Every company recognizes the need for a skilled workforce, but that doesn’t mean they always invest the necessary resources into building one. Beyond the initial training to prepare an employee for a position, many employers don’t offer training opportunities. In 1995, the average employee only received 11 hours of training per year as opposed to the average worker receiving 2.5 weeks of training in 1979. As of 2011, only 1 in 5 workers report receiving on the job training at all. Of this number, many aren’t receiving effective training.
Putting together an effective employee training program can be tricky. It’s more than just presenting the information to them – you need to be making sure that they retain it. A 2017 study found that 70% of employees forget the contents of a training within 24 hours of completing it. Creating effective employee trainings can seem monstrously difficult, but we’re here to tell you that it’s not. Let’s look at what you should be doing to create an effective employee training.
Choose Relevant Topics
There are plenty of topics for you to choose from when creating a training program. It’s up to you to figure out what topics would work best for your team. Don’t just pick a topic at random – think about what would suit your team the best. Think about each member’s skills and knowledge; can you find a topic that everyone on your team could benefit from learning more about? If so, then that’s probably the first place to start.
Alternatively, another good place to look is at any recent failures your team has seen. Consider if they stem from mistakes, a lack of effort, or a lack of knowledge. If it’s the last one, then that’s a great topic to choose for an upcoming training session. This opens up two great routes you can follow, either going back over the failure and seeing what could have been done differently or brainstorming new approaches that your team can attempt in the future.
Another great way to choose would be to ask your team what they would be interested in learning about. Most employees are aware of their skills and knowledge; they are most likely keeping tabs on topics they want to learn more about but don’t necessarily have time to investigate on their own schedule. By providing them that opportunity and avenue to learn, it is more likely that they will be engaged and retain the information.
Create Engagement Opportunities
Did you know that the simple act of note-taking can cause up to a 30% increase in learning? Simply put, the more engaged your employees are by a training, the more likely they are to retain the information. That’s why it’s important for you to create as many points for potential engagement in a training as possible. One of the best ways to do that is to make them as interactive as you can. Most industry professionals agree that interactive employee training can help increase information retention.
There are plenty of ways to sprinkle interactivity in your employee training. One of the easiest ways is to create small quizzes throughout the training session. This way, you’re able to have your team work with the information after it’s been presented, and you make sure that everyone is engaged and paying attention. Don’t make them extensive or serious, instead, use platforms like Kahoot to turn them into a game that gets people excited and pumped up.
This is especially easy if your company is training employees with an online training platform. Many learning management systems, much like the one offered by Dock 365, offer you the ability to “gamify” much of the learning experience. You're far more likely to keep your employees engaged if they're having fun. Make sure that you're balancing this properly though, you don't want employees to focus too much on the games and not enough on the information being presented.
Teaching is much like trying to sell someone something. The main difference is that instead of offering a good or service for money, you’re offering information in exchange for someone’s attention. A good rule of thumb for sales is to keep your pitch short. The longer you talk, the more time you give people to change their mind. When creating a training, try to make it as concise and effective as possible. Everything you say and every activity needs to be valuable to trainees.
The reason for this is that the average person's attention span is getting shorter by the year. With the advance of technology and the shift to digital, everything is getting faster. Don’t say in 30 words what you can say in 10. You employees aren’t going to want to sit through an hour-long training. Try to fit your trainings within 15-30-minute blocks to really maximize employee engagement and retention.
If you are working with a complex topic that might take more than that time, think about splitting it up. Simple messages are retained better than complex ones. Musicians don’t learn a new song all at once. They break them into bits and work on each part until they know them completely. If your training needs to be an hour long, consider breaking it into three 20-minute segments over the course of three days. It’s still the same training, just split into a way that maximizes retention.
Creating an effective employee training isn’t difficult, you just have to make sure you are creating one that matches the modern workforce. Make sure that you’re presenting relevant topics in a concise and engaging way. By doing this, you can make sure that your employees are able to retain as much of the information as possible.
We know that not all companies have the capacity to create in-person trainings. However, online training can help your employees stay up to date with their skills and knowledge just as effectively. Learn more about how Dock 365’s Learning Management System is a fantastic tool for companies looking for an easy way to create and store digital training. If you think this will be a good resource for your company, learn more on our product page and considering registering for a free demo today.
Written by Linu Mohan
Linu Mohan is a passionate Content Developer who loves to create content with colors. She provides businesses with solid web content and thereby helps to maintain a cohesive brand voice.