Do you include employee training and development in your benefits package? You should—research has revealed that workers consider such benefits when deciding whether to accept a new position or stay with their current employer. In fact, one study conducted by The Society for Human Resource Management discovered a direct correlation between employee turnover and development opportunities—or the lack thereof.
Unfortunately, not all employee-training investments represent time and money well spent. According to training experts, many companies make mistakes that severely reduce the benefit of their training programs. Consider the following missteps you should avoid when offering an employee training opportunity.
- Avoid large groups. It’s difficult to have a productive discussion with dozens of people in the room—particularly if you want all employees present to participate. When possible, limit training sessions to a dozen or fewer workers at a time and everyone will feel more comfortable chiming in.
- Avoid pointless games. Creative team-building activities may sound like a fun way to capture your employees’ interest and break the ice, but make sure they have a direct relation to the goal of the training. If they don’t, it will be harder to get all of your workers to participate.
- Avoid complicated training materials. While different workers will have different learning styles—such as visual, auditory and kinesthetic—keeping the material simple will enhance the experience of all. This is another area where multiple small training groups can be beneficial, allowing you to fine-tune your presentation based on the questions in each previous session.
- Avoid the lecture. Unless you want your employees to spend the session doodling in their notebook or checking Facebook on their cell phone, don’t hire trainers who rely on lectures. Instead, look for professionals who are adept at initiating and steering conversations without dominating discussions. The more he prompts your employees to participate, the more they will engage in the opportunity.
- Avoid irrelevant information. Training opportunities that are directly connected to your employees’ jobs and development goals are always better investments than those that focus on information or ideas that are not immediately applicable. The easiest way to determine the training your workers would most like to receive is to survey them on the topic.
- Avoid discomfort. Uncomfortable chairs, an air conditioner on the fritz, and too many noisy distractions will sap the attention of any employee. For best results, hold your employee training sessions in a comfortable, quiet room. If you must meet during normal lunch hours, make sure you provide refreshments as well.
Some studies have shown training programs can increase employee retention by as much as 70 percent. When you consider the expense that goes into finding, hiring and onboarding replacement workers, it’s easy to see that greater retention is better for your company’s bottom line. If you’d like further advice on implementing a program at your organization, consult your benefits advisor.