Some train to solve short-term skills needs. Others aim simply to meet the legal requirements of each role.
That’s a very general analysis of learning and development strategies. Even so, it illustrates the myriad business outcomes training can help achieve — and why your own effective strategy should be built upon a deep understanding of your organisation’s needs.
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation… We are what we repeatedly do.”
From mentoring and coaching, to e-learning, your organisation has a wide world of training methods to choose from. Which method you use will depend on evolving business goals and external factors, such as new technologies or customer expectations.
And as well as helping with specific goals, a culture of quality training can result in broader business benefits — such as attracting and retaining talent and enhancing overall performance.
Creating a training strategy
94% of UK organisations align the training they conduct with their overall business strategy (CIPD 2015). In other words, their training is designed to meet goals such as:
- Long-term development: When a number of high-performing individuals are seen as critical to your success, your organisation might focus on developing this talent.
- Competitive advantage: After identifying your organisation’s unique offering, you might focus on developing skills that increase this advantage.
- Changes in the business environment: If your organisation anticipates changes in growth, technology or competition, your training strategy could address related skills needs.
- Shaping the organisational culture: Employees can be more engaged when work is treated as a continuous learning process, and training supports their career advancement.
Short-term training needs
Of course, not all training can be aligned with a long-term business strategy. Every organisation also needs to respond to unexpected, immediate needs like new legal requirements and skills and safety issues you identify.
Putting it into practice
The training methods you use to carry out your strategy will depend on your budget, preference for internal staff delivery or outside consultants, your need for formal qualifications and the availability of state-backed skills programmes.
The most popular employee training methods include:
- In-house methods, such as on-the-job-training, in-house development programmes. In-house training is the most common method used by UK organisations.
- E-learning, which is already being used by around three-quarters of organisations. It’s more common at larger companies, but most are anticipating wider use of e-learning.
- Coaching and mentoring, which are used by three-quarters of organisations. (Source: CIPD 2015)
Training is a costly activity. To be effective it needs to be efficient, delivering business benefits that are worth the time and money you spend. By assessing the quality of training provision, you can measure its success and identify areas for improvement.
Some established methods of training evaluation include post-training questionnaires and learner testimonies. You can also look for improvement in relevant business KPIs following training.
Learn more with our training resources
For more detailed answers to your training questions, explore our online resources, HR compliance guides and opinions from HR professionals below.