- What is a Training Program?
- Why are Training Programs important for Employee Development and Organizations?
- What are the Different Kinds of Training Programs?
- Managing and Delivering Training Programs Efficiently
What is a training program?
A training program is a structured and systematic approach to developing employee skillsets related to their current role. A critical component in a company’s learning operations, employee training programs seek to improve learning and development goals as measured by the training department and the employee’s own goals.
What does a training program consist of? Courses and learning modules, most of which will be facilitated by instructors to the learners. These programs can be delivered by an internal L&D team or outsourced to an external training company. Typically, training programs will aim to provide employees with a baseline of required skills for their role, but they can also optimize their performance, productivity and job satisfaction.
Regardless of your role or industry, everyone will have experienced some kind of workplace training in their career. This training will often come in the form of a program, so let’s briefly outline what a training program is in a workplace context.
Programs may include:
- Online learning (also known as e-learning)
- Hands-on learning, such as workshops
- Face-to-face sessions (also known as instructor-led training or virtual instructor-led training)
- Shadowing or mentoring
- Reflection and self-assessment
Of course, there are many different types of training programs, and the program content and structure will vary depending on the organization and its needs.
Why are training programs important for Employee Development and Organizations?
At a fundamental level, training programs are required to ensure that employees are not only able to perform their roles but most importantly to develop their skill sets. The latter of which is what we’d like to emphasize more. Employee training and development programs provide more value if implemented with the employee’s needs in mind.
The Employee’s Hierarchy of Needs
In any intro psychology course, you’ve more than likely come across Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The simple pyramid states that for people to achieve total well-being psychologically, they would need to attain more basic and subsequent needs first. Every step up in the pyramid relies on the previous step before it. Security doesn’t come attained without food and water and so forth.
But let’s take the idea of achieving Maslow’s goal of self-actualization and reframe it to the role of the employee within an organization. In a simple twist, we’ve created the Employee’s Hierarchy of Needs.
At the center of any company is the employee. They’re the most basic function that gets the organization to get work done. The goal of any organization is to provide a quality service and product that their consumers need and love. In order to achieve that, they need employees that are not only capable of doing the job but are engaged in the work they do.
Employee Hierarchy of Needs Explained
- Employee’s Duty: can the employee do the basic duties of the job? Do they have the skillsets upon hiring to perform the functions of their role?
- Application: what is the function of their job? How much or how little do they contribute to the team and the whole company?
- Synchronization: how is the impact of the employee’s contribution to work being measured? Can the company rely on them to complete tasks they’re responsible for?
- Career Progression: is the employee making good traction in their role? Are they positive about their future with the company? Do they have opportunities within the company to make a new or larger impact?
- Fulfillment at Work or Career: the employee, as a result of continual training and their own efforts, has achieved limitless potential. They are trusted amongst their peers as a leader and expert. They have the ability to take on new opportunities and challenges both inside and outside the company.
Benefits of Employee Development Programs
Great employee training programs meet the needs of the organization because they meet all the needs of the employees. Training programs allow you to cultivate expertise and high-performing teams. Beyond this, a training program should communicate your company’s values and mission, and crucially, how each employee’s role contributes to achieving the company’s goals. When employees understand how their work is meaningful to the company’s success, they are more likely to be engaged in their role.
Additionally, when employees feel their progression is supported by an employer that is invested in their success, they will likely feel more valued. These factors combined will contribute to motivated teams, reduced employee churn and improved recruitment, as your organization clearly values employees’ development.
Training programs also provide an opportunity to foster the culture you want to see in your organization. For example, in creating a healthy work culture, you will want to ensure that employees are conscious of issues such as workspace bullying and harassment, and embed values such as inclusivity and sensitivity. Effective training also reduces the risk of running into legal issues, as you can ensure that employees are fully aware of their responsibilities and the importance of following your processes.
What are the Different Kinds of Training Programs?
When most people think of training, they tend to think about generic, box-ticking training, covering what to do, where to go, and so on. This leads to a negative perception of training, as employees don’t immediately see the purpose of the training or how it benefits them. Training programs are at their best when they provide targeted progress toward specific goals or outcomes that benefit the employee and the business. There are several types of training that can benefit employees in any organization.
Employee onboarding training, or new hire training, allows your new starters to hit the ground running and learn how your company works, and how they will work with their team or department. This process should familiarize employees with your company’s structure, processes, people, hierarchy and key stakeholders, without overwhelming them with new information. Additionally, this training will give employees their first impression of your company’s approach to training and development, so it’s important to highlight the support you will provide.
This could also take the form of pre-onboarding, which starts before the employee’s first day. For instance, you could give them early access to the company background, handbook or organizational chart, meaning they don’t need to spend valuable time in their first few days getting to grips with the basics.
Peer-to-peer training (P2P)
After new employees have completed their onboarding, they may be assigned a mentor or buddy to provide guidance and on-the-job training. This interactive, on-the-job training allows the mentor to respond to the employee’s needs and address their questions or concerns, share their learned wisdom, and walk them through the organization’s processes. Mid-level employees and managers can be prepared to provide this support to junior staff and help new team members to integrate smoothly.
In a post-pandemic world, employees often need to get accustomed to new technologies and tools adopted by their workplace. Technical training is focused on quickly getting employees up to speed with these technologies, and developing the practical skills to incorporate them into their processes. One-on-one technical training can supplement digital training to ensure that employees are confident using new tools.
Leadership and managerial training
There are numerous benefits to developing your leaders internally – after all, who knows your products, processes and values better than your employees? Creating a culture of progression allows you to promote experienced employees who will have a strong understanding of how best to run things, and can improve employee retention and motivation.
Product training aims to give your employees a deep and well-rounded understanding of the products or services offered by your business. This will include your target markets and how your products and services meet this audience’s needs. Company-wide product training helps to align your employees with the organization’s mission and purpose. Additionally, it offers a chance for employees outside of the product team to offer fresh perspectives and feedback on your offering.
Every industry or sector will have its own laws and regulations on how companies can do business. This can include data protection, information security, health and safety, anti-discrimination, financial compliance, and more. Compliance training aims to raise awareness of potential issues and outline best practices on how to ensure that your company follows the rules.
Ethical training is focused on helping your employees to act and work in a way that minimizes harm and aligns with your values. Employees should be equipped with the mindset to consider whether their decisions could cause harm or offense to colleagues or clients, or whether any legal bounds may be overstepped. Ethical training may include topics such as your company’s code of conduct, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, sexual harassment, working ethically with clients, dealing with interpersonal workplace incidents and more.
Industry-specific training is any and all training that is unique to your job duties within your chosen sector. Most of the coursework you’d find in this type of training is well outside the required training provided to all employees because of local and/or federal laws. The type of training coursework you’d see in this type of training program would relate heavily to how your role impacts your company within your industry’s challenges. For example, if you worked in logistics and transportation, you may receive training on supply chain management methodologies or the learning of new warehousing systems.
Training Program Examples
At Training Orchestra, we love a well-tuned training program that’s run efficiently. For the training above, we’ve included some of our favorite examples below.
Employee onboarding training: 360Learning
360Learning utilizes a comprehensive onboarding program that’s carefully designed to accelerate new hires from rookies to experts in a set timeframe. This program outlines what to expect in their first few weeks and what they’ll be doing to get up to speed. What’s even better is that the platform utilizes collaborative learning models between close team members and members of the onboarding & HR team to make sure that new employees have an enriching and enjoyable learning experience.
Peer-to-peer training: Degreed
A 2021 study by Degreed highlighted that employees are most comfortable learning from their peers, such as colleagues they have worked closely with. The people within your organization will have a wealth of experience and product knowledge, with a good understanding of how your company works. Peer-to-peer learning ensures that this knowledge is shared effectively by facilitating conversations and providing opportunities for your employees to learn from one another.
Technical training: NetSuite by Oracle
Implementing new software can be an exciting project for a company, but can understandably cause apprehension about possible disruption or teething problems. When Oracle was planning to replace its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software with a new system, NetSuite, they understood the importance of effective training. The rollout was accompanied by a robust technical training program to ensure that both managers and associates had a good understanding of the program’s important functions and how to communicate these with other staff.
Compliance training: AllenComm
Compliance training is a critical part of any company’s risk management strategy, but for some particularly heavily regulated industries it is even more crucial. AllenComm saw the importance of making compliance training work for everyone to get the job done right. When working with a client in the medical insurance field, the team placed compliance training at the center of its offering. The compliance training aimed to ensure that members of the insurance group fully understood the importance of malpractice insurance, coverage and the associated risks. This training program resulted in a reduction in medical malpractice issues, as well as improvements in diagnostic accuracy.
Product training: Workday
Product training serves two important purposes for many companies: helping customers to get the most out of their products, and preparing your sales team to effectively convey the benefits of your products. Workday delivered customer-facing product training for Custom Ink to ensure that their customers would understand the benefits of their products and make better purchasing decisions. Workday has also delivered product training to upskill sales teams across Franprix with a broader and deeper knowledge of the products in their stores.
Ethics training: EdApp
EdApp offers a wide range of editable training materials through its free Learning Management System (LMS), making mobile-friendly, on-the-job training content available to everyone. Part of this offering is a selection of ethical training programs, such as their free Ethics and Code of Conduct course, aimed at helping organizations across the world to operate with integrity and protect their brands. What’s even better about EdApp? They make it easier for their users by utilizing gamification and hybrid learning as a key model to their learners’ success.
Skilling and reskilling: Training Orchestra and Havas
The Havas Group recognized a need to maintain and improve the skill level of employees in order to remain competitive. In order to achieve this, Havas delivers almost 30,000 hours of training via its Corporate University. Seeking to streamline their training process, reduce communication channels between trainees and L&D, and save time via automation of tasks, Havas implemented Training Orchestra’s Training Resource Management System (TRMS).
As the Training Orchestra reduced the administrative burden on training leaders and their teams, they were able to prioritize initiatives to add value and align training goals with the group’s strategic vision.
This system also allows Havas to take a holistic approach to employee training and personal development, as their dedicated training team is better able to identify opportunities for development and recommend relevant courses of study to help employees take the next step.
Managing and Delivering Training Programs Efficiently
Within their organizations, most learning and development teams will have several training programs for their employees to complete. The issue with implementing one or several training programs for an entire business is that it can become frustrating for HR or training specialists to manage every aspect of it.
What makes managing the “back end” of several training programs difficult? Coordinating every component to make the program a success. Administrative duties for training team members for each program encompass:
- scheduling courses and learning sessions
- assigning and managing available instructors
- tracking learner performance and course completion
- managing the training budget and keeping costs low
- communicating training progress to the management team
But the difficulty for back-office team members isn’t necessarily the work itself, but rather the infrastructure to make managing backend training processes efficient, easier and less costly.
Delivering Training Programs with a TMS
Training programs use a learning management system or LMS to deliver learning content to employees. That helps the employee learn efficiently because the material is delivered as such. But what about the HR, L&D or training company delivering the training to the organization?
The lack of efficiency in training delivery and coordination is what creates a separate software catered to training managers and their specialists called the training management system or TMS. You can read our guide on the differences between the two to get a more thorough understanding of how each function in the employee learning environment.
The TMS is unique in that it provides all the tools needed for training program specialists to manage learning functions efficiently without the clutter of spreadsheets and databases. Training programs will more than likely include a combination of instructor-led training, virtual instructor-led training, and eLearning. Managing multiple of which can be difficult to plan, schedule, and maintain across large organizations. This is why training management systems like Training Orchestra become an invaluable tool not just for those coordinating the training program but for the employees about to receive training.
Imagine a development program with thorough onboarding, leadership workshops, regular coaching sessions, and annually updated compliance and ethical training. A TMS allows you to easily and effectively schedule the various elements throughout the year, assign the most qualified trainers, and gain insight into your program’s impact and return on investment.
About Training Orchestra
For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has helped over 600 training companies, corporate L&D departments, and associations worldwide to address instructor-led training operations management challenges for their client, partner, member and employee training programs. From virtual and in-person learning instruction to managing hybrid learning operations for global companies, we’ve crafted the perfect training management system to address the most critical needs of training businesses and corporate L&D.
Ready to see how you can help your training organization to better manage training as a business? Contact Training Orchestra today to see how you can add efficiency and scale to your training operation today!