Employee turnover can be problematic for any organization, large or small. When an employee decides to leave, there is much more involved than just the loss of a good, or even great, worker. The organization suffers from lower productivity caused by the void and higher operating costs incurred from finding and training a replacement. Worse, when one employee decides to go, others will sometimes follow, multiplying the problem.
One way to lower employee turnover and boost productivity is to implement training programs. Training programs provide a long list of benefits to both the organization and its employees. Employer-provided training has been shown to effectively:
- Increase overall employee skill levels
- Heighten employee engagement
- Speed career advancement
- Increase employee loyalty
Creating a Strategic Training Program
The key to ensuring that training serves the organization and the employee over both the long and short term is to take a strategic approach to its implementation. The actual training offered, of course, is going to vary from one organization to another, but there are common points that most organizations can use to help plan an effective strategy.
Set Clear Goals
The first, fundamental step to creating a good strategy is to have a clear goal in mind. What needs to be done will always depend on what you want the outcome to be. Each training path within your organization should have clearly defined goals, and every session should have clear learning objectives.
Results Should Impact the Organization’s Operations
Your training plan should be designed to have a defined effect on the organization’s overall mission and operations. For example, by ensuring that all project managers receive standardized training, their processes and reporting become consistent across the board, from one department to another.
Decide How to Measure Results
It’s important to know how results will be measured to ensure that training is successful. Methods for measuring results could be anything from a short oral quiz at the end of training to detailed, on-the-job evaluations that show whether trainees are following proper procedures and processes.
Measurement of results not only allows the organization to determine if training has been successful, but makes it possible to see which training methods work as intended and which don’t.
Solicit End-User Feedback
An important part of any training program is asking the participants for feedback and evaluating the data. Understanding the end-users’ experience will give you insights into what works for them and what doesn’t. One employee having difficulty might indicate that they aren’t right for the training program. Multiple employees having difficulty would indicate that the problem lies within the training design or implementation.
Management and Senior Personnel Must Be Involved
Senior staff needs to be involved in and supportive of training initiatives. Employees need to know that seeking further training and advancement is something that their managers value. They also need to know that they will be supported during and after their training experience.
For example, if an employee takes a training course designed to make him more proficient with a piece of software that is heavily used within the company, and then his manager doesn’t assign him any tasks that require the use of that software, his training is not very useful. The result will be feelings of wasted time and lower job satisfaction.
Training Must Be Accessible
Above all, training — and its rewards — need to be accessible to your employees. This means not only having training available, but communicating it to your employees and making it easy for them to take advantage of what you’re offering. Something as simple as sharing the course in your employee newsletter or recognizing a promotion related to the training can inspire and motivate employees to engage.
Training Is a Cure for Turnover and More
Implementing new training programs might seem expensive, especially at first, but the returns your company will achieve with more skilled employees who stay longer will far outweigh the cost.
With relevant, efficient and strategic training programs in place, not only will you realize a lower employee turnover rate, you should see an increase in productivity, higher employee satisfaction, higher overall morale, and better efficiency throughout the company. Your organization becomes a place where people want to work, helping to retain existing employees as well as attract new ones.
At S3 Management group, training is a key component of our Tribal UI program. We offer hundreds of courses, including classes designed specifically for Tribal organizations, that you can share with your employees immediately. To learn more about this program, click here.