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The 5 Big Mistakes Companies Make When Training Employees

Mar 2022 by FRANK HOJGAARD

Training plays a critical role in helping employees develop into the sort of high-value individuals that grow your company and have a positive impact on the bottom line. But you can’t be lazy in your approach to training. On the contrary – you must be quite intentional.

 

 

 

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What’s the Purpose of Training?

You can think of each individual employee or team member in your organization as having two numbers. The first number, which we’ll call their “Ability Rating,” is attached to their current skill level and competency at this current moment in time.

For the purposes of this illustration, we’ll say that an employee’s Ability Rating ranges from 0-10 at any given moment (with a score of 0 meaning they’re totally unfit for the job and a score of 10 meaning they’re one of the most talented people in the world at their job).

The second number, which we’ll call their “Potential Rating,” is the maximum skill level you think they can reach if they’re equipped with the right training, leadership, and development. Again, we’ll use a scale of 0-10 for the purposes of this illustration.

Every employee has an Ability Rating and a Potential rating. One employee might have an Ability Rating of 4 and a Potential Rating of 7, while another might have an Ability Rating of 7 and a Potential Rating of 9 (and so on). The goal of training is to close the gap from 4 to 7 and from 7 to 9. That’s it – nothing more or nothing less. You don’t need someone with a Potential Rating of 7 to reach a level 9. You just want them to reach their full potential.

This is just an example – a fictional scale that we’re using to illustrate the purpose of training. We’re not telling you to start assigning numbers to every employee. Instead, the goal is to view training through the correct lens so that you can get the most out of it.

Make sense? Good…let’s proceed!

 

Avoid These 5 Training Mistakes

Most businesses fail to get the results they need out of training. And in most cases, this failure can be directly tied back to training mistakes and shortcomings. Here are a few common ones that you should avoid at all costs:

1. Not Gathering Feedback From Employees

You can’t approach training and education in a vacuum. While you might have an idea of what your employees need in order to be successful, it would be a huge mistake to develop a training program without first gathering feedback from employees and inviting them into the process.

According to research from LinkedIn, more than half of employees say they’d actually spend more time learning if their managers suggested courses that would help them improve their skills. This is something you won’t know unless you talk to your team about training and development. Most people are willing, but they need to be nudged in the right direction.

2. Focusing on the Wrong Skills

This mistake goes hand-in-hand with the previous mistake of not gathering feedback from employees. Many organizations incorrectly assume they know what their team needs, when they haven’t actually done the research to identify which skills are most important.

This mistake is especially common when it comes to IT positions or other job roles that require lots of digital skills. Innovation and iteration are so fast-paced in the tech world that it’s easy to train an employee on something that’s obsolete (or soon to be obsolete). You must always have one eye on the future.

3. Lacking Specific Outcomes

It’s absolutely imperative that you have specific outcomes in place for every training program or initiative. Both the individuals teaching and the ones learning should have a clear understanding of what the objectives are.

When crafting outcomes, think in terms of micro objectives and macro objectives. Micro objectives refer to the expected learning outcomes for each individual module or session. The macro objectives refer to the overall learning outcomes for the entire training course or program. The former must feed the latter.

4. Failing to Address Application and Implementation

You can’t just train employees and fill them up with knowledge. In other words, the learning objective isn’t to be able to answer test questions or explain a concept. The goal is to actually be able to apply the skills acquired. Unfortunately, many companies make the mistake of not addressing the application and implementation of skills. As a result, nothing really changes.

When creating your learning program or investing in a specific training system, carefully think about skills application. This is why it’s often helpful to get out of the classroom and to use hands-on training. (After all, research shows people forget 75 percent of what they learn in just six days if it isn’t applied right away.)

5. Trying to Reinvent the Wheel

There’s no need to reinvent the training “wheel.” Developing your own internal training program or curriculum is expensive and time-consuming. And unless you have experience doing it before, the program will be lacking in key areas.

The good news is that there are plenty of robust training systems, courses, and programs outside the four walls of your company. When tactfully integrated into your organization, they’re far more powerful than anything you can create on your own.

For example, at Readynez, we offer dozens of IT courses, training, and certification programs that are designed to enhance your team’s skills. Best of all, we work with you to make sure you select and implement the right courses for your team and goals, customize the training to fit the exact roles and requirements of your organization. This prevents you from wasting money on courses that don’t move the needle.

 

Train Your Team With Readynez

It’s time to take training seriously. There’s a major digital skills gap in the global talent pool and it’s not always possible to hire people who are fully-trained and ready to plug-and-play. In many cases, you need to hire with the expectation of training. At Readynez, we make it easy to make digital skills work.

Contact us today to discover how you can revamp your approach to hiring and training!

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