There’s no doubt you have experienced professionals on your team. Does it mean you don’t need to train them? Absolutely not.
Consistent employee training is a cornerstone of any successful workplace. By investing in the development of your staff’s soft and hard skills, you’ll foster employee growth and reach your business objectives faster.
The good news is, everyone can develop a quality employee training program. You just need the right tools in your tech stack, a few successful examples to inspire your strategy, and a clear action plan.
And while Scribe will provide you with the necessary technology to simplify the process of creating training materials, this article covers the rest of the list.
The impact of quality training on your organization
Creating and maintaining an internal training program is a resource-intensive process. If you’re hesitating about whether you should invest in it or need strong arguments to sell the initiative to your management, here are a few convincing arguments for you to use:
- Improves customer experience. Well-trained employees are better equipped to provide high-quality customer service, leading to improved customer experience.
- Helps to establish standard operating procedures. By offering regular employee training, you can promote your standard operating procedures and ensure that everyone follows the same protocols. This enhances the quality and consistency of your business processes.
- Drives employee engagement. Employees who feel that their organization is committed to their professional growth and development are more likely to be committed to their jobs.
- Boosts employee morale. Training equips employees with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully perform in their roles, thus helping them feel more confident and happy at work.
- Minimizes risk of a lawsuit. If you include compliance training in your program, your employees will be aware of all the legal and regulatory requirements and stay safe from legal and financial penalties.
- Builds a healthy work culture. Happy and motivated employees will inevitably create a healthy work environment.
- Reduces employee turnover. Happy employees won’t need to look out for a new job!
- Creates a competitive advantage. Employees who have opportunities for growth and career advancement will be less interested in working for your competitor. Also, it’s easier to hunt people when they know they can achieve greater success at your company.
Types of internal training programs: which one is right for you?
Employee training isn’t only for new hires. It takes various forms, and the more the better. Ideally, you should have the following types of training programs in your learning and development (L&D) arsenal:
- Employee onboarding. Obviously, your employee training should start with a solid onboarding program.
- Compliance training. You should build SOPs for compliance as a part of onboarding and then host regular workshops for the entire organization to encourage people to live up to your policies.
- Product training. Everyone in your company needs to understand how your product works. You can achieve it with consistent product training.
- Managerial training (aka leadership development). This is how you grow leaders internally. First of all, it’s a great way to offer growth opportunities to your employees. And most importantly, it’s more effective and less expensive to build leaders within the organization than to poach them.
- Peer-to-peer learning. Encourage your employees to host workshops, mentor new hires, and participate in community activities to support mutual learning. Don’t forget to reward them for doing it.
- Technical training. Ninety-six percent of businesses have faced issues from poor digital adoption. Technical training materials like training manuals will help you teach your employees to use critical business tools and boost digital adoption within the organization.
- Soft skill training. You also need to invest in developing so-called people skills in the workplace. These include communication, problem-solving, time management, leadership, and other skills that help people be more successful at work.
7 Examples of employee training programs by type
How can you realize all these types of training programs in practice? Let’s look at some real-world examples for inspiration.
Employee onboarding: New hire training by Contractbook
Contractbook runs a fully online onboarding process. A new hire goes through a mapped-out onboarding program, which helps them navigate a new job before day one and in their first 90 days at work. Each employee has a checklist they should complete to get off to a good start.
Benjamin Gray, Talent Manager at Contractbook, shares:
"Successful onboarding begins with the first pre-screening call and continues until the end of the probation period. All new hires must share a unifying story, regardless of their department. It’s ultimately about re-affirming the story told during the recruitment process."
Product training: Serpstat
Serpstat is an SEO software provider. To successfully market the product and offer an excellent customer experience, all Serpstat employees need to have basic SEO knowledge and be proficient with the software. That’s why each new hire at Serpstat goes through a product training course as a part of employee onboarding.
Daria Ahieieva, Content Marketer at Serpstat, has told us about the program the company has been running for years now:
“An employee is assigned a mentor from Technical Support, who are the keepers of knowledge and, in parallel with onboarding for their job, the employee undergoes onboarding for the product.
The first part of the training consists of a clear product checklist. It differs for each newcomer from different departments. For example, QA specialists go into more technical details, while marketers analyze more cases but do not delve deeply into how Serpstat works from the inside.
The second part of the training involves live meetings between the newcomer and their mentor, where Serpstat itself and all related questions are discussed.
At the end of the training, all new hires take a final test on Serpstat knowledge, which can be a meeting with a team lead, CEO, or even the founder.”
Peer-to-peer learning: LinkedIn bootcamp by Swarmia
Swarmia is a productivity tool for engineering teams. The company uses different types of employee training, one of which is peer-to-peer learning.
Pinja Dodik, Marketing Manager at Swarmia, shares:
“Peer-to-peer learning is one of the most effective ways to not only learn new things but also build relationships in a remote-first team.
At Swarmia, we experimented with a voluntary two-month “LinkedIn bootcamp,” which consisted of eight interactive 30-minute workshops as well as assignments that people completed on their own during the week. By breaking the content into bite-sized chunks and giving the participants ample opportunities to discuss and learn from each other, we saw high engagement, positive feedback, and great results.”
It seems like the engagement metrics below Pinja’s LinkedIn posts prove the effectiveness of Swarmia’s bootcamps.
Soft skill training: Strategy offsite by Hugo Boss
To enable your teams to communicate effectively and achieve their maximum potential, you need to teach them to do so. Soft-skill training is just as important as hard-skill development as it helps to build a healthy, productive work environment.
Hugo Boss, a luxury fashion brand, runs regular offsite events to support their employees with soft skills development.
During the training sessions — which typically last 2-3 days — employees from different locations meet in one place to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills, improve communication, and develop strategic thinking.
Compliance training: Code of business conduct by Johnson & Johnson
Compliance training helps employers to communicate laws, work policies, and organizational values to their employees. Johnson & Johnson, one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, guides their staff through their core values with a help of a comprehensive code of conduct.
A code of conduct is a written document outlining a set of rules, norms, and principles a company and its employees should stick to.
Johnson & Johnson’s code of conduct is a 36-page brochure featuring the company’s credo, employees’ and managers’ responsibilities, fair treatment policy, and many more regulations that help to build a healthy workplace. While including all the necessary information, the document is well-structured and filled with visual elements, which makes it easier to retain critical knowledge.
Technical training: Salesforce training by Experian
Users typically interact with only 40 percent of features in software applications. Because of the lack of technical training, a lot of people resist automation and continue performing tasks manually. Companies need to implement a software training program to enable their employees to make the most of their business tools and create more effective work processes.
📌 Tools recommendation: 8 SweetProcess Alternatives to Streamline Your Training Program
Therefore, digital upskilling has become one of the most important topics for L&D specialists since 2021 (alongside diversity and inclusion training). To foster digital adoption, Experian, an information services company, has implemented customized Salesforce training for its sales team.
The company has used Whatfix to add in-app guidance on top of Salesforce’s interface and train employees ‘while doing’. The integration has allowed Experian to create over 40 walkthroughs and a self-help menu with contextual information about CRM’s features — all without writing a single line of code.
Whatfix-powered interactive Salesforce training has helped Experian to reduce training creation costs by 48 percent and increase employee productivity by 72 percent in the first year.
Leadership development: Voyage by Marriott
Leadership development not only helps to fill the gaps in an organization’s talent pipeline but also enhances employee engagement and morale.
Marriott, the largest hotel chain in the world, offers two programs to grow leaders internally: Marriott International’s Global Voyage Leadership Development program and Marriott Development Academy.
Marriott Voyage is a 12-18 month training program designed for recent university graduates to provide future leaders with the necessary resources and skills to manage Marriott’s hotel brands. The program includes hands-on and virtual training and SOPs in human resources, accounting and finance, culinary, event management, engineering, and other disciplines.
To identify talents early on, Marriott maintains relationships with schools and universities.
Marriott Development Academy is a self-paced training program that prepares aspiring managers for leadership roles. It helps the company to cultivate an environment that champions personal and professional development among existing employees.
Both programs have helped Marriott International to fill more than 55 percent of its leadership positions internally.
A quick-start guide to creating a winning training program
Now that you have an idea of what your training program might look like, take these steps to implement it.
Evaluate your needs
Start with the needs assessment. It’s the process of identifying gaps in your company’s internal processes or employees’ skillsets and developing a plan to fill those gaps.
You can perform needs assessment on three levels:
- Organizational — where you identify organizational problems (e.g. poor customer feedback) and come up with a way to fix these problems through training.
- Operational — where you review internal processes and tasks to spot gaps that can be filled by training and process transformation.
- Individual — where you determine an individual employee’s performance to create a job-specific training program.
Run an assessment on all three levels to get a clear picture of your organization's training requirements.
Prioritize the identified training needs based on their importance to the organization and the level of impact they’ll have on achieving your business objectives.
Decide on the training format(s)
Alongside deciding what to teach, you should also determine how to teach. Choose several training formats for your programs to create truly engaging learning experiences for your employees. These training methods are most effective:
- On-the-job training.
- Instructor-led training.
eLearning is the widest concept on this list as it may refer to multiple training formats, including internal documentation, video training, online courses, and more.
Your training requirements will give you an idea of what kinds of training methods are right for you. For instance, to drive digital adoption, you’ll need a mix of in-app training, internal documentation, and perhaps instructor-led training (e.g. in a form of workshops run by the software company representatives).
Assess & repurpose your existing training resources
If you already have some outdated training materials in place, revisit them to see if you can use them as the basis for your upcoming training program. This step may save you a lot of time and money.
For instance, you can repurpose content from your knowledge base when creating a brand-new video course or vice versa.
📌 Related reading: Steal These Techniques for Writing Quick, Effective Procedures
Set KPIs and choose evaluation methods
After identifying your company’s training needs and objectives, set measurable KPIs and define a method for evaluating the effectiveness of each program. By doing so, you’ll be able to spot weaknesses in your employee training and improve your strategy to deliver even better results.
Specify the training KPIs that align with your objectives. If you aim at improving customer service experience, examples of KPIs for you to track may be the following: first response time, average handle time, resolution rate and cost per resolution.
Most often, you’ll need to monitor how your KPIs are changing in time to measure the impact of your employee training. For example, to evaluate the effectiveness of a new onboarding program, you need to track how your employee retention has changed since you implemented it.
When you define your KPIs, choose the method for data collection. These are the best ways to measure the success of your training programs:
- One-on-one meetings.
- Assessment tests.
- Performance analysis.
- Product analytics (for technical training).
- Employee engagement statistics (e.g. employee retention, turnover rate, etc.).
Important: You should specify KPIs before launching a training program to start collecting the relevant data from the very beginning.
Streamline your training initiatives
Training and upskilling employees require a consistent strategy. Instead of creating all kinds of training materials because your company can afford it, think of how different types of educational resources serve your learning objectives.
Don’t hesitate to say goodbye to ineffective training formats and create new ones — just make sure you don’t make rash decisions before you carefully look into historical data (or simply talk to your employees).
You don’t need huge resources to maintain a good training program
You don’t have to rush into developing a comprehensive video course if you don’t have basic documentation in place.
Start with critical process walkthroughs so that you can adopt standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure organizational efficiency, and only then move on to more time-consuming training formats.
🎓 Related resource: How to Write an SOP in 8 Steps
Scribe is an SOP generator that writes your processes for you. At the click of a button, you can turn even your most complicated processes into a visual how-to guide.
Here it is in action.
Never get stuck building manual training documentation again.