5 Tips to Launching an Effective Learning Management & Employee Development Program

Posted by Mark Jackson on Mon, Jul, 31, 2017 @ 15:07 PM

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Are you considering implementing a formalized employee development program? It is an investment that’s likely to pay off. Organizations with a career development program in place enjoy up to 250 percent higher productivity. And the benefits don’t stop there. Reduced turnover, higher employee engagement levels, increased innovation and improved risk management are some of the additional benefits companies realize when they implement a formal training and career development program. Training also serves as a recruiting tool – you’re more likely to attract and keep good employees if you offer them development opportunities. 

If your company doesn’t have a training and development program in place, it may seem daunting to get started. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five basics to keep in mind as you work to implement an effective and efficient employee training and development solution in your organization. 

1. Consider it an investment

There is a tendency among business owners and executives to view employee training as an optional expense — and that mindset can prove very costly to your organization in the long run. The moment you think of employee development and training as just another expenditure, you’ll neglect it. Instead, think of it as an investment that can prove extremely valuable for the long-term success and growth of your organization.  

2. Remember you’re planning a program, not an event

A training program is more than just a series of unrelated courses or workshops. It should reflect your organization’s goals, as well as the needs of your staff. What's important is that your staff training program has some reason behind its structure. An unrelated series of presentations or activities might have some value, but it will benefit neither the staff nor the organization as much as a training program that forms a coherent whole. Spend the time to outline and flesh-out your course offering, aligning it with your business needs and goals. Document the desired outcomes of each course and determine how you will measure and track those outcomes. 

3. Involve your staff

Make a point to involve staff members in the planning and implementation of your training program. The people who actually do the work are usually in the best position to figure out what their needs are. Ask questions, gather input, and structure training opportunities that meet employees where they are and take them where they want or need to go. Training breeds commitment, and committed employees are happier and more productive. 

4. Incorporate the basics - but don’t stop there

Companies often decide to implement a training program to address compliance matters (think OSHA or Department of Labor), manage risk ((think sexual harassment and diversity training), and/or professional certification or credential tracking (think nurses, teachers or commercial truck drivers) – and these are certainly areas that benefit from a formalized approach to training. Job function training is another common (and worthy) goal of an employee training program.  

As you plan your training program, consider broadening it into a full-fledged employee development program. Think of training as a retention tool, helping to instill loyalty and commitment from employees. One idea would be to offer career development courses, enabling employees to prepare themselves for promotion. Staff will be more likely to stay if you offer them ways to learn and grow while at your company. Don't give them a reason to move on by letting them stagnate once they've mastered initial tasks.  

5. Leverage technology

A training and development initiative won’t succeed if it isn’t easy to maintain. Companies often rely on spreadsheets, Word documents and calendar reminders to track employee training. Usually these programs were initiated when the company was much smaller, or was training fewer individuals. A disjointed system like this requires administrators to enter data in multiple locations, making reporting, analytics and data sharing virtually impossible. While this may work when your training needs are minimal, as you grow this system becomes overly labor intensive. 

Employee training, with the myriad of details to be tracked, is an ideal candidate for automation. Not long ago, learning management software was only within financial reach of the largest companies. But now, there are affordable learning management solutions accessible to small and mid-sized companies. Give your initiative the best chance of succeeding by establishing an easy to manage infrastructure that’s both scalable and accessible. 

Interested in more? Check out our Best Practices Guide - 

3 Steps to Achieve Talent Development that Drives Organizational Success 

 

Tags: training, employee engagement, learning management system, training management, learning & development, employee development

4 Reasons Why You Need to Invest in Employee Development

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Jun, 29, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

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According to Training Mag, the average amount a midsize company dedicated to the training budget was $1.5 million.

Companies of every size are shelling out the big bucks to train their new employees. Why? Because new employees are an investment and the future and they need to be molded into the common practices and company culture of the workforce in which they are placed. Communication is key in order to keep those new nuggets of talent and in case you hadn’t heard the cost of replacing an employee is through the roof these days. It costs 50-60% of an employee’s annual salary. 

So why should you revamp your employee development program?

 

1. Engaging with your employees leads to SUCCESS

This one’s a no-brainer, but is often seriously overlooked. Engage with your employees, especially your new ones. The more your employees participate in company culture and are associated with the company’s goals and interests the more they can support all those pieces.

 “Employee development is a way that you can keep your employees engaged at work to prevent that kind of boredom from setting in. Interesting training programs, and future development events that are fun or challenging to look forward to — this removes the plodding daily feel to a job that leads to that dreaded boredom.”

-Chad Halvorson, When I Work

 

Unsurprisingly, 70% of employees who don’t have confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged. Engagement is easy when tackled from a conscious standpoint.

Tweet This: See what happens when employees don't believe in the abilities of senior leadership:

 

2. The fiscal and emotional costs of replacing an employee

The stresses that come with replacing an employee can sometimes outweigh the fiscal costs of replacing said employee. Our advice? Avoid it all together with a streamlined, simple, informative and productive employee development process. For example, companies are re-engineering their talent development and learning management systems. 

In need of some help in this department? Check out Visibility’s learning management resources to help aid in the assistance of employee development.

 

3. HR Professionals are constantly looking for ways to improve their processes

Keep up on your employee development processes. Setting up a good platform in which an employee can learn paves the way for successful training and continual development in the future. 80% of companies believe HR skills are an issue and 39% rate this as an outright issue. 

 “Highly-structured, one-size-fits-all learning programs don’t work anymore. Individuals must own, self-direct, and control their learning futures. Yet they can’t do it alone, nor do you want them to. The development and growth of your talent is vital to your ongoing success, ability to innovate, and overall productivity.”

- Keith Ferrazzi, Entrepreneur

 

4. Informal learning, while great, should not be your main vessel of training

Who doesn’t love inadvertent learning? That special kind of learning sharp witted new employees simply pick up from observing and inferring from other employees? While this type of “off the cuff” training is great, it should NOT be a company’s only means for knowledge sharing. An astounding 87% of companies rate "retention, engagement, and culture" as an important imperative and 50% rate it "urgent."

Leaving too much for an employee to infer can lead to major communication problems in the long run. Misinterpretation is the essence of all workplace issues! Be nothing if not overly clear about what you expect from your employees.

Now you have your reasons, but here comes the real work. Check out the many solutions Visibility Software has to offer to enhance employee development if you don’t know where to start. You might be surprised at just how easy employee development can really be and the postive impact it will have!

For more check out our best practices guide - 

Best Practices Guide - 3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success

 

Tags: learning management system, training management, learning & development, employee development, talent development

The Real Value of an Employee Development and Training Strategy

Posted by Mark Jackson on Fri, Apr, 28, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

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The Real Value of an Employee Development and Training Strategy

Many organizations that we speak with tell us that while they understand the value of employee training and development, they aren’t certain they need a formal learning management program to deliver, track and manage that training. Many of these organizations track the training they do provide in spreadsheets or even with paper files. While we can agree that any approach is better than no approach, learning management programs are ideal candidates for automation. There are big benefits to be realized from standardizing processes and automating the workflow surrounding employee training, and here we take a look at just a few of those benefits. 

Aids retention

Studies tell us that 40 percent of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year, citing the lack of skills training and development as the principal reason for moving on. Employee development and training programs help employees feel invested in their jobs and in their organizations. A well-established program ensures that employees continue to feel motivated to advance their own careers within the company, as well as to advance the company’s mission, rather than turning elsewhere for new opportunities. 

Attracts job seekers

An organization that has a standardized employee development plan reassures job seekers that the company is invested in their long-term success and advancement within the organization. Applicants are less likely to invest themselves in a company that doesn’t show the same commitment in return. A recent Bersin study noted, “Companies with career management programs are better able to attract and retain top talent, leading to higher employee engagement and, in turn, a positive impact on the bottom line.” 

Automates manual processes

If your training requirements are modest, it may be tempting to continue to use the collection of spreadsheets to track course offerings, registrations and certification renewals, but by deploying a smart learning management solution, you can dramatically reduce the overhead involved, saving money and driving efficiency. From automatic reminders to employees and their supervisors, to enrollment tracking and training reimbursement request handling, through an automated approval workflow, a dedicated learning management solution can generate a rapid and significant return on investment.   

Promotes consistency

With formalized training, you can be certain that vital functions and tasks are taught in a consistent, precise manner, ensuring that all employees receive the same information. You can of course develop your own training in house, but most organizations rely at least in part, on professionally-produced training courses. Depending upon the specific training provided, the value of such consistency may vary from improved productivity to reduced liability for the company. 

Streamlines compliance

From sexual harassment awareness training, OSHA-mandated safety training, through business ethics – it’s not just that proper training is the right thing to do, training protects your company from potentially devastating law suits and fines. A learning management solution helps ensure employees (and you as the employer) are in compliance with job requirements and the law. The software can track certification expirations, courses due, and notifications and accreditation requirements, helping maintain strict compliance and protecting both you and your employees. 

It makes financial sense

Increased revenue is a common goal across many organizations, and investing in employee training to support that goal makes financial sense. For example: 

  • The Cheesecake Factory invests an average of $2000 annually per employee on training. The chain enjoys sales of $1000 per square foot, almost double the restaurant industry average. 
  • Payroll provider ADP coaches some sales associates on managing virtual teams and time management. Those that participate had an average of seven percent growth in sales. 
  • Motorola has found that every dollar invested on training can yield as much as a 30 percent gain in productivity within three years, which has helped them cut costs by $3 billion and increase profits by 47 percent. 

For more in-depth tips on taking employee learning and development to the next level, check out our Best Practices Guide – 3 Steps to Achieve Talent Development that Drives Organizational Success

 

Tags: LMS, learning management system, Employee Training, employee development, learning management solution, talent development

6 Benefits of Using a Quality Learning Management System

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Tue, Nov, 22, 2016 @ 08:11 AM

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Some tasks require that you have the right tool for the job. Training management is one of them. The right tool for the job: a quality learning management system.  

Below are six benefits of using a quality LMS that combined work to minimize headaches, maximize engagement and maximize results. 

1. The LMS provides a centralized, on-demand location for corporate learning and training. There’s one place to go, whenever you want, no matter your role.

2. The LMS lessens the burden on all involved in the process (HR, training managers, supervisors, employees). Your HR team won’t have to juggle a dozen spreadsheets in an attempt to manage the process. Also, all parties can see the status of training activities that are relevant to them (e.g. HR can see status for all employees, individual employees can only see their own status).

3. Delays and mistakes in the process are severely reduced. Automated approvals and notifications streamline and provide direction in your learning process, and improve communication between all parties.

4. Compliance is improved. For jobs that require certification, automatic notifications of upcoming certification expirations are sent to employees, supervisors and training managers. These notifications include courses due and accreditation requirements.

5. Superior employee learning/training experience. A well-run process helps keep your employees enthusiastic about talent development—supporting a culture of learning—while a poorly run process irritates and frustrates. 

6. Self-service learning empowers employees. As noted in Deloitte’s 2016 Human Capital Trends report, employees increasingly want to take control of their own learning. A quality LMS includes self-service training that lets your employees develop skills that they believe will help them be successful.

A quality LMS is just one key part of successful talent development. For a comprehensive look, download our article “3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success.” 

 

Tags: training, LMS, learning management system, Employee Training, learning & development, talent development, HR, scorm compliant, cloud based lms

How Talent Development Stands Apart From Other Retention Strategies

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Tue, Oct, 04, 2016 @ 09:10 AM

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More than two-thirds of HR professionals are struggling to recruit candidates for full-time positions, SHRM’s 2016 report “The New Talent Landscape” found. One clear takeaway: retaining employees is critical for meeting your talent needs.  

There are many employee retention strategies out there, but most come with significant drawbacks for employers and provide little or no extra rewards. Take increasing salaries. To impact retention rates at a significant level, you’d need to push up salaries significantly too. This would come at a tremendous financial cost, and the higher salaries wouldn’t do anything to help your employees do their jobs better.

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Source: Randstad 2015 Employer Branding Survey

Talent development, however, is an exception. While there are associated costs such as training materials and staff, in addition to to providing a big retention boost (a lack of career opportunities is the No. 1 reason employees say they leave an organization), it gives employers several other rewards. A few include:

  • Improved employee productivity—employees learn skills that help them with their jobs.
  • Improved employee engagement—employees are less likely to feel they are in a rut, or in a dead-end job.
  • Improved succession planning—employees are trained in skills that prepare them to succeed at managerial and executive roles (3.6 million baby boomers are expected to retire this year alone.) 

It’s no wonder that many companies make talent development a high priority: it makes sense for them and their employees crave it. According to the SHRM survey, 69% of HR professionals said that their organizations had training budgets last year, and 89% reported that their training budgets stayed the same (50%) or increased (39%). 

All this said, like most valuable strategies, talent development isn’t easy. Training is a long, complicated process that can be difficult for HR to manage, and it requires significant organizational commitment. 

But many employers make talent development much more difficult than it needs to be. To learn a common-sense method that will help you succeed at talent development—benefiting your organization and your employees—read our new article, “3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success.”

 

Tags: learning management system, Employee Training, employee development, career management, talent development, retention