The recent report on workplace learning and development trends by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) highlights the increasing skill gap. In addition, self-employment has led to over 11 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. As a result, workforce development has been a critical area of focus for companies in the last few years to close skill gaps. Let’s delve deeper into the subject and look at the different types of employee training initiatives companies can implement.
Types of Employee Training for Today’s Workforce
A company’s growth is based on its overall functioning and the development of all departments. Hence, it is essential to implement the following different types of employee training programs at organizations.
1. New Employee Orientation
It refers to employees’ initial training within the first days or weeks of their joining. The HR team usually conducts it to familiarize employees with the company’s culture and values. Moreover, it helps employees understand the mission, vision, values, policies, reporting structures, benefit plans, and more.
It also involves onboarding training given by functional heads of departments to train the employees on how to follow various processes and use tools.
2. Team Training
Employee collaboration within a single team and cross-functional teams is essential for the smooth functioning of a company. Therefore, companies also train employees to coordinate and collaborate with different team members. It promotes team engagement and productivity.
Team training programs primarily focus on interpersonal communication, process improvement and management, and goal setting. It is especially essential before and after significant organizational changes such as mergers or reorganizations.
3. Leadership Training
Leadership and management training will be the top priority for HR departments in 2023. It focuses on helping professionals acquire critical managerial skills such as employee development, delegation, and providing feedback. It also helps smooth the transition from an individual to a leadership role.
4. Senior Executive Training
Companies in the U.S. have increased their executive training and development by 16% in 2023. These types of employee training programs focus on strategy, innovation, and culture development for C-suite roles. Also check out Emeritus’ online senior executive programs to move up the corporate ladder and learn relevant skills and trends.
5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Training
Diversity plays a huge role in a company’s success. For example, companies with diverse sales teams have demonstrated better performance and have 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee. DIE training teaches awareness about different cultures, races, and sexuality to promote equity. Moreover, it also includes unconscious bias training to eliminate social conditioning and stereotyping.
6. Technical Skills Training
IT and technical training is one of the essential types of employee training, which involves teaching technical skills to develop, maintain, and support an application or product. However, technical training is not only concerned with technology. It also includes the necessary skills required to perform any job efficiently.
7. Customer Service Training
Customer satisfaction is a critical factor in a company’s growth. It is only possible with an excellent customer service team. Hence, all organizations focus on customer service training irrespective of their industry. It helps employees learn about customer behavior and market trends to provide better customer service.
8. Soft Skills Development
Soft skills are often underrated when it comes to career growth. However, in terms of employment, they are given equal or even more weightage than hard skills. Companies also invest significant resources to provide soft skill training to employees. These include communication, time management, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, etc.
9. Product Training
Companies can effectively sell their products if their employees understand and endorse them. Thus, product training programs are designed to teach employees detailed features of a company’s products and services. It helps employees feel valued and enables them to participate in decision-making. Moreover, employees can also utilize product training to find areas for growth and design new strategies.
10. Sales Training
Every business requires a skilled sales department to generate leads and acquire customers. Hence, regular sales training becomes crucial for companies. It involves identifying the best prospects and adding them to the list of loyal customers. This training type is critical in business-to-business (B2B) and B2C businesses. It involves teaching storytelling, business acumen, active listening, and communication skills.
11. Quality Assurance Training
This training is a must to deliver quality products or services to customers. Therefore, it is more relevant for Business-to-Customer (B2C) businesses that provide products or services to customers. Quality assurance training provides skills to enhance and maintain product quality, improve production processes and systems, and assess products for defects or other concerns.
12. Compliance Training
Most industries, whether financial, manufacturing, or construction, face some kind of regulatory burden. Compliance or mandatory training is provided as a part of the employee onboarding process. It helps employees learn the regulatory and legal obligations that apply to the company. However, compliance training should also be done regularly to ensure that employees know all relevant legal and regulatory amendments.
13. Data Privacy Training
Data privacy is one of the biggest concerns for companies today. They must be extremely cautious while handling their employees’ and customers’ confidential personal data. This is also because of stringent data protection regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union. Hence, data privacy training is one of the most essential types of employee training. It involves teaching employees how to handle and store data and what actions to take in case of data threats or violations.
14. Online Training
E-training training includes all types of employee training online. These programs are collaborative and experiential and ensure better employee engagement. However, companies choose blended training models and virtual classrooms. For example, 91% of organizations use online methods for compliance training, whereas 76% use online training for IT training.
What are the Benefits of Different Types of Employee Training?
The following are the key benefits of different types of employee training programs:
- Improved technical performance and efficiency of employees in their domain
- Increase in employee engagement and productivity
- Enhanced job satisfaction, which helps in increasing employee retention rate
- Lastly, greater self-initiative and growth among employees
How Do You Determine the Best Types of Employee Training for Your Workforce?
Determining the best types of employee training for the workforce largely depends on two factors. First, it has to be aligned with organizational goals. For example, if a company has to sell its product, the employees will have product, sales, and quality assurance training. It also depends on the organization’s structure. For example, if a company does not have an in-house legal team, it would need to focus more on compliance training for its employees. The second factor is employees’ goals. To motivate employees and retain talent, companies have to offer them technical and interpersonal skills training for their career growth. Irrespective of these factors, onboarding and soft skills training are required for all employees.
What are Some Examples of Effective Employee Training Programs?
Here are a few examples of companies to help demonstrate how effective training programs can be implemented.
Amazon provides multiple training programs to its employees in various domains. For example, the Surge2IT program is for entry-level IT employees, and UX Research and Design Apprenticeship is an upskilling program for employees who want to learn Use Experience (UX) research. In addition, the AWS Grow Our Own Talent program allows employees to gain on-the-job tech training.
The company has a STEM training program which comprises a talent development program, a RevUp internship program, and a Veteran Center of Excellence. These programs train employees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
How to Measure the Success of Different Types of Employee Training?
Employee training and development is often subjective as it depends on organizational goals. There is no defined process to measure the effectiveness of employee training. However, a few key metrics can help assess employee training performance.
Post Training Assessment
After the training, the best way to measure the result of employee training is to do a post-training assessment. Circulating a quick questionnaire related to the topics taught during training is the fastest way to assess performance. For better evaluation, organizations also conduct practical or case-study-based assessments to measure the application of skills. Practical evaluation is best for technical and compliance training, whereas a questionnaire can benefit soft skills training.
Supervisor Report and Feedback
Another way to assess employee training is to ask the training coach or supervisor to prepare a detailed report on the performance of each employee during the training period. This is most helpful for team training and leadership training.
Achievement of Performance KPIs
The best measure of employees’ learning is to pay attention to their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). However, this method only provides instant assessment of employee training. It may take up to three to four months, depending upon the time given to the employee to achieve their KPIs. This method works best for sales, quality assurance, and safety training.
What are the Costs Associated With Different Types of Employee Training?
According to the Training Magazine Report, the average training cost for U.S. companies was $1,071 per employee in 2021. The standard costs for all types of employee training include the following:
- Learning tools such as the Learning Management System (LMS), artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality tools
- Cost of outsourcing instructors
- Custom content development for learners
- Training assessment costs
Latest Trends in Employee Training
According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report, recent employee training trends are focused on upskilling employees to create maximum business impact. In addition, leaders promote different types of employee training to ensure they align with business strategy. However, several challenges, such as lack of employee engagement, budget constraints, ineffective training programs, and poor feedback systems, make employee training a hassle. Let’s look at the recent developments in employee training in detail.
Learning Programs are Aligned with Business Plans
Over 80% of organizations are keen on building a people-centric culture that views organizational success as people’s success. Hence, companies focus on building a favorable environment for employees that support their growth, from onboarding to exit.
Promoting Learning Culture Within Organizations
The three most important factors employees consider while taking a new job is challenging and impactful work, career growth opportunities within the organization, and opportunities to upskill themselves. Therefore, organizations promote a learning culture that ensures their career growth and skill-building to retain employees.
Increasing Employee Retention Rate
Despite many companies doing mass layoffs during and after the pandemic, many organizations are worried about employee retention. Thus, recent employee training trends aim to create career development tools and internal mobility options that empower employees. The purpose behind this is to build an engaged and resilient workforce.
In addition to these trends, the core areas for employee learning and development in 2023 are:
- Employee well-being
- Career development programs
- Hybrid or flexible work
- Leading through change
- Upskilling and reskilling
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Ultimately, training and upskilling have become non-negotiable for employees. Forward-thinking companies who want to build the skill gap, retain employees, and enable growth within the organization must understand the various types of employee training organizations should undertake. And to do that, effective leadership is critical to lead employee training to execute training programs. Emeritus’ online leadership courses help business leaders learn relevant leadership skills that contribute to career growth and ensure organizational success and thriving and talented employees.
By Sneha Chugh
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