Staff training and development in boardroom

Staff Training and Development: Steps to Success

Performance Management
April 25, 2022
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You’re undoubtedly allocating resources to acquiring top talent. And, once they join your team, it’s the time to find ways to keep them happy, motivated, and engaged at work. For many businesses, this comes in the form of staff training and development.

Here, we will cover the basic steps and benefits of employee training and development. At the same time, we’ll see the correlation between staff training and employees’ mental wellbeing. It’ll become very clear why it’s of utmost importance to prioritise your team’s mental wellbeing, so we will share ways to do so. 

What is Staff Training and Development?

Staff training and development covers a range of learning practices. Employee training refers to the specific skills and knowledge needed to equip an individual to be competent and feel confident in order to perform at their best. 

When it comes to development, managers and employees often work together to define performance objectives and a plan to achieve them. A development plan identifies activities that should be completed to enhance both skills and behaviours. It only makes sense that an employee’s development plan will be aligned with the overall business goals as employees are the people making the business goals come to life. 

Staff training and development should be inclusive and offered to every employee. It provides a way for every individual to reach their full potential, while also supporting the business. 

With all the changes in the world, from adjusting in a global pandemic to the increasing technological innovation that is out there, for employees to have the right foundation to commit to their development, they need to possess a healthy level of mental fitness to utilise the skills and capabilities they have in action. 

This comes down to being aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. To accomplish this, many organisations are turning to employee wellbeing tools that support employees’ mental wellbeing.

Why is Employee Development Important?

Providing employee development and training is key to ensuring that employees understand their growth opportunities and have a clear path as to how to achieve their goals. 

By having actionable steps and a goal to strive towards, it can help to improve employee retention and boost employee engagement. When your team is excited about improving their skills and being more productive, the entire organisation benefits.

What are the Benefits of Staff Training and Development?

There are upsides to everyone involved when it comes to staff training and development.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of upskilling and/or reskilling your employees:

1. Empowering Employees

When employees feel like they have what they need to succeed or know where to find the resources should they need additional help, they are more likely to be confident to take on challenges. Staff training and development programmes make this a clear path. 

Additionally, when employees have employers who support their mental wellbeing, they are inclined to accept more responsibility.

2. Increasing Employee Engagement

With opportunities to develop themselves, employees remain motivated and engaged to show up to work. They have something to look forward to. They can also gauge their performance and abilities and see their progress.

3. Training Leaders and Creative Thinkers

During the acquisition phase, you’re going to likely be focused on hiring people who fit the company culture. When you can offer training programs that help to mold future leaders, you are able to promote internally.

4. Attracting and Retaining Talent

Staff training and development programmes serve as an incentive when recruiting talent. If an employee is choosing between two organisations and one has a clear plan for their professional growth, it is a huge competitive advantage.

5. Ensuring Workforce Continuity

Succession planning is the process of ensuring that critical positions are staffed by the right employee who possesses the necessary skills. 

When you focus on staff training and development, you boost the possibility of being able to “grow your own,” or promote from within your organisation to fill any open position (or new position that gets developed). This solves many challenges on a single front and reduces the cost, time, and energy required for recruitment and training an entirely new employee.

Who is Responsible for Staff Training and Development?

We mentioned earlier the importance of empowering employees. At LUME, we recognise that as adults, development must start with the individual themselves. They must have the motivation to engage with training and development. 

The line manager or supervisor will have a role to play by ‘sponsoring’ and supporting the staff member to undertake the relevant training and development and by giving them protected time to undertake it.  

Some training and development interventions come at a cost and so the relevant budget holder should be sighted of any suggested development initiatives. 

That’s why it’s useful for HR teams (including your OD and L&D team) and managers to be on the same page and understand the purpose and process of staff training programmes so there’s accountability.

How to Provide Staff Training and Development?

In order to create a staff training and development programme that works well, take into account the following steps:

1. Define Business Impact

While employee training and development programmes serve as a massive upside for each individual, it also positively impacts the business as a whole. So, be sure to develop programmes that are going to work towards achieving business goals. By defining the business goals, it makes it easier to understand what types of skills and training will be relevant.

2. Address Skill Gaps

Everyone comes into the business with a different set of skills. So, it’s up to your team to take the time to assess where your employees currently are and where you want them to be. The difference between the two is the skills gap that you are looking to fill. To make it an easier exercise, consider breaking down learning objectives into categories that address motivation, skills, and knowledge. 

3. Solicit Feedback

Get your employee’s perspective. After all, they are going to be the people who are putting in the effort to learn and grow. You can attain their feedback from staff surveys or open forums.

4. Decide on Metrics

When you are devising training plans, be sure to explicitly state what success looks like as an end result. This way, both employees and managers can deduce whether or not the training programme is getting them to where they need to be.

5. Focus on Mental Wellbeing

The term learning curve means something different to everyone. For some, learning new skills could be a pain point or cause for frustration. For others, it can be an exciting endeavor and opportunity. 

The only way to know how people react to these programmes is to pay attention to their mental wellbeing. With an employee wellbeing platform, you can equip your team members with a tool that allows them to track, monitor, and diagnose their own mental wellbeing. 

At the same time, they gain access to resources that allow them to better support themself and strengthen their own mental fitness. An employee wellbeing tool is equipped with techniques and educational journeys tied to one’s biology, sociology, psychology, and spirituality. 

Through the platform, employees get the opportunity to strengthen their mental fitness and become the best versions of themselves. In effect, they can become more engaged, present, and agile in both personal and work settings.

What are Strategies for Developing Staff Skills?

As businesses continue to face enormous shifts, there are some considerations that can be deployed to best position staff skills for the future. These include:

Personalisation 

Granted, every employee plays a different role and adds value in their own way to the overall organisation. As such, each training and development programme should be tailored to their role and capabilities. With the aid of technology, it’s become even easier to personalise training programs and learning approaches based on individual needs and preferences.

Soft Skills

While automation has seemingly taken over across industries, there’s no denying that the demand for soft skills is key. Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, are crucial to hone. These types of skills include critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem-solving. Soft skills also refer to how people deal with change and adapt, which are fundamentals of mental fitness. 

Digitalisation 

Employers must also focus on using agile learning methodologies to train their workforce on new technology. By doing so, they can also support change management when it comes to introducing updated software and hardware solutions within the business.

What are the Types of Staff Training?   

There are various types of formal and informal staff training, and they are typically reserved for specific roles. When you review the types, you’ll know for whom they are required. 

Take a quick look:

  • Soft skills training: As referred to above, this type of training is focused on emotional intelligence, creativity, communication, teamwork, adaptability, critical thinking, etc.
  • Compliance training: Compliance training is typically reserved for specific industries, like those that are heavily regulated by outside agencies or third parties. They can also include sexual harrassment training.
  • Technical training: This type of training encompasses hard skills and is usually in regard to a specific task or role in an organisation that requires a technical product to execute.
  • Safety training: Safety training is focused on reducing workplace injury and improving overall health. It may be required by law.
  • Coaching: Coaching is an interactive type of training that allows for interactivity with questions, answers, listening, and action plans.
  • Mentoring: Workplace mentoring is when seasoned employees pass on their knowledge and guide inexperienced employees.
  • Onboarding and Induction: Onboarding takes place when new employees enter a team. It’s the passing on of required knowledge and skills that employees need to do their job and bring them up to speed with the organisation.

Regardless of the type of training you wish to impart, employees need to show up in the right state of mind to learn and try new things. That’s why it all comes back down to protecting and supporting an employee’s mental wellbeing and providing the right conditions for their development.

By doing so, you open the door for employees to deepen their workplace relationships, build their confidence, and better understand their own thought processes and actions.

Staff training and development
By Dylan Gillis from Unsplash

What are the Challenges of Developing Employees?       

When it comes to training and development programmes, there can be some hurdles to overcome on the employer and employee side. 

Some challenges that may arise include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Information overload 
  • Insufficient training methods 
  • Poor feedback systems 
  • Quantifying success rates 
  • Tracking and monitoring skills 

Ultimately, you’ll want to provide a training and development programme that employees look forward to rather than dread. This all starts with communicating what there is to be gained from taking part in development interventions and programmes. Providing employees with resources and support from start to finish is important to remind them that they are not alone on their development journey.

Wrap Up   

Staff training and development is paramount to all organisations. It helps to boost morale and retain an engaged workforce. At the same time, these training tools and opportunities allow employees to explore and reach their full potential. In the end, both organisations and employees reap the upsides. 

While initiating staff and training development programs, be sure to pay attention to how your team members are doing. It’s useful to deploy an employee wellbeing platform where employees can track their mood and improve their mental fitness, whilst employers can gain insights into how different departments are doing, and provide further support where needed. 

This way, it becomes possible to provide proactive and tailored support in the right places rather than having to be reactive. 

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