Any forward thinking organisation will ensure the people who work there have access to the training and development opportunities they need in order to do their role effectively. However it will probably be the trickiest of HR management tasks, to promote training courses to employees.
Why is training important?
It was evident at the CIPD conference 2015 that things are continually changing. Advances in digital technology are just one area where things seem to change on a weekly basis. In order to keep employees up to date with changes in their roles it is important to train them.
A lot of roles and tasks will have areas where there is a legal requirement to keep people up to date with training in order to remain compliant and able to work. Such areas can include health and safety and construction roles.
How to promote the benefits of training to leaders and managers in your business
One thing I always come up against is the argument that if someone is away doing a training course, then they are not doing the job!
I talk a lot about building capacity with managers in other topics I write about, but with training this is even more important and difficult. You need to sell the tangible benefits of training to the line manager themselves. So if training takes people off the job, outline how it can improve productivity long term, or keep that team compliant and within the law. The benefits are endless. Win around the managers and you are half way to promoting training across organisations.
You need to sell the process of training to key stakeholders in your business; this may be senior managers, directors or board members. Sometimes the hardest audience to crack, you need to be able to demonstrate real value for money and return on investment (ROI). Introducing metrics such as increased customer satisfaction and retention of staff are good places to start when considering ROI measures.
How to promote training to employees
You have done some work with leaders and managers and now have backing to promote training around the business with no challenge from the top.
In the same way as with managers you can also sell the benefits of training to individuals. This might be measurable improvements they will gain as a result of taking part in the training and embracing the learning there in. It may also be a developmental opportunity that someone may be able to use to progress within the business.
You need to respond to the needs of individuals and teams. This might mean being creative in the way training is delivered. For example if you have people who work in a contact centre and long periods away from the job do have an impact on performance, then look at bite size sessions. Other alternatives include eLearning opportunities, gamification, learning communities and the use of tag clouds. These new and adaptable types of training are being used more by businesses to adapt to changing needs of workforces as outlined by the CIPD (2015).
RAM training home
The CIPD has come up with a really useful model that HR Managers can use to RAM home the benefits and promotion of training. RAM simply stands for:
- Relevance: training interventions should be designed to solve problems for people and build capabilities
- Aligned: training should be aligned to the needs of the business and the key stakeholders
- Measures: use metrics to demonstrate a measurable ROI
- Marketing: should be innovative, targeting all of the workforce
Effective marketing of training is key! As HR Manager invite yourself along to people's team meetings to talk about training. Use communication methods such as internal newsletters and emails. If you have the capacity to do so use the screen savers for people who work on computers to see what training is happening in the business. Be innovative and use social media such as closed groups on LinkedIn, Yammer and Twitter to get the word out about training.
To round up how to promote training!
- get buy in from your senior leaders
- sell the benefits to your managers
- build capacity in your managers
- demonstrate the benefits to the individuals booking on training
- adapt the types of training to meet the needs of the workforce for 2015
- market innovatively