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Employee Training and Development – The Ultimate Guide (2021)


There is a reason why employees are called a company’s greatest asset—their passion could transform the company’s future, and their potential will give higher returns than any other resource. Employee Training and Development help employees maximize their potential. Through them, companies aim to boost the performance of their employees and train and develop employees using an array of educational methods.

During the pandemic, many companies across industries realized the need to fundamentally redefine their cultures and provide their teams with the opportunities to grow, develop connections, and find meaning and purpose. As the focus shifted to employees being an essential and central part of a company’s strategy, there was a huge rise in companies adopting Employee Training and Development programs.

Today’s employees are looking for jobs that give them meaning and help them grow. No wonder this function has now become unavoidable for people in the management. 

So, here’s everything and more you need to know about employee training and development:

What is Employee Training and Development?

Employee training and development refers to a continuous program run by a company to boost the performance of its employees. In the past few years, training and development have emerged as a crucial element of business. More companies have realized that investing in employee training and development serves as motivation and enables the organization to create a highly-skilled workforce.

“If you want something to happen, you have to make people able, and you have to make them want to.”

– Dr. Steve Kerr (Former Chief Learning Officer of General Electric and Goldman Sachs)

Training and Development are two different sets of functions:

Training employees is about teaching them how to perform a specific task or procedure. It’s usually focused on short-term gains—enabling employees to become better at their current job. For example, training employees on new software or a new concept.

On the other hand, development is about growth and acquiring skills that will be beneficial in the long term—for example, developing their communication skills, leadership skills, establishing a culture of knowledge sharing, etc.

Some examples of companies that are deeply invested in their employees’ development are:

1. First up is Google, which dominates almost every sector it operates in. The basis of training and development at Google focuses on employee-to-employee interaction. Up to 80% of all learning activity is delivered this way.

2. Pixar leads the filmmaking industry as they care and nurture their employees through their training and development programs. Pixar University, a unique way of training employees, offers classes for various disciplines. It helps reinforce the mindset that any professional growth comes with learning while encouraging employees to develop relevant skills.

3. Etsy offers many training and development opportunities. Organizational psychology, adult learning theory, and sociology are among the scientific methodologies used in their services. As a result, a customized learning program is created.

4. Amazon’s onboarding process is a well-thought-out training and development program. New employees go through a training program that prepares them for the obstacles they will face in the fast-paced corporate world. This also allows new employees to adjust to their new work environment and develop their skills. Amazon announced in 2019 that it would invest more than $700 million in retaining its employees. The goal was to upskill their personnel and provide technical training to non-technical people. As a result, the Amazon Technical Academy was created, allowing staff to develop their skills further.

5. At AT&T, employees can access the training and development programs in two ways. First, through the tuition assistance program that makes college affordable for its workforce. Second, there are internal employee training and development programs that give them a chance to upskill significantly. AT&T University offers executive-led training programs that focus on subjects such as management and leadership and offers other learning opportunities. AT&T has also partnered with Georgia Tech and Udacity and has assisted in creating the Master of Science in Computer Science program—the first of its kind.

Why is Training and Development Important?

According to LinkedIn Learning, 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development, and 74% of workers are willing to learn new skills or re-train to remain employable.

Deloitte predicts that 54% of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling in just three years. According to SHRM, HR professionals are already facing difficulties recruiting due to skills shortages.

A personalized training program has become an integral need of a company’s plan.

The Benefits of Employee Training and Development are:

  • Improves performance
  • Addresses weaknesses 
  • Boosts company profile and reputation
  • Encourages innovation
  • Improves engagement
  • Reduces skills gap
  • Creates a competitive edge

This saves companies money in the long run because happy and fulfilled workers are better employees who are less likely to leave and more likely to attract similarly motivated potential coworkers.

Another advantage of giving importance to employee training and development programs is that it improve business culture. Training and development opportunities are aligned with the following characteristics that form the foundation of great company culture:

  • Transparency — Sharing information about the organization, such as employee input and financial status
  • Positivity — Accepting obstacles while capitalizing on an organization’s assets
  • Measurement — It entails gathering, measuring, and analyzing data
  • Appreciation — Praising and recognizing excellent work
  • Uniqueness — Advancing a company’s unique qualities
  • Mistakes — Fostering an environment where people learn from their mistakes by encouraging active listening that leads to action

As part of a strong culture, company leaders should be open about the importance of training and development for the organization and its employees. Training and development programs can assist in improving the corporate culture in a variety of ways.

Skills you can offer in training programs:

  • Communication
  • Computer skills
  • Customer service
  • Diversity & Ethics
  • Human relations/Emotional Intelligence
  • Quality initiatives such as Total Quality Management, benchmarking, etc.
  • Safety training 
  • Sexual harassment training 
  • Technology-related training such as AI, Big Data, Analytics, etc.
  • Business Strategy and Leadership Training: Employees can be prepared and mentored for succession planning.

How to Provide Training and Development?

There are many ways to provide training to the employees and invest in their development.

Types of programs:

The most prevalent way is e-learning through online interactive software assistance. Gamification has revolutionized this form of learning. Gamification in corporate training implies the introduction of games into corporate training. A well-known benefit of gamified corporate training is that it makes training sessions interesting and fun for the participants. Gamification also offers several other benefits such as better learning, increased employee motivation due to the fun element in training, rewards and recognition, improved teamwork and collaboration, higher chances of long-term retention, and the ability to measure learners’ progress through defined learning objectives.

  • Feedback: oriented training loop and one-on-one training.
  • Group activities: Workshops, boot camps, and discussion groups can stimulate learning and teambuilding. They allow one-to-many and many-to-many training, often in an informal environment. This employee training method is most suitable for teams that want to exchange knowledge and solve problems collaboratively. Also, role-playing is very similar to group activities, but instead of a free-form discussion, it focuses on following a controlled scenario. This method is suitable for teams that need to develop empathy and consider various points of view. Moreover, case studies enable employees to examine and learn from real-world situations. Employees can either read on their own time or discuss case studies during group training.
  • Some other basic training and development initiatives that can be organized are orientation, onboarding, product training, service training, sales training, etc.

Characteristics of an Effective Training Program

  • Secure executive and management support as well as employee buy-in:

No learning program will be successful without support from the business leaders. Besides, managers, supervisors, and team leaders must have insight into the skills and knowledge employees will learn because they are the ones measuring the impact of the training. Additionally, it’s equally important for employees to understand what they will walk away with. Many employees are keen on developing their personal and professional skills, but it’s always a good idea to boost their motivation.

  • Identify the business impact and analyze the skill gap

Once you gather all the people involved, it’s time to start designing your training and development program. The starting point should be defining what “success” means to your company. This gives you the opportunity to measure the results of your training or employee development program. The next step is to understand the gaps between each employee’s current skills and ideal skills. Find out what your employees need to know in order to fulfill the business goals you have set in the previous step. One way to easily map skill gaps in the competency framework.

  • Layer training methods and learning sources

Different people remember in many different ways. So there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to learning development. That’s why one of the best practices in training and development is layered learning. The premise is simple—enable employees to learn however they like and wherever they want.

  • Evaluating effectiveness

If you set goals at the beginning of your training development, you will be able to track employee training progress and measure the impact in the end.

  •  Cloud-based Training Solutions and LMS

The shift to hybrid work entails an increasing reliance on e-learning for many businesses. When you have staff working in different locations and time zones, asynchronous (or self-paced) training is a great option. It allows people to train at their own pace, whenever and wherever it is convenient to them. While this may appear to be convenient for employees, it poses administrative issues. When you have to roll out different training courses on a regular basis, personalized for different groups, and track their success, “difficulties” take on a whole new meaning. This is where a decent Learning Management System (LMS) comes into play. To put it another way, a platform capable of hosting dynamic, interesting content. Individual learning can also be automated and managed. Your organization may generate deep trust with your staff by creating intelligent training and development programs, resulting in a synergic relationship that will last longer and be mutually beneficial.

What’s an LMS?

LMS, a learning management system, is a digital learning environment that manages all aspects of a company’s various training efforts. It also manages user information for a personalized delivery, including user profiles, job functions, and preferences. An LMS is a specialized content management system that allows you to store and track various types of learning materials, such as employee training videos, text, and documents. Since they’re designed for online learning, LMS software usually comes with specialized tools such as quizzes, badges, and leaderboards.

42% of businesses are looking to update their learning management system.

40% of Fortune 500 companies use LMS extensively to remain competitive.

HR teams and training and development specialists use LMS environments to maintain all types of e-learning courses and track completion and results. They can also track learners’ progress. LMS activities can be instructor-led or e-learning courseware. Individual learners can track their skills and competencies and improve upon or add to their skillsets.

Every LMS platform comes with its own set of specific features. Some of the most prevalent and important LMS characteristics are as follows:

  • Analytics/Reporting: Analyzing course results in terms of engagement and completion can help you fine-tune your tactics in the future to produce more effective courses. Using analytics to develop better reports can help you justify your continuous use of the LMS. Training ROI can also be reported through third-party integrations. You could, for example, link your CRM to your LMS to examine how training affects sales figures.
  • Mobile Capabilities: Employees are increasingly accessing online courses via their mobile devices. It’s simpler, more convenient, and allows employees to learn from any location. It will be easier to use an LMS with a responsive mobile design (or a dedicated mobile app).
  • Gamification: Different LMSs use different methods for gamification, such as inter-learner rivalry, simulations, a point system, and puzzle-solving.
  • Customer Support: No matter how easy an LMS is to use, you will likely need help at some point. Choose an LMS that offers support via multiple channels and during convenient hours.
  • Integration with Third-party Services: Some Learning Management Systems (LMSs) link with other technologies to help you connect your workflows. For example, video and animation software to make classes more engaging or a talent management program to make onboarding easier. Video, PowerPoint, webinars, audio files, downloadable documents, and VR/AR capability are among the content forms supported by most LMSs.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Personalization: Some LMSs employ AI to create courses based on documents or other data, as well as tailor course recommendations and learning paths.

Now that you are all caught up with employee training and development intricacies, your next step would be to find a platform that will empower your workforce in their learning journey while allowing it to be a cakewalk for you.

So, where to start?

Perhaps the most common trend is an increased focus on the personal touch that companies can lend to corporate training programs. Not only are companies offering training that hold value with respect to specific business interests, but they also develop new programs that focus on skills transferable across multiple sectors. This makes employees more valuable throughout their careers and augments their ability to move or change jobs and companies.

You will need a platform with an admin side, which is highly intuitive, very user-friendly, and exceptionally fast. To deliver effective training in a hybrid workplace, you need to adjust both content and delivery methods. To address all the new challenges, you will need an agile L&D program—one that takes into account employees’ current needs and provides them with useful skills and knowledge.

Auzmor is a great tool that has simplified employee training experience. The LMS of Auzmor gives:

  • Instant Insights: Get a holistic view of employee training engagement so that your team can identify areas of growth and opportunity.
  • Real-time Results: See completion progress and assessment performance across specific courses, lessons, or groups, all at a centralized location.
  • Data-based Insights: Delve into data about specific lessons, learners, or groups to identify knowledge gaps and opportunities for growth. It allows you to create courses quickly or use their extensive library of partner-created content.
  • Invite Team Members: Upskill your team’s knowledge, and set them up for long-term success with Auzmor’s customized course builder. With customized analytics, track the learning progress of your entire team.
  • Mobile Learning: The software works on screens of all sizes, so your employees can still complete assigned training while they’re on the go. They can browse, select, and take courses on any device at any time.

Click here to take the next step right away: Auzmor Learn

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