Maximizing Long-Term Employee Productivity With Internal Training

June 19, 2015

It’s common knowledge that employees are a company’s most valuable asset, which is why metrics related to employee satisfaction and turnover are some of the most important performance indicators in the business world. But effective management isn’t just about keeping employees engaged and, well, employed. It’s about helping them reach their full potential.

C-level executives recognize the need to make the most of the financial and technological resources available to them. What about human resources, though? How well are management teams optimizing employees’ capability to help the business succeed?

Traditional approaches to training deliver much knowledge up front, but fail to support employees with education as they move forward. The following three strategies can help your business boost productivity with minimal added expense or effort.

Extend Onboarding

HR departments often pride themselves on providing “comprehensive” training to incoming employees. But how comprehensive is it if staffers complete it just two or three months into their tenure? An up-front “knowledge dump” of instructor-led training is a well-meaning way to welcome folks to your team, but it can work against you: Without any on-the-job experience, newcomers may simply follow along without a nuanced understanding of what they’re actually learning.

Incoming employees will become the ‘boots on the ground’ you count on to meet monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. Outfitting them with the knowledge to do that should mean giving them monthly, quarterly, and annual learning opportunities as their roles expand in scope.

Extended training programs are proven to help staffers perform more effectively. Online learning options that enable employees to move forward with tiered training over time, at their own pace, can keep them engaged and motivated, as can offering optional internal certifications that help them stand out among their peers.

Don’t Forget the Middle

Many corporate training programs take a ‘barbell’ structure: lots of learning for incoming employees, extensive “executive training” for senior talent, and little (or no) education aimed at middle managers and supervisors.

The staffers in the middle of the org chart, however, are often the ones who need training the most. Why? Because they’re responsible for the performance of the employees they manage. Neglecting to give mid-level team members effective training can set lower-level employees up for failure due to ineffective management.

Middle managers understand the basics, so their training should help them become better leaders in your unique environment. Supplement advanced product training for supervisors and managers with one-to-one mentorship from senior-level staff, or incorporate leadership lessons from the executive team into your original training content.

Stay Smart, Thorough, and Useful

Old-school training materials such as brochures, workbooks, and handouts are a staple of corporate life, but they come with a huge drawback: they become dated fast, and revising them can become a burdensome, low-priority task for your marketing and HR departments.

Online training eliminates that problem, which can help you outfit your entire team with up-to-date, actionable training content throughout their tenure. As your product and service offerings change, you can easily modify and expand your training content through modern, cloud-based learning management and course building software.

Adding a new course or module is a smart way to deliver new knowledge. Then, monitoring completion rates and ‘grading’ employees through quick online quizzes is makes it easy to ensure they understand the material enough to use it productively and make a measurable impact on your goals.

 

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