If your employees don’t have the right skills, they can’t properly do their jobs. You’re aware there’s currently a skills gap, so you’re getting ready to implement a training program to address it.

This is a major undertaking, so you want to do it right. Here’s some advice to get you started.

Importance of Employee Training and Development

Your employees are your greatest asset, so you need to invest in them. Providing your team with opportunities to learn and grow their skills makes it clear you see them as part of your company’s long-term plan.

This also allows you to ensure all employees have the knowledge and skills needed to maximize productivity. Beyond that, making training and development a priority will boost retention levels, as people tend to stay put when they feel valued.

Assessing Employee Training Needs

For employee training to be effective, they must grow in the right direction. First, you’ll need to set organizational goals for the company and determine the skills and abilities needed to accomplish them.

Next, you’ll need to identify skills gaps. This can be accomplished in a variety of manners, including conducting skills assessments, paying close attention to their work, and simply asking employees what abilities would help them do their jobs better.

Creating a Comprehensive Employee Training Plan

After you’ve decided what type of training to provide employees with, you’ll need to devise a plan of action. This includes setting a training budget, method, and timeline.

For best results, talk with employees to find out about their learning styles. This will help you tailor training courses to ensure they’re most effective. Different people learn in different ways — i.e., visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic — so you might need to implement a variety of program types to give everyone an opportunity to succeed.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Employee Training

Training can be a major investment, so you need to be sure it’s useful. Setting SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound — goals for training — prior to beginning —  is the best way to gauge the effectiveness of the program.

For example, instead of setting a goal to simply increase productivity, you would set a goal to boost productivity by 10% by the end of the third quarter. This makes it easy to know whether the training program is working or needs to be adjusted.

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