Learning At Work - Characteristics Of The Best Employee Training Programs

learner academy

Employee training and development in the workplace, is more important today than it has ever been. This week (13th-19th May) is ‘Learning at Work Week’; a week when attention is drawn to the importance of workplace development, and employers are encouraged to think about how they can improve their workplace culture around learning.

This week is also the week that accessplanit officially begins its new ‘accessplanit academy’ for employees. Kicking-off with a non-compulsory soft-skills session, on time-management.

The accessplanit academy is set-up as a continuous process, throughout an employee’s time at the company. The academy embraces every aspect of an employee’s accessplanit-journey; from company culture and hiring; onboarding; quarterly skills reviews, and personalised development plans for every member of staff, as well as general soft-skills training available for all employees.

Why Is Workplace Development So Important?

Here are a few statistics from Bridge EMEA, that sum-up why developing your employees can be so valuable. In the average workplace:

  • One third of all employees change jobs each year
  • Half of all employees are looking for new jobs
  • 70% of employees are not fully engaged with their job

The importance of a development culture in the workplace becomes clear when looking at these worrying statistics. Developing a culture where your staff are encouraged to grow through training, not only engages them better in their work, but also encourages longevity, because they can see the benefits they are gaining by working for your company.

Top Characteristics of A Good Employee Training Program:

Whether you’re just starting to think about your businesses learning culture, or you already have a fantastic training program in place but want to keep on top of best practice; we have rounded up the top 8 characteristics of a good training program to help you, help your employees be their best-selves at work.

1. Talent Management

A great training program starts with a development champion. Whether this person’s job role is Program Manager; Training and Development Manager; an L&D person, or a Talent Manager- this person is the one who manages training and is responsible for championing the development of your team.

Talent managers are responsible for planning and executing training initiatives within a business. The perfect talent manager will be fully-invested in developing employee skills and helping them reach their potential.

Your talent manager will make sure that your employees are aware of any development opportunities. They will also keep track of each person’s personal goals, aspirations and pain-points, and make sure that the training being offered to them is both relevant and beneficial.

2. Individual Needs Assessments

Your training champion will start by identifying the needs of the business, as well as the individual needs of its employees. They will take time to understand your company and employees, through research and person-to-person interviews.

The key to any efficient training program, is correctly identifying who needs to be trained, for what skills. A ‘need’ is the missing-link between an employee’s current performance and their required or requested performance. 

It’s important that your employees are an integral part of this process and have input into their own development. Taking differences in learning styles into account is also very important when deciding what kind of learning an individual requires, and will respond to.

3. Curriculum building

A well-structured curriculum for your employees is the next step in building a successful training program. Building a company-wide and personal curriculum is something that your talent manager will be responsible for.

Understanding what the company and employee critical needs are ensures that training is necessary, and not just extra work that will be seen as unimportant by your staff.

Curriculums should be reviewed and adapted on a regular basis, to ensure that they keep up-to-date with the shifting requirements of your workforce. At accessplanit, our curriculum is reviewed and updated quarterly for every employee.

4. Keep an eye on the metrics

One mistake that many businesses make when initiating a new training program, is that they don’t keep a close enough eye on outcomes. Ensuring the employee agrees a training contract prior to training delivery keeps them focused on the outcome, whether it is a personal or business benefit.

5. Buy-in

One of the most important aspects of a good learning culture is buy-in from your business leaders. Having leadership support helps employees better understand the value and importance of a training program. Leaders who believe in development are necessary to a healthy L&D environment- so, show willing, and your team will be more likely to follow-suit.

6. Make it fun

A bit of creativity goes a long way when it comes to employee buy-in. Developing a program that the learner feels in control of, can add to a sense of autonomy over their learning.

Making your learning program less disrupting at work can also help make the transition easier for your staff – embracing technology and on-the-job learning is key to this. Many companies today offer eLearning and gamification, as ways to improve employee responsiveness. Making learning a fun part of your employees day-to-day has the ability to make everyone’s job a little easier.

7. Communication

Communication is key when it comes to a good employee training program. Any communication sent out to employees should include both a clear overview and well-defined expectations, but also show an employee what’s in it for them. Try to provide a clear ‘why’ in all of your training proposals to staff members and management.

8. Post-Training

There are a few things that employers can do post-training, to make sure that employees are following through with what they have learnt. Give your employees the opportunity to retain the information they have learned, by giving them refreshers every now and then- like smaller lessons and videos; or more hands-on, on-the-job reinforcement.

Peer assessment can create a valuable insight and motivation for employees. So, getting colleagues to discuss their training together is a good way for them to disseminate some of the things they have learned.

Gather feedback from your team on how they feel the training went/is going. This will give you a valuable insight into how you can improve or adjust training in the future. The accessplanit system allows you to send these feedback requests automatically to your employees, post-training- eliminating the arduous task of doing it one-by-one.


Further Reading:

- A Guide For Internal Training Teams - How To Save Time

- How To Teach Soft Skills

- 6 Ways To Make Compliance Training Easy