of cognitive skills: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
- Case Study: A real-life or hypothetical scenario used in training to facilitate analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
- Coaching: A one-on-one training method focused on providing personalized guidance, feedback, and support to help learners achieve specific goals.
- Cognitive Load: The amount of mental effort required to process and retain information during learning, which can impact knowledge retention and understanding.
- Competency-Based Training: A training approach that focuses on developing specific skills and competencies required for job performance.
- Constructivism: A learning theory that emphasizes the active construction of knowledge by learners through personal experiences and interactions with their environment.
- Courseware: The instructional materials and resources used in a training program, including textbooks, presentations, videos, and software.
- Distance Learning: A learning model that allows learners to access training materials and participate in training sessions remotely, typically through online platforms.
- E-Learning: The delivery of training content through digital means, such as online courses, webinars, and multimedia resources.
- Evaluation: The process of assessing the effectiveness of a training program by measuring learning outcomes, participant satisfaction, and on-the-job performance improvements.
- Experiential Learning: A training approach that involves learning through hands-on experiences, simulations, and real-life scenarios.
- Facilitator: A person who guides and supports learners through the training process, encouraging participation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.
- Feedback: Information provided to learners about their performance and understanding, helping them identify areas for improvement and reinforcing learning.
- Flipped Classroom: A learning model that involves learners accessing instructional content independently before attending in-person or virtual sessions to discuss, apply, and reinforce their learning.
- Formative Assessment: Ongoing assessment methods used during the learning process to provide feedback, identify areas for improvement, and monitor learner progress.
- Gamification: The incorporation of game-like elements and mechanics into training programs to increase engagement, motivation, and knowledge retention.
- Icebreaker: An activity or exercise designed to introduce participants, create a relaxed atmosphere, and encourage interaction at the beginning of a training session.
- Informal Learning: Unstructured, self-directed learning experiences that occur outside of formal training programs, such as on-the-job learning, networking, and mentoring.
- Instructional Design: The process of designing, developing, and delivering training programs based on learning principles, objectives, and best practices.
- Instructor-Led Training (ILT): A traditional training format where an instructor delivers content to learners in a classroom or virtual setting.
- Job Aid: A resource or tool that provides learners with step-by-step guidance or information to support their performance in a specific task or job function.
- Just-in-Time Training: Training delivered when and where it is needed, often in response to a specific performance issue,
- Kirkpatrick Model: A widely used framework for evaluating the effectiveness of training programs, consisting of four levels: reaction, learning, behavior, and results.
- Learning Management System (LMS): A software platform used to administer, track, and deliver training programs, as well as manage learner progress and performance data.
- Learning Objectives: Clearly defined statements that describe what learners should know, understand, or be able to do upon completing a training program.
- Learning Styles: The preferred ways in which individuals process and retain information, such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning.
- Microlearning: A training approach that delivers content in small, focused segments, typically lasting no more than a few minutes, designed for quick consumption and knowledge retention.
- Mobile Learning: The delivery of training content and resources via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, allowing learners to access training anytime, anywhere.
- Needs Assessment: The process of identifying skill gaps, training needs, and organizational goals to inform the design and development of training programs.
- Onboarding: The process of integrating new employees into an organization, including orientation, training, and ongoing support to ensure a smooth transition and successful performance.
- Pedagogy: The method and practice of teaching, particularly as it relates to the education of children and young learners.
- Performance Support: Tools, resources, and interventions that provide immediate assistance to learners as they perform tasks and apply skills in the workplace.
- Role-Playing: A training activity that involves learners acting out different roles or scenarios to practice and develop skills such as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making.
- Self-Directed Learning: A learning approach where individuals take responsibility for their own learning process, setting goals, seeking resources, and evaluating their progress.
- Synchronous Learning: A learning model where learners and instructors interact in real-time, either in-person or through virtual platforms, such as webinars or video conferences.