A Manager’s Checklist for Creating a Good Training Plan for 2020

Posted by Guthrie-Jensen Consultants

Just how crucial is it to give your employees an enriching learning experience in your company? Quite high, apparently: seven out of ten people say that employee training and development opportunities influence their decision to stay with their current job. As a manager, it’s not enough to lead your team to success—you should also be shaping each of your team member’s professional career.

We’ve talked about how to come up with an effective training plan in a previous post, stressing the need for this crucial step in your role as a team leader. Seeing as work management trends come and go, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and focus on a checklist that’ll make sure that your training plan will help your team achieve your goals.

First of all, what makes a “bad” training plan?

The first step to creating something awesome is recognizing what not to do. Let’s go over the basics to see what you should be avoiding, or what current mistakes you could be committing that’s preventing your training plan from becoming effective.

  • Unclear goals or direction – Does your training program focus on the topic at hand, or does it keep bouncing from one idea to another? Your employees will immediately lose interest in a program that has no definite goals for them to accomplish.
  • Duplicated/copied training curriculums – All companies are unique and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work with training plans. It is always tempting to just copy what other companies are doing without a thorough training needs analysis.
  • Topic is not of employee interest – Communication can solve a lot of blunders in the workspace. If you want to create a compelling training program, the best people to ask for opinions would be your trainees. Create a poll about topics that matter to them and build something around that.
  • Information overload – It’s a great feeling to be able to share what you know, but be careful of going overboard. Give your team a chance to absorb and apply learnings instead of only giving them the information you think they need.
  • Resistant to suggestions – Your first-ever training program won’t be free from mistakes, but that’s alright. Your employees will appreciate a collaborative effort by asking them for their thoughts and what could be improved next time.

Now that you’re familiar with the things that don’t work, it’s time to go over what you should be doing to make an effective training plan.

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How to Create an Effective Training Plan for Your Team

There are a lot of things to consider when making a training plan that’s truly tailored to your staff’s needs. Let’s break down the components that make up an engaging training session for your team members and explore how you can apply them the next time you brainstorm for a training program.

1. Are you training your employees in a topic that engages them?

Get to know what tickles the fancy of your employees. Give training opportunities that can inspire them to move up a rung on the corporate ladder or even experience what other departments are doing. Your training topics don’t only have to involve technical skills at work but soft skills as well that can better shape their lives professionally.

Ask the people in your organization for training topics that interest them. Try to get the ball rolling by putting up a poll with an option to add more suggestions so they can think of something else that you might have missed. These training sessions are for their benefit, so it’s no use if you’ll be forcing a skill on them that they aren’t interested in learning. The more options they can choose from, the better.

2. Do you encourage healthy competition through gamification?

Filipinos love friendly competitions to fire up their productivity. Use gamification as a way to inspire them to work harder on their training progress. For instance, you could have them race towards a goal, and the top three that achieves it will get a work incentive.

It can be healthy to pit your team members against each other, as long as things are measured through their professional efficiency. More than that, this encourages your team to learn from each other. Gamification also creates an opportunity for your team members to discuss strategies and share insights. After all, you’re all working together for common goals in your business.

3. Do you choose face-to-face training over digital classrooms and webinars?

Technology has made it possible for people to do virtually every task online: shopping, chatting, paying bills, and even learning. While the purpose of online workshops is helpful, there are still advantages to getting things done in-person. This includes training classes for your employees.

You can have the option to have your learning materials available online for them to review. Still, it’s better to give your program the time and venue that’s accessible to your employees so they can be more engaged with the discussion. This is helpful, especially if you choose a premier training provider like Guthrie-Jensen Consultants to help you come up with a personalized training plan.

In-person discussions are also more lively and adaptable. If your employee has a question, it can be addressed right away. For instance, if there’s a section in the program that needs more discussion, you can easily add up on the things to talk about.

4. Are you focusing on your employees’ individual training needs?

Mass training is somewhat the easy way out of training your employees—but that doesn’t mean you should do it. Investing in individual training is vital to get your employees engaged in these programs.

Moreover, this approach will prevent you from wasting time, money, and resources. You wouldn’t want to teach something that some employees of yours already know how to do. This type of program will also cause them to lose interest from the get-go.

Encourage them to sign up for more than one training if their schedule and willingness allow, or have them pick their top tracks and move them along quarterly for consistent learning opportunities.

5. Are you asking your teammates for continuous feedback?

Feedback is critical to any project, whether it’s from your boss, client, or subordinate. The same rings true for training programs. It’s rare for any manager to get their training platform perfect the first time around, so it’s necessary to expect for things you can improve on. The best people who can give you insights into these changes are the people you’re training.

Avoid going for a mass feedback style where you ask for their opinions in a group setting. This could influence groupthink or discourage other people from speaking up since a problem has already been tackled. What you’re going after in these feedback sessions is the volume of the type of suggestion you receive. For instance, if half of the respondents say that a particular section isn’t making sense or is taking too long, it would urge you to review and revisit that part of your training plan right away.

6. Are you taking into consideration how your employees learn?

There are plenty of ways to execute your training program that can reflect different learning styles. Some of your employees may feel that they digest information best when they are doing it hands-on, while others may be more comfortable with the traditional memorization techniques.

Try to match the right core skill to each type of learning style so you can better aid your employees’ decisions in choosing which training track could be right for them. This will help manage both you and your team members’ expectations.

Plan First, Train Later

If you want your training plan to have great value in the long-term, then it’s worth taking the time and effort to lay the groundwork first. Strategy and planning are the backbones of any well-rounded project, whether you’re targeting company-wide goals or employee-related ones.

By focusing on core principles and skills that you want to train your employees with, asking them continuously for feedback, and striving to make dynamic programs, your team members are more likely to apply the skills they learned in the workplace. That said, growing your employees means growing your business.

It’s time to get your training plan in order!
Our Customized In-House Training seminar will help you come up with tailored training programs for your team. Remember: Happy employees make a productive company.
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