Most organizations nowadays have some form of employee development and training. There are numerous obvious benefits to training, such as ensuring your employees have specific skills or understand basic workplace rules. But did you know that continuous training and developmental programs can reduce employee turnover and lead to increased job satisfaction and morale? Considering all the benefits, it makes you wonder why most organizations stop training after the initial orientation phase.
Learning the basic skills and workplace rules are important, of course. But it’s also important to continue to provide training and development opportunities for your employees even if they have been a part of your company for years.
Here are a few ideas on training topics and methods that you can implement for your employees.
1. Customer Service
Nearly everyone must work with clients/customers on a daily basis. A training class in customer service can help provide tips on dealing with difficult situations that may arise (ex. An upset customer calling you demanding a full refund and won’t take “no” for an answer.) This class can also help develop a sense of confidence in your employees. They will know how to respond in tense situations without breaking down or getting defensive and ruining their (and your company’s) reputation.
This topic can even tie in with customer service since communication skills are always important when dealing with customers/clients. Provide tips on how to properly write an email or how to answer and properly use the company phone. Some people may not feel comfortable speaking on the telephone. You can use this as an opportunity to help them by making practice calls within the company. Use scenarios that may arise with an actual client or customer and help them through it.
3. Technical Skills
Whether it’s learning how to use a new piece of equipment or how to manage a company’s social media presence, technical training can be one of the most valuable things you provide to your employees. Some employers may be hesitant to provide training on such skills. They fear it could encourage their employees to seek and obtain employment elsewhere making more money. But as Richard Branson says, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Sam Young with the Mike Cottrell College of Business defined ethics training in one of the best ways I could find, “Ethics trainings are essential to preserving a positive business culture and responsive to any ethical dilemmas that could arise. Communicating ethical business behavior and implementing that behavior into the workplace is an important business strategy that can only improve a business. By having these programs in place and updating them when necessary, companies will flourish and grow into a thriving and respected business for years to come.”
5. Industry Related Changes/Important Things to Know
If you work in an industry where change is a constant thing, training classes on any changes that may affect the way you do business is always important. For example, we work with insurance industry professionals, so any time a change takes place in the industry, it’s important that we educate ourselves on the change(s) so we can explain it to our clients and help keep them compliant.
Safety training in the workplace provides your employees with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their work in a way that is safe for them and their co-workers. This is a topic that is probably covered in the orientation process, but it never hurts to have a refresher course on it at least once a year.
7. Computer Based Learning
Computer based learning can be a certain software program for your employees with topics related to their jobs, or it can also be an online source (like Lynda.com) where an employee can go online and learn topics of their choice at their own pace from anywhere. Online learning modules usually have tests at the end and some may even offer accreditations and certificates.
8. Personal Development
Our COO/President at ILSA, Ted Taveras, would hold personal development classes for employees a few months out of the year. He would speak about his personal experiences and have participants listen to and watch motivational videos and speakers such as Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins. The classes always inspired employees and improved morale because it was more about motivating and giving employees the confidence and drive needed to improve themselves. Employees learned helpful tips on finances, healthy habits, and gained an overall sense of empowerment.
In conclusion, if you want to create highly skilled and motivated employees, provide opportunities for them to learn and grow through training and developmental programs. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!