Once upon a time, staff training and development was about making the skills of your team match the needs of your business as precisely as possible.
You know the sort of thing. “We make bolts. So, we’ll show you how to work the machine, stay safe and make as many bolts as possible.”
Chances are, you would set aside time to take staff away from the workplace for relevant courses, or schedule a few formal “on-the-job” training opportunities.
The days of such a simple focus are long gone. Training and developing staff has become a far more complex and overarching business function—it’s just as practical, but way more intuitive.
Nowadays, if you were training that same bolt maker, you would explain to them why they’re making bolts, what they’re used for and how the finished product affects sales.
You might also ask them what they want to learn.
In other words, it’s all about creating emotional intelligence as well as practical skills.
You’re no doubt aware that the technological revolution has created a continuous ebb and flow of change—and fierce competition means that employers need more flexible and motivated workforces.
If you only train someone in bolt cutting, how can you possibly expect them to do anything else?
Another of the biggest threats to business continuity and control is employee churn. This too has created a new emphasis on staff training that builds employee retention and paves the way for internal promotion.
If you train your workers well enough, they’ll start enjoying their work more, want to improve what they do, and have a clear idea of how they can move up to their career ladder. It’s about creating a fully engaged workforce, unlocking their potential and making every penny of the wage bill count.
This requires managers to be more flexible and to introduce a less rigid and more intuitive style of staff training and development.
So how can you go about building your employee training and development strategies?
How is it possible to achieve an employee training culture that includes this amount of personalization, inclusion, and spontaneity?
It all starts with a better understanding of the individuals you employ.
Think about their skills and strengths. What areas need more development? Do they have latent abilities and contributions that you need to explore?
Include their preferences too. Are there relevant courses and development opportunities that could build greater job satisfaction?