Why Your Employee Training Program Isn’t Working (And How to Make It Better)

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(Newswire.net — February 20, 2020) — For a busy enterprise,there’s no alternative to an employee training program. Your new hires need an employee onboarding process that introduces them to your tech stack, your corporate culture, and your expectations for their position quickly and efficiently, while your existing employees need regular ongoing professional development, refreshers on tech tools that they don’t use frequently, and the opportunity to extend their skillset so they can climb the corporate ladder. 

But if you’re like many enterprises, your employee training program isn’t quite succeeding in meeting all these goals. Perhaps you’ve noticed employees getting frustrated with your business apps and tools, productivity dropping, or newly-hired talent struggling to cope with your enterprise system. 

If so, don’t panic. There are ways to fix these issues and transform your employee training program into a powerhouse of effective education. 

  1. Hand over control

Traditional employee training programs rely on frontal, classroom-style teaching where the instructor is in control. Today, it’s all about handing over control to your employees. 

New digital training tools permit each employee to set the pace at which they learn, slowing it down and repeating sections if they need more time to take in the new skills, and speeding things up if they’re ready to surge ahead. 

By setting up shortcuts to the relevant help sections, creating reminders, and embedding prompts, you can allow each employee to refresh their skills and ask for help privately whenever they need it. No one else will know, so they won’t carry on without feeling unsure about what they’re doing, just because they are scared of a mentor judging them for asking for help

  1. Mix it up

Today’s digital employee training programs mean that you don’t have to stick to the same tired old ways of transmitting information to your employees. Instead, you can offer the same material in a range of media, including video on demand, audio training, and written information. 

Bear in mind too that each person could prefer a different learning format at different times. Inviting your employees to choose their preferred learning style means that they’ll take in the information better and remember it for longer.  

  1. Encourage active learning

There are two main learning styles: active learning, and passive learning. Active learning, also called contextual learning, is when the student takes part in the learning process, carrying out real tasks and experimenting with the system while they learn. Passive learning is when someone tells the student how to do it, and then sends the student away expecting them to remember and apply everything they heard. 

Not surprisingly, active learning is a much more effective method, boosting retention rates and increasing the student’s confidence. When you use advanced digital tools, you can offer active training programs where your employees test out workflows and gain skills by using the same tools they’ll be working on every day. 

  1. Build in regular review

Here’s a depressing but true fact: students forget up to three-quarters of new material by the next day. It’s called the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve, and it was developed by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus when he studied how people learn and remember information. 

But here’s the good news: when you review material frequently, you can decrease the forgetting curve. To apply this to your employee training program, you’ll want to build in prompts in your business tools that remind your employees to look back at topics they learned recently, and keep on encouraging review for a longer period of time. It also helps to break up the material into bite-size amounts, so that your workers can learn it, review it, and come back to it again later. 

  1. Don’t forget the fun

No one deliberately sets out to create a boring employee training program, but all too often that’s what ends up happening. And then enterprises wonder why employees aren’t engaged with their training program. 

It’s much better to actively work to make your employee training fun and stimulating so that your workers enjoy learning new material and feel eager to move ahead. This include:

  • Building a leaderboard that encourages friendly competition; 
  • Gamifying the process by setting up educational challenges that feel like video game adventures; 
  • Setting up a reward system for employees to earn points as they learn; 
  • Illustrating your training with stunning visuals that brighten up the course;
  • Using problem-based learning to invite employees to complete challenges alone.

Your employee training program doesn’t have to be mediocre

There’s no reason why you should settle for a mediocre system for training new employees and offering continuing professional development to existing ones. When you offer active learning methods, gamify the process, build in frequent review, provide a range of different learning media, and give employees control over the speed at which they learn, you can create an employee training program that’s a powerhouse for producing engaged, motivated, and productive workers.