Types of Training Opportunities
Training and development programs have a wide variety of uses and are designed to help employees improve in the following areas:
- Soft and hard skills training
- Technical skills development
- New hire orientation
- Compliance training
- Workplace safety
- Product and services education
There are a few different types of training opportunities, and it's important to know which one to use at a given point in the employee's career to better influence their job performance.
Employee onboarding is the initial program used to familiarize the employee with their job requirements. This stage in training will give them knowledge about the company, what to do in any emergency, and build a solid functional foundation with which they'll enter the workforce.
Personal professional development is designed to help individuals in areas that will benefit them the most. This type of development often gives them the opportunity to develop transferrable skills, though not always with the goal of transferring those skills to another industry. This type of L&D is a driving force in creating an efficient work environment with motivated workers on an individual scale.
Company-wide professional development involves the entire company, or team of workers to develop team building skills. This can come in the form of professional certifications for the entire group or team building exercises that improve the quality of the workforce.
Benefits for the Employee
The main benefits of employee training opportunities are seen at the employee level. By providing employees with adequate training, they'll be:
- A positive influence on the productivity of others. Employees who have the ability to do their job well and have a good understanding of workplace processes with a solid system of getting things done can show others how the job is supposed to work and creates a standard of excellence to reach for.
- Confident in their job responsibilities. Employees who have gone through training programs and know how to do their job, and what to do in a given situation, builds confidence in every skill type. Their ability to perform their duties leads directly back to their effective training programs and leads directly towards their confidence in adverse situations.
- Able to better understand company policies and goals. One goal of training is to familiarize employees on every level with the overall goals of the company using mission statements that can be internalized and used to align the goals of the individual with the goals of the organization.
- Technologically proficient. The ability to adapt and use tools in any industry starts at square one. Training can provide employees with the opportunity to gain an understanding of the basic technology needed to do the job well.
- Have improved personal productivity. Personal productivity is in line with the ability to be self-motivated, which is a difficult skill to acquire when you're unsure of your place within an organization. Training helps provide that context and defines their position in the workplace, eliminating questions like, what should I be doing right now? Or, what are my goals for the day, week, month? They'll always know the steps they need to take to reach a certain outcome and follow them.
Benefits for the Employer
Employers that provide their employees with training opportunities can reap the following benefits for themselves:
- Increased employee engagement. Employees who have been properly trained and know what they're supposed to be doing will be able to engage fully in every facet of the work environment, from discussions to team building exercises. This all means that employers have the ability to see their goals realized with the support and input of others.
- Uniformity of work processes between employees. With the standardization of training programs that the employees participate in, employers won't have to worry about the quality of training, or the quality of the employee's skills. They'll be able to pull employees from any area and know that they'll get the same quality of work across their entire workforce, which makes it easier to streamline processes.
- Less employee supervision. Employees who know what they're doing and what processes to take in a given situation are able to operate with less supervision because they don't feel the constant need for validation on everyday tasks. This frees up time and energy that the employer can then use for work operations that require their specific attention.
- Streamlined and effective onboarding. With standardized training programs, employers can take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to the process of onboarding. There's no question as to what a new employee will be doing and when, and each employee will have the same opportunity to train as their peers. With this approach, employers can let the employee train and, again, focus on things that actually need their attention.
- Ability to promote from within. Promoting from within is possibly one of the biggest benefits of having excellent training opportunities for employees. Knowing that employees are well trained within the organization requires less effort and provides the company with loyal employment. This is a mutually beneficial relationship because the employee also knows that they've already been well invested in, and that the skills they've gained are perpetually applicable.
Benefits for the Company
The benefits of providing employees with training opportunities can be seen at every level of the organization, but in the end, the goal of employee training is to benefit the company as a whole. Organizations that invest in adequate employee training can see:
- Improved company culture. Employees who are able to complete their job well and don't require assistance in basic areas are able to cultivate an excellent working environment with collaboration between employees, leading to improved company culture that focuses on how to be mutually beneficial within team structures.
- Lower turnover rates. Employees that know their value within a company and know that they're adequately invested in on a personal and professional level are more likely to stay with that company. They'll be loyal to those who show loyalty to them. In addition, employees who know how to work and are confident in how to complete their job responsibilities are likely to stay in their job longer. Employees who leave a company usually do it within the first year due to a lack of training. Adequate training leads to lower turnover rates and reduces the costs associated with it.
- Increased sales for the organization. In the end, the bottom line is generating income for the organization by offering services. Training employees in their specific job responsibilities enables them to be more proficient in their own responsibilities, leading to a better financial outcome for the organization as a while.
- Stronger brand recognition. Employees who have been properly trained with company information, especially those that feel like they've been invested in personally, become a spokesperson for the company because of how they feel about the organization. Beyond that, they become a beacon and create a standard of excellence that customers and business recognize as an authority in their field.
- Reduced waste. Well-trained employees are able to reduce waste on multiple levels. This can come in the form of time, energy, and financial waste, as well as more physical waste in the case of manufacturing training.
- Attracting top talent. With the standard for training opportunities raised in general, the company will be known for its investment into the development of its employees and attract those that are willing to take the necessary steps and perform the necessary duties in order to take advantage of these opportunities. The benefit of this is that these employees are usually high achievers and efficient workers.
Employee training is often seen as a top priority in many organizations, though many fall lower than the bar. Tragically, some organizations don't even have training programs beyond an initial employee onboarding program. By rectifying this, we'll see a vast uptick in the companies that are able to reap the benefits of an effective employee training program. There will be an increase in employee satisfaction, workforce operations will become more efficient, and the more we develop one group of employees, the higher the standard in employee training and operations will become.