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Maximizing the value of your training

Actively involving senior leadership is one way to boost the efficacy of your training programs.

Companies spend $100 billion a year to train their employees, according to Bersin & Associates. Given the amount that businesses spend, it is essential that they optimize their training. As Aaron DeSmet, Monica McGurk, and Elizabeth Schwartz of McKinsey & Company explain in their article, ensuring that your workforce has the right mindset to learn and derive the most benefit from training is an essential step. It is also important that senior leadership is closely involved. Finally, you need to make sure staff is retaining these skills. 

"The most significant improvements lie in rethinking the mindsets that employees and their leaders bring to training, as well as the environment they come back to afterward. These are tasks only senior leaders can take on," the authors note.

Accordingly, the authors place attention on the stage before training. They make the following suggestions:

1.) Help people want to work.

While it's easy to assume that employees understand the value of training, it is incumbent to explain how training helps the organization overall. There are three steps that must be followed before adults can learn a new skill, according to Malcolm Knowles, Elwood Holton III, and Richard Swanson, authors of the book, The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development:

  1. Recognize that it will help improve their organization's performance.
  2. Admit that their own performance is weak in that area.
  3. Choose to learn.

Toward this end, organizations need to involve employees. As the McKinsey authors explain:

"Companies must help employees to internalize the need for change and to develop the desire to gain the skills that will bring progress. The best method is to include trainees or their peers in determining what changes need to be made and why, thereby creating credible ambassadors for the effort."

2.) Get the leaders on board.

Just as it's critical to involve employees, leadership also needs to take an active role in the process. Often, programs fail not because there isn't the right mindset among employees, but because organizations don't take the step of getting their leaders trained in these same skills. 

By and large, training outcomes are better when business leaders "participate in the design and delivery of training programs and connect them to the new ways of working," the authors assert.

3.) Reinforce the new skills.

It's one thing to learn a new skill, and it is another to retain that skill. Continual practice is essential to this endeavor. Reinforcing and supporting new training skills is something companies must focus on. Having supervisors actively involved in training and ensuring that employees grasp the new skills are steps organizations can take. As the McKinsey authors state, this active involvement can result in increased productivity, and also improve safety.

Many steps lead to an effective training program. A learning management system can help companies improve their training, safety and compliance. These systems centralize your training information and can be continuously updated to reflect new SOPs.

To learn more about SyberWorks services or to schedule a product demonstration, please call us at 888-642-7078, email us at info@syberworks.com or register on our site.

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