Developing an effective employee training program is vital for the short-term and long-term success of any organization. Our management team wants to share an article from a small business, Demand Media, that has a detailed plan for organizing your training program.
Developing an Effective Employee Training Program
by Matt McKay, Demand Media
Define Needs and Goals
Define the needs of your company by identifying weak areas where training would prove beneficial. Examples may include how to use machinery, office equipment or a process (hard skills), or time management, conflict resolution, harassment or company policies (soft skills).
Define short- and long-term goals of the company, and identify possible training to meet those goals. Examples may include increasing productivity, enhancing customer service or improving employee relations.
Develop individual training modules based on your defined needs and goals. Trainings may be purchased from training companies, or developed by a member of your staff educated in employee training.
Identifying Employees and Planning
Plan your training by identifying individuals or groups likely to benefit. Some training modules, such as those covering company policies and time management for instance, should be given to all employees. Skill-based training, such as how to use a piece of equipment or perform a specific job duty, may only benefit employees whose jobs are directly impacted by such knowledge.
Create a spreadsheet with each employee's name on the left column, and individual training modules across the top row. Use color-coded boxes next to the employee names under the training modules the employee is required to take. As the trainings take place, the trainer will place a date in the colored boxes indicating that the employee has fulfilled the training requirement. This sheet is called a training matrix and is a useful and necessary tool for tracking purposes.
Plan a regular training schedule that will satisfy training needs within a specified time-frame. Getting all current employees trained will take time, so plan your trainings during slow periods or after business-hours to avoid undue work disruptions. Business owners must recognize that training is an investment in the future of the business, so training costs and down time are to be expected.
Implement training modules in the order of importance. If customer service or time management are major issues, roll out those trainings first.
Use a professional trainer or experienced employee whenever possible. The trainer's interaction with the audience and presentation of the material is a major factor in training effectiveness.
Use multi-media tools. Professional training organizations use slide-shows, white boards and videos in addition to written material. Quizzes, Q&A sessions, games or role-playing are sometimes incorporated to keep participants involved.
Create an employee feedback form to rate the training and collect comments and opinions as to the training session's perceived effectiveness. The most effective training modules and programs are those improved or altered when needed, and participant feedback must be taken seriously to grow the program and gauge its impact.
Make training a part of every new employee's orientation going forward. You'll probably play a lot of catch-up with current employees, but new hires are prime candidates for training during their first days on the job.
Reference: McKay, Matt. Developing an Effective Employee Program. Retrieved from