4 Tips for Building a Company Training Policy from the Ground Up

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Similarly, establishing company infrastructure doesn’t happen overnight. Fledgling companies often must devote their energy to hiring the initial core of employees and getting their daily operations up and running. Down the line, it becomes time to shift focus to building out a sustainable system for training the workforce.

There comes a time when every organization inevitably outgrows word-of-mouth and informal, one-on-one training sessions. When this day comes, the company needs to be prepared to implement effective educational procedures across departments. What are the ways to build the best company training policy from the ground up to help new hires and existing employees pick up the skills they need to grow into new roles? Here are four suggestions.

Visualize The Endgame

It seems obvious that leaders should step back and think about the big picture before crafting a training regimen, but it’s easier said than done. Short-term needs often clamor for fulfillment, which can lead to overlooking resources needed to take care of long-term needs. Before designing a training program, write down the organization’s overall strategy including a mission statement and a sequential plan for execution.

Christo Popov, CEO of FastTrack and contributor to Forbes, suggests including three to five core skills and three to five activities that each training will work on. Instead of just viewing training as teaching X employee the steps for Y activity, consider the deeper skills and abilities needed throughout the company that support perpetual growth.

Put the Right People in Charge

Some companies choose to hire outside consultants to teach training courses. Other organizations leave it up to department managers to train as they see fit. An effective policy will give ample thought to who is most suited to teach training, as well as their availability and longevity. Look over the learning goals set in the strategic plan, and think hard about who can help make them happen.

The Free Management Library asks: “Is the potential trainer well-suited to the nature of the learners?” Do you need a tech-savvy trainer with an intimate knowledge of certain software programs? Would teams benefit from a people-oriented trainer who can impart communication skills on the group? Can employees access the trainer between sessions with further questions that pop up? Just as important as the lessons themselves is developing a network of qualified instructors trusted to run sessions effectively.

Utilize Interactive Multimedia

Training no longer involves luring everyone away from their stations into a room to watch a presentation that hasn’t been updated in a decade. It’s also evolved past passing around well-worn books and packets that eventually end up tucked away in desk drawers. As one expert writes for Huffington Post, taking advantage of interactive media including e-books, audio segments, and video clips is the best way to keep training relevant and engaging. Employees can explore links at their own pace, making modern training materials more customizable than ever. The company could even make an up-front investment in training apps that help create a self-directed course for employees to stay sharp on their skills.

All You Had to Do Was Ask

When building something from the ground up, there isn’t always the option of test-driving it before putting it in into practice. There’s only one way to gauge effectiveness and incorporate feedback in a timely manner: collecting direct, honest feedback from employees.

Gathering metrics before and after training activities with Poll Everywhere technology establishes a baseline and helps companies calculate whether the training is effective with ROI metrics. Trainers can embed surveys in emails or incorporate them into training slides and collect answers instantly, since respondents only need a mobile phone or web browser to contribute their input. After all, who is better qualified to provide feedback about training sessions than the learners themselves?

Taking time to craft a thorough, multi-faceted training policy up front will pay off for years to come! It’s worthwhile to use all the modern advantages when developing staff skillsets and abilities.

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Anne Lawson
Anne Lawson is a British writer who keeps her eye on business and trending issues that affect us all. She loves to delve into the real story and give us interesting tidbits we might otherwise miss.