Guest Post – Importance of Training Track
College graduation seasons brings to mind many images—the throwing of caps, beaming smiles from proud family members—and the stampede of recruiters to college campuses. Companies the world over are struggling to find qualified, talented applicants for jobs and, as a result, recruitment can start to look more like a college football draft with recruiters trying to provide more perks than the next company.
In this highly competitive hiring environment, a quality training program can be the make or break item for candidates, particularly Millennials. According to a survey by Adecco, 68% of recent graduates listed growth and development opportunities as one of their top professional priorities. . Additionally, only 12% of current employees are likely to leave a company that offers training, as opposed to 41% of those at companies without a training program.
When you consider the average cost of recruiting an employee comes in at around $8,000, and the potential revenue impact of losing 29% more staff, investing in the development if your employees can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Defining a Training Program
When you learned to read, do you begin by reading chapter books? Most likely not. Just as we learned to read by first mastering the alphabet, the majority of professional skills must be built up over time. An annual training course focused on compliance, or a single 60-minute course covering leadership will not develop your employees over time. To encourage long-term change, it is important to have a series of courses that build an employee’s competency as they work their way through the series. This approach to training is called a “track.”
Unlike a “one size fits all approach”, a training track addresses the spectrum of skill levels possessed by your employees and allows them to begin training at their current level of expertise. This approach to training reduces anxiety for those needing more basic information or a refresher, while avoiding frustration in employees desiring more advanced instruction. The courses in the track are spaced over a time, such as a week or month, increasing the likelihood the employee will retain the information. The spaced technique as gives the employee time to apply the knowledge in the workplace.
In addition to sustained employee development, training tracks can help with employee retention. Unlike sporadic trainings or development offered only as part of an annual review, a training track provides employees will a clear, visible path for development. Employees understand what is expected of them throughout the training and the ultimate goal that will be achieved upon completion of the training. As mentioned previously, employees are less likely to leave a company offering training, particularly when they are in the middle of an outlined plan.
How to Develop Your Training Track
As with any program development, there is a planning component to building a training track. First, you need to imagine the perfect employee. What skills does she possess? How does she communicate? What rules or policies does she understand?
Envisioning your perfect employee will help you determine what skills are necessary to reach that point. Then you can work backwards to fill in the gaps—how can an employee from any level of experience achieve this vision? This process, known as Backwards Planning, is most commonly seen in education, but is works just as effectively for professional skills. This exercise will help you identify your learning goals, which then informs your learning activities and instruction.
Ready to get started? Check out the free ebook “On the Right Track: Designing Training Programs That Last.” This resource not only walks you through Backwards Planning, but also has a sample track and worksheet to assist in your own planning.
Providing training to your employees is a fantastic asset to your company when it comes to the recruitment and retention race. Approaching your elearning program as an investment in your employees, as well as a journey they will take throughout their employment, ensures learning will not only be retained and applied, but will increase employee loyalty.
Katie Hurst is the Marketing Manager for OpenSesame, the world’s largest source of elearning courses for employee training and development. With more than 20,000 courses, OpenSesame provides a one-stop shop for your talent development needs.