You might worry that making your team ‘too good’ invites poachers, but undertraining has the same effect. What are the parameters, and how can you create balanced training that addresses everyone’s needs?
This article was written by Christopher Pappas of eLearning Industry.
The best way to solve a problem is to shift perspective. So when you’re worried about your turnover rate, put yourself in the shoes of your employees. Think back to the days when you weren’t the boss. What’s the last job you resigned from, and why? For many talented staffers, it’s because they couldn’t see any progress in their career paths. This may have been directly linked to their training options. Or it may have had more to do with their boss and management style. Let’s parse some online training barriers that get your team dusting their CVs and decrease employee retention rates.
1. Inadequate Onboarding
Unfortunately, the problem could begin on day 1. Throughout the hiring process, the emphasis is on salary requirements and qualifications. But it’s unlikely your team will know what it’s like to work for you… until they work for you. Onboarding is a key part of that. It covers the basics, like where the food and bathrooms are located. And complex tutorials on how to perform specific work tasks. If it’s not done right, your new hires can feel lost, overwhelmed, or worse, undervalued. You don’t want your new employees to end their day of work at a job-hunting site. Ensure your onboarding content gives them a fun first day. You might even consider pairing them with experienced co-workers who can show them the ropes.
2. Lack Of Personalized Training
Along the same lines, customized training gives your employees a sense of importance. If they get the exact assistance they need, they feel valued. Their experience reassures them they’re in the right place, at the right time, and working for the right company. Create a resource center with lots of just-in-time training (JIT) modules. Also, offer multiple learning programs to ease the possibilities of ineffective online training. The more choices there are, the more likely your team will find the training they want. You should also run regular surveys. Find out what courses and content your staff wants to explore. This gives you the opportunity to identify areas where you can enhance personalization and address individual needs and goals. Employees who don’t get the personalized training they need from your organization may look elsewhere for one that does.
3. No Follow-Up For Top Talent
Traditional training is largely one-sided. You sit in a classroom or hall and listen to lectures and TED talks. There might be a sprinkling of trust falls and group work. Avoid this passive pattern in your training. Instead, apply tools that invite engagement and encourage interaction. Provide lots of opportunities for active feedback. Let employees tell you what they want and let them know how they’re doing. It could be in the form of one-on-one sessions with virtual instructors. It can also be presented as self-assessment quizzes. Design these for instant results, so employees can test themselves in real-time. Follow-up gives you the opportunity to keep your top talent in place because they know they have the moral support they need to succeed. Even if that’s in the form of constructive criticism that helps them continually develop their skills.
4. Stress Caused By Lack Of Ongoing Support
Online training is a largely individual undertaking. One of its main advantages is that you don’t need a teacher. You can study at your own pace, in your own time. Ineffective online training, however, can also lead from having flexibilities to having feelings of isolation and loneliness in the learning experience. Employees can feel overwhelmed when they have no one to ask for help. Inside the training course itself, offer lots of assistance. Chatbots, animated course guides, easy keyword searches, these can all offer psychological and practical support for employees. It can be especially helpful for new hires and senior staffers. They’re both scared of looking incompetent, for polar reasons, so they may feel embarrassed about asking for help. You can also incorporate social media support groups and peer-based coaching. Your top talent is more likely to leave if they feel like your organization is leaving them to their own devices. Rather than offering them ongoing guidance to help them troubleshoot gaps and address their moments of need.
5. Excessive Training Requirements
While it’s a good idea to give your team lots of training opportunities, it’s important to keep them voluntary. Mandatory training, especially when there’s so much of it, can feel punitive. The pressure to keep up can drain your team and have them searching elsewhere for low-stress employment. As a rule, the more the merrier, but only if they want it. So, restrict must-do sessions to compliance and basic onboarding. Incentivize anything else, but keep it optional. In fact, you may want to add gamification to your strategy to give them a motivational boost. Which also lightens the mood and ups the entertainment factor, thereby reducing stress levels. Lastly, decrease the cognitive load by breaking content into bite-size chunks and allowing employees to go at their own pace. They’ll absorb the information more effectively when it’s trickling in, which will make them more content in the workplace, since they’re actually applying what they’ve learned.
One of the biggest barriers to training, at least from an employer perspective, is turnover. They worry about teaching their staff skills and making them better at their jobs. These staff members might then use these skills to get a better job. Unfortunately, ineffective online training can have the same effect. If your staff doesn’t feel like they’re improving, they’ll seek growth elsewhere. When you don’t personalize their training, follow up, offer feedback, and indicate paths to career progression, it demoralizes your team. At the other extreme, excessive training can feel like jumping through unnecessary hoops. Balance things out and seek employee input on how to create a professionally nurturing work environment.
Keeping your top talents on board is an extremely crucial aspect of an effective online training program. If, at the same time, you produce high-impact online training and shorten seat time, you will add even more value to your workforce development strategy.
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