Training: 14 Ways to Develop Employees

Your Investment in People Development and Employee Retention

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,The right employee training, development, and education, at the right time, provides big payoffs for the employer in increased productivity, knowledge, loyalty, and contribution fromemployees. Learn the approaches that will guarantee that your training brings a return on your investment.

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) State of the Industry report says:

"Spending on learning programs continued to be a priority for organizations in 2015, according to the Association for Talent Development's 2016 State of the Industry report. For the fourth consecutive year, ATD's definitive annual review of learning investment found that employers, on average, spent more on direct learning expenditure per worker than in the previous year.
"Another bright piece of news for industry professionals: This increased investment was coupled with employees receiving more formal learning hours, according to data collected in an online survey of 310 organizations representing a diverse range of industries."

The ATD study also found that:

"On average, organizations spent $1,252 per employee in 2015 on direct learning expenditure, according to the 2016 report, which is sponsored by Bellevue University and the Training Associates. This figure captures the design, administration, and delivery costs associated with learning programs, including the salaries of talent development staff. The $23 increase from 2014's expenditure of $1,229 is the largest single-year growth since 2010, when many organizations were in the early stages of recovering from the Great Recession.

"Is this sizable investment being directed to the in-house design, delivery, and administration of learning programs or is it being funneled into supplier services? In 2015, for the average organization, 28 percent of direct learning expenditure went to outsourced or external activities (which include consulting services, external content development and licenses, and workshops and training programs delivered by external providers), similar to previous years. Another 11 percent went to tuition reimbursement. Slightly over 60 percent of spending was on internal expenditures and salaries."

Ensuring That the Use of Training Is Beneficial for Organizations

With this investment of hours and dollars in training, organizations need to make certain their investments in training are wise. Every employee in every organization has different needs for training. They each have different modes of training from which they can learn most successfully.

Important Aspects of Training

How training needs are determined, how training is viewed by employees, and how training is delivered become critically important issues. Training trends and methods for gaining knowledge, other than traditional classroom training, such as coaching and mentoring, take center stage.

New employee orientation, or new employee onboarding, is a significant factor in helping new employees hit the ground running.

Training that helps each employee grow their skills and knowledge to better perform their current job is appreciated as a benefit. Training also increases employee loyalty, and thus retention, and helps you attract the best possible employees.

Transfer of training from the training provider, whether online or in a classroom, to the job, is also increasingly reviewed as you invest more resources in training.

Learn the approaches that will guarantee a return on your investment and ensure employee loyalty. Organizations are increasingly asking for monetary justification that the training provided produces results - be prepared to demonstrate your results.

Options for Training and Education for Employees

Options for employee training and development are magnifying due to these factors:

  • technological innovations,
  • employee retention strategies, and
  • the need for organizations to constantly develop their employees' ability to keep up with the pace of change.

So, sending an employee off for training at a one-day seminar or a week-long workshop is only one of many options that exist now.

The American Society for Training and Development has traditionally recommended a minimum of 40 hours of training a year for every employee. This is consistent with the emphasis employees place on the opportunity to grow and develop both their skills and career while in your employ.

The chance for ongoing development, is one of the top five factors employees want to experience at work. In fact, the inability of an employee to see progress is an often cited reason for leaving an employer.

As a retention strategy for your preferred employees, training and development rates highly.

Only their perception of their salary and benefits as competitive, and reporting to a manager they like, rate higher.

14 Options for Employee Training and Development

When you think about education, training, and development, options exist externally, internally, and online. Choices range from seminars to book clubs to mentoring programs.

Here are the existing alternatives to help your employees continue to grow. For recruiting, retention, and managing change and continuous improvement, adopt all of these practices within your organization.

External Education, Training, and Development

  • Seminars, workshops, and classes come in every variety imaginable, both in-person and online.
  • Take field trips to other companies and organizations.
  • Colleges and universities, and occasionally, local adult education, community colleges or technical schools provide classes. Universities are reaching out to adult learners with evening and weekend MBA and business programs.
  • Professional association seminars, meetings, and conferences offer training opportunities.

Internal Education, Training, and Development

What Your Organization Can Do to Facilitate Continuous Learning and Regular Training

  • Create a learning environment. Communicate the expectation for learning.
  • Offer work time support for learning. Make online learning and reading part of every employee's day.
  • Provide a professional library.
  • Offer college tuition reimbursement.
  • Enable flexible schedules so employees can attend classes.
  • Pay for professional association memberships and conference attendance annually for employees.

Training is crucial to the ongoing development of the people you employ and their retention and success. Be creative to provide diverse opportunities for training. The opportunities you have to train and develop your employees are expanding every year.

Why not take advantage of them when development is one of your employees' most significant expectations from an employer.