Training program design is the process of developing new training and development courses or lessons for employees. Designing training programs can spot skill gaps that need to be filled in order to improve employee performance.
Everyone knows employee development is necessary, but few companies actually put effort into training program design that really delivers results. According to Inc., while U.S. companies are spending more than $70 billion a year on training, the average employee only spends about one percent of their time on training and development in their workweek. So there’s a big disconnect when it comes to training program design and delivering results.
So if you’re in charge of company training, what are the keys to success when designing a program for your employees?
Questions to ask when designing training programs for employees
Whether you have a learning program in place or are switching to a new system, there are a few key questions to ask yourself before you begin the training program design process.
1. What are my company goals?
Where do you see the company three to five years out? What are your current and future company goals? For example, if you see adding employees to a certain department or launching a new product over the next year, all these goals will shape your training program design. By focusing on key goals, you can tailor a learning program to match.
2. What do you want your employees to learn?
Although this is a simple question, the answer is often complex and requires some thought. In today’s world, flexibility is important to everyone. While this gives employees more freedom, it affects how employees learn. For example, if you have employees who work from home part-time, they will need training sessions that can easily be started at home and finished when in the office.
3. What is the role of the course administrators?
Training program design is important in creation, but it has to be a system that works for all parties involved. This is true when it comes to who will be administering your courses. Whether you use a corporate Intranet or a better learning management system option, everyone from a team leader to a manager to an in-class instructor needs to be on board with the training program design and what role they will play in administering the training. Plus, the navigation and structure needs to translate easily so that once training is taking place, the process runs seamlessly with minimal questions from the employees.
4. How will employees learn?
Everyone has their own method to learn and some learning styles lend themselves to certain types of training more than others. Before implementing a training program design, think about the various employees who will be taking the training. What are the different personalities involved? What skills need to be taught? Laying out the learning structure first will create a roadmap for design.
5. How will the training be accessed?
We touched on this briefly, but if you are currently using an Intranet to house your training and considering an overhaul of your training program, it’s best to use a learning management system. That way outdated courses and training manuals will be replaced with the latest versions. Plus training can be tracked and analyzed to further tweak the program. And finally, you’ll have access to external support staff when problems or questions arise. Utilizing this help will keep training moving forward and will create fewer bottlenecks that will slow down the process.
Using feedback from managers and employees to improve training program design
After you’ve determined the direction for your training program design, you’ll want to survey employees and managers. It’s important to know what the training needs are of team leaders and what employees are looking to get out of training. If you have an existing training program in place, make sure to ask open-ended questions about the effectiveness of this platform. There are several ways to gain this feedback.
New hire surveys
When you onboard employees, you want them to feel they have made the right decision choosing you as an employer. Training and development are key reasons many people choose a new job in the first place. So during the onboarding process, provide new hires with a survey on training. Find out what they are looking to learn and what new skills they hope to gain. This will help tailor your training program design.
By surveying or having a roundtable discussion with team leaders, you can learn what each department’s goals are and how these tie into the overall company goals. Also, find out what training they feel was lacking before and what they see as improvement with a training program design
You may get some feedback from managers as to how their team members feel about training and development, but it’s best to formulate anonymous employee surveys as well. That way employees are free to speak openly about what’s working in training and what’s not. You’ll also want to ask how employees learn best. For example, do they prefer a classroom, onsite, or a blended learning environment? And what style works best for retaining information? Do they prefer gamification, roundtable discussions, bite-sized learning, or some other form of training?