Are you a manager looking for staff training ideas for a specific team member? Or are you a training or HR leader looking to expand on your employee training and development program? Hopefully, these stories from our clients will help you spice up your staff training.
What is Staff Training?
In many cases staff training and employee training are interchangeable. If you work for a non-profit, an association, or a college, you may prefer the term staff over employee but our definition still applies.
Employee and staff training is a program designed to develop and improve technical skills, soft skills, and knowledge to do a specific job in a more efficient, successful, or safer manner.
Employee development is the overall process an employer provides to employees to help them gradually improve skills, acquire new knowledge, and progress in their careers.
If you are in the early stages of creating an employee training and development program, you should also check out our blog that explains seven steps. If you are looking for ways to spice up your current program, we have 8 ideas for you below.
Ideas for Staff Training
Whether you have a large training team or you are a training department of one, we hope you can steal these ideas and make them your own! You’ve done the research so go for it!
#1 Align to Company Goals
Start with your company’s strategic plan and align your training topics to the skills or competencies needed to achieve company goals. For example, if your company’s plan for growth is through the acquisition of multiple smaller organizations, your employees will benefit from these training topics:
- Change Management: What is the desired end state of the new, blended organization? Major change management initiatives need to address the people, products, processes, technologies, etc.
- Project Management: Your company will require more discipline through the project management methodologies. This may include tangible project plans, timelines, and documentation.
- RACI Matrix: As your employees scramble to quickly integrate sales processes, marketing systems, and product offerings, employees must understand who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed on major initiatives.
#2 Align with Performance Reviews
Incorporate training into your performance review process and link to employee goals. Training courses can be used to fix areas with lower ratings and to prepare employees for future promotions. For example, you have an entry-level employee who has been making a lot of mistakes and forgetting about tasks. This employee would benefit from topics such as:
- Time Management: Explain the different methodologies like Time Blocking, Pomodoro Technique, and the Eisenhower Method to find the best fit.
- Myths of Multitasking: Explore the idea of taking out the headphones, closing multiple browser windows and software programs, and focus on completing the work with no mistakes.
- Detail-Oriented Skill Development: Learn tips on how to clear a workspace, taking action on meeting notes, and how to limit or eliminate distractions.
#3 Incorporate Video
This idea may be obvious coming from ej4 since we are known for our award-winning training videos. It’s our passion. Videos ensure consistent messages and are accessible 24/7. They can be rewatched as needed by the staff whenever and wherever they want.
One of our bottling clients has recently started using Thinkzoom, our LMS, for their new product training. In the past all vendors would come onsite to do live training. Now the client requires all vendors to submit a video that is seven minutes or less and include a handout with questions. Our client creates the course and exam in Thinkzoom and assigns it to the staff. So far, the feedback from everyone has been positive.
While this new vendor video strategy was created because of the pandemic, the vendors love it too since it saves time and money without compromising the quality of the training.
#4 Training Beyond “Training Day”
Many organizations designate a specific day for staff development and training. Some even brand it “Training Day” and make it a special event. Why limit yourself to only one day? Our fourth idea is to open up your training year-round.
I actually love the idea of a big training day event but I also think that employee training is more of a journey than a one-day destination. With a full library of soft skills training videos, like ej4’s Business Skills library, your learners can easily access the training topics they need in the moment of need.
#5 Leverage Blended-Learning
No matter the size of your training team, you will find off-the-shelf training can fill the gaps on topics you simply don’t have the time to create. I think all of our clients utilize blended learning and they combine our videos with leader-led sessions and classroom meetings.
- Assign courses on understanding harassment to be viewed in advance of the department training in a classroom session. Utilize our state-specific compliance training courses for the handful of employees in that satellite office in a state like California that has unique requirements.
- If you are mentoring a struggling, new manager, assign them a course on “Managing Difficult People” and then schedule a time to discuss real-life scenarios.
- Use your authoring tool to create a training course on how to use your project management tool. Use the screen capture to record the live navigation of your tool and keep the webcam on for a more personal touch. Regroup at a later date to train the team in a session with the live tool and use your video as a resource with tips and reminders.
#6 Promote a Topic of the Month
You can do this at the employee, department, or company level. In our case study with Conway Corporation, we share the story of how their customer service department used our series on creativity. The staff watches a course on their own and then they have a group workshop to brainstorm and apply the skills they learned.
We also provide creative flyers in our client marketing toolkit to support learning engagement. In some cases clients request a specific topic and we do a custom flyer with the client logo. Clients print the flyers and hang in common areas or use a digital version and display on a digital billboard. Here are a few samples:
#7 Offer Rewards and Incentives
In Thinkzoom, our learning management system, learners earn points as they watch videos, take exams, and complete the training reinforcement follow-up quizzes. Many of our clients convert these points into incentives and rewards.
- Some of our clients allow points earned on the Thinkzoom platform to be exchanged for company swag.
- We have mapped our courses to the Korn Ferry (formerly Lominger) competencies. A few of our clients offer prizes to learners who complete a Track of their choosing.
- Several of our manufacturing clients have their training linked to their bonuses at year-end. Courses are set as required courses, so they can track who has completed their training and who hasn’t. They give bonus points to users who take courses on their own too so they will search the platform for all the different topics we cover.
- Another client does incentives on how many courses they take on their own that are not required to promote the rest of our content
#8 Phase in Features
It is common for new Thinkzoom clients to launch a basic version of the LMS and hold back on some of the features. This simplifies the implementation and allows learners to get used to the platform. They can add excitement and momentum months later as they add in the social learning technology, The Quad, the competency-based learning tracks, or the classroom management function.
Each new ej4 client receives personalized support from a dedicated learning consultant at no additional charge. They will hold your hand through implementation, make course recommendations, train you on the LMS and much more. They can also advise you on how and when to phase in new features for your staff.
If you’d like to view any of the videos I mention above, I encourage you to sign up for a free trial of Thinkzoom, our LMS and you can see all of them.
- 7 Ways to Revitalize Your Employee Training Program
- A Guide to Creating an Employee Training and Development Program
- Top 10 Reasons You Need to Revamp Your Employee Training Program