Maybe it has crossed your mind from time-to-time, thinking you should put a training plan in place for your team. If you’re like me, maybe you haven’t had time. And there may seem to be significant barriers to getting started: needs analysis, skills gap analysis, training plan templates, and so on. Not that any of those things are bad, those are all great and important things, but it takes time and effort to do them right.
Here is a simple, elegant employee training plan. It’s WAY better than doing nothing, and with it you can reap most of the benefits of a more detailed plan: improved on-the-job effectiveness, increased satisfaction and higher employee engagement. I have used it very effectively with some of my teams, and I hope you can, too.
Here’s the simplest employee training plan:
- Schedule some time each month to learn something new related to your job.
- Talk with your manager about it once or twice a year.
That’s it. In those employee-manager conversations, employees are providing visibility into what they have learned and how they have applied it. While managers are providing feedback and direction on what areas of development are important for each individual.
In terms of accountability, it’s as simple as asking managers and employees, "Did you do it? Did you do those 2 steps?" If they aren’t doing it, be sure to communicate that it’s not a huge time investment: as little as 15 to 30 minutes a month is acceptable. And continue to reinforce that this is an important part of your corporate culture: we invest in our employees and we invest in our teams. We all learn and grow together.
So go ahead: roll out the plan via email or in a monthly managers meeting. Then be sure to set 6 and 12 month reminders for yourself to follow-up. You are still going to need to demonstrate that you intend for people to follow the plan, and that it is important to the organization. Sorry, no way around that!
It kind of reminds me of one of my favorite interviewing techniques. Simple, yet powerful.
And don't forget to provide access to training resources so your employees can easily fulfill their once-a-month-learn-something-new training plan. Our KnowledgeWave Learning Site is perfect for self-serve training on popular business software.