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How to Create a Successful Employee Training and Professional Development Program

‘An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.’
– Benjamin Franklin
Employee training and professional development are two sides of the same coin. New hires and newly-promoted staff, for example, need job training first. Other employees, however, will benefit from professional development to build their skills and prepare them for future responsibilities.
Here’s how to get started with your employee training and development program.

Why you should consider creating a defined policy

Taking a strategic, organized, systematic approach will align individual growth with business goals. By creating an employee training and development plan, you nurture talent and turn them into top performers.
Specific training and development benefits lead to:

It’s not a matter of coming up with a plan and never looking back. To see results, you need to measure what’s working from the beginning. Update and improve your development and training plans regularly to stay current in your industry.

Creating the right program

A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. Individuals need varying levels of training and development. Here are five things you should consider:

  • Review individual roles

Take the time to run through each role description and see what skills are widely required across the industry. This will help identify areas where individuals and teams require training and, as a result, help to bridge the gap between current employee skill sets and needed skills.
  • Involve employees from the beginning

Employees are the ones taking part in training and development. To be sure they feel invested, be sure they have a say in the program itself. Use 1:1s with managers to go through their personal development plans. They should cover things like:
  • How their personal goals align with business goals.
  • Developing these goals into weekly, monthly, or quarterly milestones (e.g. SMART goals, OKRs) that are specific and measurable.
  • Ideas on what training would help them and the company reach these goals.
This will allow you to report on what employees require to do their job well.

  • Stay up-to-date on mandatory training requirements

Are there specific training requirements in your industry? For example, healthcare has lots of mandatory health and safety training. Figure out if there is training that needs to be completed across the board and have everyone complete it ASAP.
  • Establish baselines

What do your employees need to do to get a promotion or pay rise? Are there milestones they can hit before their next appraisal? A clear roadmap can light a fire in employees, increasing both motivation and productivity. It also gives you and your employees clarity around how to achieve business and personal goals.
  • Set deadlines

Carve out specific times for employees to do training. If it comes across as mandatory, your employees will find the time to do it. It’s crucial to keep up the momentum as their careers progress. Training and development will then become a regular part of every employee’s work life.

Use what you already have

Platforms and software that you already use may have training or knowledge centers.HubSpot and Salesforce both provide free courses and certifications in marketing and sales. You should also encourage staff to share their skills by recording their processes or presenting openly to a group.
Employee training and development is a continuous process, so align your strategies with some of these tips to maintain a skilled and long-term workforce.


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