There is an interesting quote by Benjamin Franklin, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” That holds much relevance in the typical workforce of today. You see, employee training is not something nice to have in your company but a must-have.
Recent research shows that 76% of employees view learning as the key to their advancement. Yet only 29% of them are “very satisfied” with the career advancement opportunities available in their organization — highlighting the serious lack of learning and development initiatives.
Given how employees seem to value continuing education, a training program has the ability to be an extremely compelling and valuable resource.
Well-constructed training materials have many benefits, including codifying workplace rules and regulations, offering recruits everything they need to get started, and enabling departmental functions in the absence of key employees.
These help employees broaden their industry or job-specific knowledge while boosting productivity and enhancing operational efficiency.
Training employees in silos is not effective.
We live in a world where collaboration between and among employees has expanded. People with similar challenges and interests network and share. Experienced employees mentor the inexperienced. There are no barriers when it comes to collaborating and learning.
No wonder standalone training initiatives often fail to meet organizational objectives and employee expectations. There is enormous potential to advance employee capability to drive better results — regardless of where they are based.
Practical, ongoing training delivered online is vital, and this reimagining of employee learning and development in the digital age forms the core of digital transformation.
What is digital transformation?
It is the process of leveraging digital technologies to create new or modify existing business workflows, culture, and user experiences to meet the ever-evolving industry and consumer requirements. One of the most overlooked elements in digital transformation is the role that employee training plays in organizational growth.
When done properly, it produces engaged and confident employees willing to support transformation within the company. When not done right, it can lead to an efficient way of working, not to forget, disloyal and disengaged employees.
In this article, we will study different techniques to create effective training material for your employees that stand the test of time in the digital era:
1. Find your training objective
Sure, you want to train your workforce, but what do you want to prepare them for? Do you want to help them onboard better? Do you want to support junior employees with all the information they need to make a transition to senior-level roles?
If you are building a training program from scratch, answer the following questions:
- Who will be learning the material?
- What can they achieve with the information after they learn it?
- How will they maintain the knowledge?
- By when will they complete the training?
2. Decide specific learning goals
Once you have your answers, assess the areas you want to focus on. For instance, if you wish your training material to be on accessing the company intranet, then you need to outline specific learning goals, as shown below:
- Enable users to log in and troubleshoot login problems.
- Help users enjoy the chat, messaging, and social features.
- Nudge users to browse through relevant documentation regarding their responsibilities.
By setting out goals specifically, you can ensure your training material is written in such a way that it covers all essential points while speaking to the target audience effectively.
3. Finalize the method for delivering your training
Choose the right content format for training that helps your workforce easily read, listen, watch, and learn from your training materials. Your employees are busy, and if they find a 20-page guide on “managing projects using Asana” tedious, then they have a right to feel so.
How you make your information most useful depends on the format you select. From making video series and live webinars to slide decks and in-person workshops, employees can consume information from various sources. In the beginning, you must experiment with different modes.
Plus, do not hesitate to mix up the material formats. For example, a webinar can be supported by documentation or a slide deck by a voiceover video. You could also format your training materials as walkthroughs, FAQs, wikis, or anything else your employees will find compelling.
4. Segment training information
Once you have decided on the objective and mode of training, it is time to build a comprehensive structure to include everything your employees need to know to achieve the end goal. While developing the content, you should also consider the level of training and employees’ learning styles. Not everyone learns the same way.
When you simply start writing the training material, there is a likelihood of missing something. Therefore, craft a detailed outline instead. This makes the writing process more manageable and helps you organize your information to serve your workforce best.
For instance, if you are writing documentation on a sales process, here is how you can organize the information:
- Steps for using the manual
- How to do sales prospecting
- Making the first call
- Follow-up email sequence
- Tips to close deals over the phone
- Contact details or further resources
Your content should be in order on how events will occur in the real world. When a salesperson needs to find information, they can scan through the table of contents to go where they need to go. Use a learning management solution to tag and organize your content in any way you want.
5. Plan for assessing your training material
How will you know if your content is effectively educating your workforce? The only way to be sure about its effectiveness is through assessments. Yes, that is right. Gamification is an integral part of training material development.
So, ask yourself: Would your employees be comfortable demonstrating their knowledge of a process? Can you take a test with multiple-choice questions? Whatever you decide — please make sure your training sets them up for success.
For instance, you might decide to interview employees to assess their knowledge of customer service processes. In that case, you may want to include a learning module on communicating with others. That way, they will be able to explain it to pass the assessment sufficiently.
Over to you
The top leadership has always actively championed learning. It drives higher employee engagement and learner impact.
Plus, when the pandemic struck, they moved at lightning speed to deliver learning programs to help employees navigate the crisis and work more productively from home.
That is why it is not surprising to know that 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if the latter invested in their learning.
Since employee training programs cover a plethora of topics — from onboarding new employees to addressing general or specialized skills for the current workforce — you have a chance to help your workforce excel at every step.
Therefore, please review your training materials regularly to ensure they are relevant, up to date, and effective. Receiving regular feedback from all stakeholders and employees will help you understand what is working and what is not for your employees.
Revise your training program if the objectives are not met. Hopefully, the tips, as mentioned earlier, will get you to create helpful training material for your employees. All the best!