Learning in the workplace
We have all heard the cliché that ‘the greatest asset a company has is its employees.’ If that’s the case, then there is a good argument to look after your employees by providing them with professional development opportunities. The ability to learn and grow not only benefits the individual, but it can also have a positive effect on staff morale, customer satisfaction and the professional standing of your business.
A formalised training and development programme is designed to assist employees to gain knowledge to do their job better by increasing skills, knowledge and expertise with the programme aligned to the business needs currently and in the future. It may include learning a new skill, increasing knowledge in an area of expertise or in some cases meeting regulatory or legal requirements.
So, what are the elements you should consider when developing a learning plan for your business, and for individuals?
· What is the intended purpose of the training? Be clear about the strategic purpose of the training and how the training will benefit not only the individual but your also your business
· What is the best way of delivering the training? There are many ways to deliver training and training doesn’t necessarily have to be delivered in a classroom situation. It may be the employee is responsible for their own learning through an extra mural programme, the training may be computer based or it may be knowledge gained through a family.
Think about the individual when you are developing their professional development programme and consider how they learn best and how you can tailor the training to accommodate the learning style.
· What outcomes am I looking for from the training? You need to determine the outcomes you are looking for, for example may you want a better customer service experience for your clients, or you may want to build a stronger team culture. Consider the outcomes and develop measures so you can assess the effectiveness of the training.
· Are there alternatives to ‘traditional’ training? It may be that mentoring with another manager will provide the professional development an employee needs so developing a structured mentoring programme may be a cost effective solution. You could also consider job rotation which creates a more flexible workforce capable of performing a variety of tasks, which not only benefits the employee but also benefits the business.
· What measure will you use to evaluate the training? There are a number of measures that can assist with the evaluation of training. These include customer satisfaction, productivity per transaction, reduction in error rates, fewer customer complaints, reduction in overtime and processing time averages reduced. It can be difficult to evaluate the non-tangibles such as work habits, attitudes, and behaviours; however, these can be measured thought staff surveys.
Business that offers learning opportunities to their employees are more likely to have a higher workplace morale and increased loyalty which translates into increased productivity and customer satisfaction. So, what professional development have you identified for you and your employees in 2022?
Article written by: Senga Allen, Managing Director.