We understand that most people want to grow. This is especially true for young professionals looking to figure out what they want to do and how they can do it. And, as was wonderfully put in Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) learning isn’t just for the young folks:
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
Not only does that come with some emotional truth that will ring true for many of us, but we also have quantitative substance to that claim. By now we’ve probably heard about the importance of employee training and development to the newest generational workforce. According to a global survey conducted among employees, Statista found that 76% of Gen Z employees say learning is a key to success in their careers. That survey also found that a majority of Boomers in the workforce believe that, too, at 55%.
Employee training and development is an incredible intersection of mutually beneficial goals. Employees want to learn to be more successful in their careers. Successful employees mean better company health – greater productivity, higher proficiency, and better company culture to attract and retain talent. In this blog post, we’ll dive into employee training and development such as what it means, why to bother with it, and some future trends.
What is Employee Training and Development?
Employee training and development refers to any activity that promotes employee learning to expand on or gain new knowledge and to improve or acquire new skills. This new knowledge and these new skills are for increasing employee performance that helps them achieve key company objectives.
Though we often speak of employee training and development as a single concept, there are some differences between what employee training is versus what employee development is.
- Employee Training refers to training programs and activities that cover specific skills and knowledge that help employees do better in their job. Employee training could include technical training to learn new tools required in their daily work. Employee training is more immediate in that it’s needed now to meet their job’s current requirements.
- Employee Development is more closely aligned to employee career and/or professional development. Employees can work with their managers or learning leaders to map out a path of development to better envision where they would like to be. Employee development is very much centered around goal setting. Employees begin learning new skills and knowledge that can eventually be utilized to take on new responsibilities, job functions, and roles.
Employee training and development falls under the responsibility of the Learning and Development team that is typically part of Human Resources (HR). This is especially important when considering the purpose of employee training and development.
What is the Purpose of Training and Development?
The obvious purpose of employee training and development is that it helps companies keep their workforce at peak proficiency. It enables them to upskill their employees to meet the demands of an ever-changing professional landscape, especially considering the rate of change taking place in the workplace such as new technologies, job functions, and roles.
Learning and Development’s role within HR is not limited to increasing employee performance. Certainly, helping employees do their jobs better to meet company goals is their primary function and critical to their success. However, secondary objectives are becoming more and more important. Robust employee training and development programs are super important for gaining and retaining top talent.
Current and future employees need opportunities to learn and grow. In fact, 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if their company invested in their learning. 87% of millennials say that professional development and career growth opportunities are important.
So, the primary purpose of employee training and development is to increase employee productivity to help the company reach its objectives. Secondary purposes include assisting with attracting top talent and keeping them happy when onboarded. Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of investing in employee training and development.
Benefits of Employee Training and Development
There are a lot of benefits to employee training and development and some of them tie into what we already covered:
- Closing Performance Gaps – In evaluating employee performance, a manager may have identified specific areas of underperformance when benchmarked to higher performers or industry standards. Create an eLearning activity to help close the gaps.
- Upskilling – Provide opportunities for employees to learn new skills to meet new demands of their job function and industry. Doing so gives employees an edge to others outside of the company and gives the company an edge, too.
- Reskilling – It never hurts to reinforce key skills employees need to do their job well. Reskilling keeps employees at peak proficiency to meet the challenges of the day.
- Recruiting new employees – A strong majority of potential new employees see professional development as very important when considering a new role. When a company invests in employee learning, that signals to prospects that the company is willing to invest in them.
- Retaining top talent – People want to grow. Provide them with space to grow in the company and they’re far more likely to thrive.
- Developing leadership from within – It’s hard to find managers and new employees that know the system. A strong employee training and development program helps ensure that there is always a fresh crop of new leaders and champions already in the company.
All of this sounds great, but where do we start? There are some quick steps to implementing employee training and development in your organization.
A Quick Guide to Implementing Training and Development in Your Organization
Like anything else, the first thing to do when creating an employee training and development program is figure out what is needed. To do this, conduct a needs assessment. With a needs assessment, the L&D team collects and reviews information to identify the organizational learning priorities – where are the priority gaps that need to be addressed.
A needs assessment is typically managed by an instructional designer that then created learning experiences based off their analysis. Here they can determine whether it to bring in 3rd party learning software and knowledge sources or to create their own internal instructional material. Common practice is to leverage material from various vendors as well as create material that specifically addresses company products, services, and processes.
5 Types of Employee Training and Development
We’ve discussed what employee training and development is, its purpose, and how it benefits the organization. In this section we’ll move from the theoretical and address some of the more common types of employee training and development:
- Leadership Development – A company’s most valuable resources are their employees. Among their employees are high performers. High performers are hard to come by. Studies show that the top 5% produce 26% output. Leadership development invests in growing the skills of high performers to help them find new roles in the company that enables them to grow their influence.
- Onboarding – Onboarding refers to the process of ensuring new employees acquire the knowledge and skills to become effective within the organization. Proper onboarding can help new employees become effective contributors more quickly and can set them up for long-term success in the company.
- Sales Enablement – As our product teams create new products and services, we need to be sure our sales folks can sell them. They need to be fully trained in the ins and outs of the product, the value proposition, and the competitive landscape. Sales enablement or sales training helps ensure that our sales teams can effectively speak the language of our customers and deliver value to them.
- Compliance Training – Compliance training is done to reduce liability across a company’s activities. It ensures that employees are operating correctly within the relevant regulatory environment and, by doing so, can mitigate risks that lead to hefty fines. Examples of compliance training are anti-harassment training, workplace safety training, diversity and inclusion, and information security training. The latter is increasingly important as more and more companies move to remote and hybrid work.
- Soft Skills Training – Soft skills are closely associated with emotional IQ. They are difficult to measure and are often considered an intangible quality. They can refer to communication and interpersonal skills. Soft skills are important when building relationships with coworkers and customers and all good leaders are expected to have them.
There are many types of employee training and development, but how do we deliver them? What methods of employee training and development can our organizations leverage to properly engage our employees?
Examples of Employee Training and Development Methods
Now that we have an idea on how we’re going to implement our employee training and development programs and on what needs to be covered, we can start to look at the various methods of delivery at our disposal.
- Video Training – Video is an incredibly powerful medium for delivering employee training. Video training for employees is on the rise because our employees are already consumers of online video through myriad online video platforms and streaming services. Video is easy to create and share, explains more complex topics easier than text, and holds users’ attention better than any other form of learning. Importantly delivering video for asynchronous instruction allows for anytime, continuous learning at the point need. Video training also enables scalable, reproducible, and measurable learning.
- Instructor-Led Training (ILT) – Let’s not forget about the effectiveness of face-to-face instruction. Certain realities and technologies may have us turning our back on this classic method of instruction, but it remains highly effective. The challenges are that ILT can be quite expensive and complex. Instructors and learners must arrange travel to meet and it’s live – meaning you must drop what you’re doing to attend. Additionally, we have found that many of the ILT sessions don’t really need to be instructor-led. Identify when you need learner and instructor live interaction and engagement and schedule away.
- Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) – VILT is ILT with a “v”. Virtual instructor-led training has largely replaced face-to-face instruction by leveraging virtual classroom platforms to deliver engaging, interactive, scalable, and measurable experiences online. VILT cuts costs by removing the need to travel and provides the option to leverage more tools and data not available to ILT.
- Blended Learning – Blended learning is as it sounds. Blended learning brings traditional and online learning together that creates a dynamic set of learning activities well suited for their delivery method. Instructors may wish to leverage video training or eLearning modules to reinforce or introduce topics that are later discussed in live Q&A in a virtual classroom or in-person setting.
The Future of Employee Training and Development
One thing is for sure. Our employees demand flexibility to the effect that 55% of employees say that flexibility will determine whether they stay in their jobs. As with the way they work, they will also learn. As we’ve shown, learning is incredibly important for employees. It is a major factor when considering accepting a new role or staying in their current one.
The future of employee training and development is to continue to go all in, in meeting the learner where they are, as they are. Very often, we used to look at learning functions as learning mandates, “Come here at this time to learn this as I present it.” That just isn’t going to fly anymore.
Employees need to have some control over their learning with tools such as learning experience platforms where they can choose how they want to develop. They need to have the option to explore and grow organically.
However, simply providing a library of learning resources by getting a company-wide license to some 3rd party learning repository isn’t enough as well. Employees want to be active in their learning but will also need the company to be active in their learning as well. L&D leaders must continue to play a role in mentoring and coaching and providing direction for employees.
We will see both an increase in self-directed learning as well as directed learning experiences. There is a sweet spot here where learners have shared control over their learning journeys powered through virtual classrooms, LXP’s, video training, blended and hybrid experiences, in-person, lectures, thought leader seminars, peer workshops, etc.
Meet Kaltura L&D Solution
Kaltura is very much in that sweet spot. Kaltura Learning and Development solutions provide a full set of capabilities that addresses learner needs at the point of need. Kaltura takes a 360-degree approach to learning that leverages video at all points of a learner’s journey that can be delivered through the Kaltura Video Portal or seamlessly integrated into an organization’s learning management system (LMS).
The flow is simple:
- Create interactive videos with Kaltura video creation tools such as Kaltura Capture, Video Paths, and Video Quizzes.
- Distribute VOD content through a robust, enterprise-grade video management system – the Kaltura Video Portal.
- Deliver engaging virtual instructor-led training through Kaltura’s virtual classroom or reach larger audiences in company-wide townhalls.
- Record live sessions and share them in the video portal to create a complete learning cycle.
I deep dive into this concept in our guide Driving a 360-Degree Hybrid Learning Experience.
There are a lot of reasons why employee training and development is having a moment. On the face of it, there is just so much change in our professional lives that we as employees need some help to keep up. Or, we as companies need to keep up and we must invest more to do so. But that’s not the whole story.
Of course, there is a sea change in career development. Workers are more fluid than ever. Gone are the days of the gold watch gift at the end of decades of dedication in the same company. Employees understand that their position is based on the economics of the moment. They not only need to have the skills to succeed where they are, but they also need them as a failsafe.
Lastly, what employee training and development or learning in general really helps with is identifying what we or our employees want to do with their lives. By investing in employee development, companies can provide incredible opportunities for employees to find what motivates them and drives them to work every day. By doing so, companies set their employees up for a career of success and successful employees make companies successful.
Employee training and development the right way… with Kaltura!