In the conditions of dynamically developing technologies, the introduction of new programs, basic education does not provide the appropriate qualifications for the staff; there is a need for new knowledge and skills. Vocational training and retraining of personnel is becoming a necessity. And then the personnel training system comes to the rescue.
To date, there are three main types:
- professional training
- retraining of personnel (retraining),
- staff development.
Consider each view in more detail.
Methods are those that are used directly at the employee’s workplace, without interruption. That is, he continues to fulfill his duties outside the workplace when he goes to classes that are held outside the organization. As practice shows, the second option gives better results and is more effective.
Personnel training at the enterprise (workplace) is carried out by the following methods:
- Copying. This method is based on the student repeating the actions of a more experienced specialist, as if copying them. The more accurately he repeats, the faster he will develop a new skill.
- Production briefing. It is carried out with each newly hired employee during employment. It includes information about the upcoming functionality, introduces a new position, facilitates understanding of immediate responsibilities.
- Mentoring. The method is relevant where practical skills are required. An experienced employee takes patronage over a young specialist. The employee is trained at his workplace, receiving the support of a mentor. First, he tells how to do it, then he shows how he helps to take the first steps in work. It tells you if problematic situations arise, and then checks how the student has learned the acquired skills.
- Rotation To gain new experience, the student is temporarily transferred to another workplace. This is characteristic of enterprises in which full interchangeability of employees is practiced.
- Delegation. Delegation is understood as a temporary transfer of authority from one person to another in order to obtain the latest new knowledge and experience. For example, if the leader needs to go on a business trip, and he wants to temporarily delegate his authority to another person. But in order for this to go painlessly, he needs to gradually train this person, for which you can give him some instructions related to the exercise of authority.
- The method of increasing complexity. For this method, it is typical to gradually complicate the tasks assigned to the employee.
Education outside the workplace
The most effective is studying outside the workplace. It can be frontal classes (lectures), active educational events - conferences and seminars, teamwork, communication with experts, etc. Let us consider in more detail the main ones.
This method is used when you need to quickly transfer in a compact form a large amount of information. Lectures are a great way to gain theoretical knowledge, in which the training is conducted by experts. This method has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, the lack of feedback and the inability to establish how well the students have mastered the material, while the advantages include low financial costs and the supply of a large amount of information in a relatively short period of time.
Seminars and Conferences
This method is more active in comparison with lectures, since in the process of study there is the possibility of a collective discussion of various aspects of the topic, thanks to which logical thinking is improved. In addition, unlike lectures, classes are held in small groups, it is possible to make out difficult moments, using both the experience of the teacher and the students. Based on the results, an assessment of the effectiveness of staff training can be given.
The game format involves playing a situation in which trainees are offered to solve the problem.
Corporate staff training in a team or training involves setting a group of one task, which together they must solve. For the most effective work with the team, the leader also needs to participate in such classes.
With this method, the employee independently studies the proposed material. Training can take the form of studying audio or video lessons, working with special programs. The advantages of this method include: own pace of passage, lack of reference to a specific place and time of study, saving money and time. By cons - the lack of control, the inability to ask questions about the studied material, a decrease in motivation.
How to organize staff training
In order to organize everything correctly, a staff training program should be drawn up, which includes certain steps, following which we will achieve optimal results. I propose to draw up a staff training plan (example).
Step 1. We determine the purpose of study, what exactly are you waiting for. What is the purpose of the holding. Perhaps this is an increase in the motivation of employees or the creation of a talent pool, an increase in productivity and quality of work, or the preparation of employees for a change in direction.
Step 2. Choose and approve the format of study. What forms of staff training will be used. It is important to determine this because this factor influences the efficiency of the process. The form can be remote or in the form of direct contact directly with the instructor, but you need to choose based on the convenience and specifics of each organization.
Step 3. Create or choose training courses. Some companies have their own training centers where their training programs are developed. If there are no such centers in your organization, you need to turn to special companies that are professionally involved in the development of this product.
Step 4. Find and prepare trainers. To conduct the event, you need a specialist in training and staff development. This may be an existing trainer in the organization. However, it is necessary to periodically check the level of his training and send in a timely manner for further training. If there is no such person in the organization, then he is invited from the outside. But before you decide on someone, be sure to read the reviews, request documents confirming the qualifications and level of professionalism.
Step 5. We train employees of the enterprise. We start with the approval of the schedule and program. Training organizations can provide a sample staff training program. The manager should not be self-reliant from the process. Someone should control the process, for example, the HR director: employees will be trained more responsibly, knowing that management is keeping abreast. Based on the results of the passage, a staff training protocol is drawn up.
Step 6. We fix and evaluate the material passed. To determine how useful and effective the measures were, it is necessary to check the knowledge received by employees. This is best done in the form of tests, which will identify and correct weaknesses in retraining. In addition, if the employee disagrees with the test results, when appealing, the employer will have a visual confirmation of his results.
Step 7. We analyze the results and summarize. Based on the results, you can issue employees questionnaires that show the level of satisfaction with the course. Also, based on the results, staff changes are often carried out, labor remuneration is changed, and personnel reserve is formed. So the employer encourages his employees to further professional development.
What is a training plan
Any plan is a structured document reflecting the order of actions or activities aimed at achieving a specific goal or goals.
The employee training plan is a list of measures to equip employees of an enterprise with knowledge in a specific field for work in a specific direction, calculated for a period specified in it, for example, a month, a quarter or a year.
Such a plan is agreed upon by the management team of the enterprise and approved by senior management.
Next, we consider the procedure for compiling a plan in more detail.
As a rule, a training plan is drawn up by a specialist whose labor tasks are education and training of personnel in this organization. As soon as it becomes clear to management that there is a need for the training of employees, this specialist is instructed to prepare an appropriate plan taking into account the direction in which insufficient competence of the labor collective has been identified.
The need for employee training can be identified based on:
- administrative documents of management containing requirements for the level of staff training or recommendations for staff development,
- proposals of heads of departments whose employees, in their opinion, need training,
- personnel certification results,
- suggestions of the employees themselves.
To perform the tasks assigned to the specialist, he needs to do the following:
- develop a training program that will take into account the needs and goals of training,
- determine what activities should be included in the training plan,
- if training requires the involvement of third-party organizations, conduct an assessment of the market for relevant services and choose the most suitable option,
- determine the budget for training, taking into account the costs of unscheduled events, the need for which may arise directly during training,
- to develop the staff training plan itself, which is then sent to management for approval.
The compiled staff training plan (example) is sent to the heads of departments, departments of the enterprise to study and make proposals for its improvement. At the end of approvals, the plan is approved and transmitted to the responsible persons for direct implementation.
What is included in the training plan
The plan is drawn up in any form and usually contains the following items and information:
- direction of training and its goals,
- training budget, taking into account possible unplanned activities,
- in the case of training by a third-party organization, information about such an organization and the cost of its services,
- training dates
- information about trained employees (full name, position),
- the form and time of training, taking into account the working time of the staff,
- clearly formulated actions and training activities with an indication of the timing for their implementation / conduct,
- places for notes about events and comments.
During the implementation of the plan, there may be a need for additional activities, as the head of the unit should notify the senior manager in advance.
Without training, people work inefficiently. For example, many years ago, to create PowerPoint presentations, I processed each slide individually. After a short training, I learned how to use the slide master and presentation templates.
Subsequently, it began to take me half the time to create presentations and without any alterations. The same applies to almost any skill that your employees master - their work will become more productive.
Normal internal training
The simplest (and often the cheapest) is for your employees to learn from each other. It makes sense: having different skills, why not share them?
On-the-job training is easy to organize at zero or minimal cost. It is useful not only to the student, but also to the mentor, increasing his authority and usefulness.
The main drawback here is that you do not bring in new knowledge, but only strengthen and develop existing ones. Other skills or perspectives appear that you can only get from external sources. In addition, when mentors feel their worth, students can consider this a burden - it is important to balance.
There are several types of internal training:
- One-on-one non-formal learning: one employee explains to another how to use the program or perform a specific process.
- Break Presentations: when an employee with the right knowledge explains it to others. This can be either an official presentation or a meeting in an informal setting.
- Mentoring: A mentoring program is not just a demonstration of techniques, but often a learning process. The mentor passes on his skills, advice and instructions to the student.
Online learning is very inexpensive, but gives you access to a wide range of knowledge in many different subjects. Its flexibility allows training in the workplace in your free time. People don’t have to go somewhere to attend the planned training event.
However, this flexibility has a downside. Employees should be motivated to complete training without delay. You may need to help them set aside several hours of school time per week. This will avoid another possible problem: employees will not feel that they are forced to engage in training in their personal time.
Membership in industry associations
Although this is not entirely training, many industry associations offer periodicals, eBooks, and other resources to help your staff learn new skills.
The advantage of focused training for your specific industry, which is cost-effective. Membership in an industry association has other advantages, such as networking opportunities, building trust, and tracking trends.
On the other hand, the breadth of teaching may be limited, since training is not the main function of the industry community.
Sending employees to courses and seminars
Learning opportunities are wide: seminars, conferences, special training programs, and more.
These are often high-quality events conducted by professional trainers, where you can communicate with colleagues. This kind of investment demonstrates to your employees that you value their personal and professional development.
The main disadvantage is their cost. These programs can be very expensive, in addition, there are expenses for travel, accommodation, etc. Large companies have an expense item for these kinds of things, but a small business simply does not have a budget. Of course, you lose the employee for the entire training period.
Invitation to training companies
There is an option to hire a training company to train employees on the spot. This way you avoid travel expenses, but it can be expensive. And you lose some of the benefits, such as networking outside the office.
On the other hand, you receive individual training from experienced professionals. If your budget allows it, then the option is excellent.
College and other formal education
Some employers pay for continuing education at an educational institution. This is a great incentive, although, of course, the costs can be significant. In order not to go beyond, think about making a certain amount so that the employee pays the balance or get by with shorter and less expensive programs.
If you can afford it, your staff will be more educated, with the skills and qualifications of managers, allowing you to get by with your staff, without looking on the side.
3. Create a directed training program
After considering the types of training, let's begin to draw up a training plan for your employees.
First, with regard to new employees: what do they need to know for the speedy formation?
This is partly the practical information that we covered in the employee handbook tutorial: how payments and bonuses are made, vacation policies, etc. But the familiarization plan is much wider. Provide complete information about your story, what you do, why you do it. What is your philosophy? How do you prefer to work?
Then introduce the staff. What is the general structure and how will a new employee fit into it? Who are the key employees? As you know, it is impossible to remember many names at once. So introduce the newcomer to those people with whom he will interact in the beginning.
What about customers? Who are they and what do they want from your company? This is important even if the person will not communicate directly with them. Бизнес существует для своих клиентов, поэтому все в компании должны понимать, как это делать и работать над достижением цели, даже если они никогда не общаются с клиентом напрямую.
Специальные процессы / программы
Затем переходите к непосредственным обязанностям человека. What special software does he have to learn? What production processes does he have to master? Special skills to be acquired?
As you already understood, some materials of the familiarization plan will be general, while others will be intended for individual employees depending on their functions, the skills with which they come and so on.
Therefore, start by creating a basic training program, and then add the required areas by specialty. If you hire a lot of new people, it might be worth creating “modules” of information on roles, such as a sales module for customer service personnel, an accounting module, an administrator module, and others. Then simply select them according to the situation for each new employee.
A key element of program effectiveness is the regular review of new employees. Give them a task in a week or two and find out what worked and what didn’t. What questions were missed and what problems did they encounter in the early days? Include this in future vocational training programs.
4. Creation of individual training plans
Effective beginner training is a good start. Now you can go to your current employees. Often, managers and business owners wait for employees to request training or, after reviewing an acceptable, in their opinion, program, they turn to staff. But it is better to have a more systematic approach with an individual training plan. Like this:
Step 1. Description of skills
Start by assessing the employee’s current skills in relation to their work. If you have compiled job descriptions, you should have a clear idea of what they should be able to. Consider:
- Assessment methodology? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Where do they need to be improved?
- Evaluating their work, formally or informally, determine where they succeed and where they need additional help?
We are talking about the skills of presentations, ownership of programs, processes and other tasks necessary for work. Managers or those who will become them in the future need to evaluate managerial skills.
Step 2. Explore Business Needs
Along with the importance of the work of an individual employee, it is worth considering the needs of the business as a whole.
Do you have any omissions in general? What additional employee features may be needed in the near future? What are the industry trends? Is there any new technology that needs to be mastered? New trends in management or business practices?
In the end, training is the need of both the employee and the business, so the interest should be mutual.
Step 3. Take the initiative of the employee
Sometimes employees have a clear idea of what they need to learn. Perhaps this is a new technology that they want to master. Perhaps they want to acquire managerial skills to enhance.
When drawing up the curriculum, it is important to identify the interest of the employee. If this applies to work and within your budget, try to meet these needs; proactive learning is often the most effective form. Adult education is not like school, they need to see what it is for, to feel that education is necessary and consistent with the goal.
Step 4. Create a joint plan
After collecting the information, sit down with the employee and prepare a training plan together. Do this regularly, at least once a year, or perhaps more often. Plan the skills you want to focus on in the coming year.
Listen to the opinion of the employee. Of course, your business has its own needs, but if an employee resists learning a new skill, it is unlikely that his training will be effective. Make a compromise and try to find a match between your needs and those of your staff.
When you decide, decide how to master the necessary skills. Which section 2 option is right for you? Based on the budget, training style and preferences of employees. Each has its own method - one common feature is to divide students into three groups:
- Visual learners respond better to images, videos, charts. To remember, they need to see an object.
- Auditory learners learn by ear. Thus, a lecture or similar format is more suitable for them.
- Kinesthetic learners learn in practice. They want to do something, and it is thanks to experience, not theory, that they learn better.
This is just a brief opinion, there are many other models. The main thing to remember is that everyone learns in different ways. Once you know which method is best suited, organize everyone’s training on this basis.
5. Rate the big picture
When developing a training plan and updating it annually, keep in mind that this is not so much about acquiring skills, but about the whole person’s career.
When studying, people reveal their capabilities and this must be taken into account. In addition to the urgent needs of the business and the individual, take the time to plan. What are the long-term career goals of an employee? How can you help to achieve them?
In some cases, your employee’s career will exceed your company’s capabilities. You will teach people who will leave. It can be difficult, but inevitable. If a person has decided, he will leave anyway - or will remain and will be unhappy. It is better to have a loyal, motivated employee for several years than to be uninterested for decades.
Like an old joke:
The CFO asks: “What if we invest in the development of people and they leave?”
The general director replies: “What if we don’t invest, but will they remain?”
In this lesson, you learned how to create an employee training plan. You saw the advantages of training, its various options, learned about orientation training and drawing up individual study plans.
This lesson is part of larger series on HR for small businesses. Stay with us in the next part of the series, where we will discuss employee interactions, employment programs for small businesses, and more.
Before you leave, one more tip: small enterprises can sometimes receive government assistance or tax benefits for training. Explore the possibilities in your area - this can significantly reduce its cost!