The one where you wake up in a cold sweat thankful that it’s only a dream. Remember the feeling of dread? What if it wasn’t a dream? What if it was real-life and you really didn’t know the answer? And this time, the results of your performance had large ramifications.
Wouldn’t that be awful? Then why are you constantly putting your team in this position?
Today’s ultra connected world means information is readily accessible for virtually everyone, which is great. On the other hand this also means that there is much information that must be sifted through, ignored, stored, and retained. The last thing your team needs in addition to their workload is to be frantically searching in a sea of data for answers they should already have.
As a leader in your organization, it is your job to help relieve this burden and simultaneously provide direction to help grow your team’s potential.
There’s no question about it, teams that are intentionally trained perform better. They know what to do when problems arise with little or no hesitation. The more quality training is implemented, the better the outcome.
Creating effective training and development programs isn’t simple, especially if you’re starting from scratch. It takes valuable resources such as team member’s time and input. It needs to be constantly refined to make sure it’s effective. But mostly, the return on investment of training and development is hard to measure.
It’s difficult to measure if and how training and development programs have had an effect on the performance of the team. Knowing this, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why you need to be training and continuously developing your teams along with measurement suggestions for each.
Bringing on a new team member is a bittersweet event. Adding new team members generally means that your team is growing and adding on provides the opportunity to relieve burden from other team members. However it also means that you have to start molding someone completely unfamiliar with your company into an effective team member.
When done properly, your training program should be designed to help newly added team members get up to speed quickly and effectively, without dragging down the performance of other seasoned team members. Beginning with the basics, to the more in-depth knowledge required to help them perform their jobs to the highest standards, training programs should cover all of the details necessary for success.
Monitor how long it takes a team member to get fully on-boarded to the point where they’re fairly fluent in their job (i.e. don’t need to seek help from other team members, managers, etc.). Compare the progress of those who aren’t put through a formal training program vs those that are.
Monitor how much total time investment is required from other team members to get that person up to speed. Again, compare formal trainees to non-formal.
Methods, best practices, policies, and technologies all change. Some more frequently than others. As a result, training shouldn’t be a consideration solely reserved for newcomers, but also for veteran employees as well. It is important that high performers stay high performers. Your job is to help them do so.
Perform a split test on a group. Introduce a new method, technology, etc. to a group via a training program that has been highly refined for a few participants and compare that to a less controlled selection of the group.
Measure how long it takes for both groups to fully adapt the newly introduced material.
If your team isn’t getting the job done because they lack the proper tools or parts, you’d fix it right? What about the proper knowledge? No matter how good your team is, there are always going to be productivity gaps, some of which you can’t control. But you can control what knowledge is provided to them, and you should.
Properly constructed training and development programs are designed to help your team minimize, even eliminate, the need to seek out questions from others, perform ineffectively, or hit a productivity wall. They simply need to be shown the proper way.
Take inventory of downtime reports. How often do standstills occur during a given week due to team members simply not knowing what to do? How often does this occur once proper training courses are implemented?
Take inventory of manager inquiry reports. How often are managers and/or key leaders being taken away from key tasks to answer questions (especially those that team members should already know)? How does this compare when training and development programs become a priority?
Efficiency and consistency pretty much go hand in hand. If everyone knows the right way to complete the task at hand, as well as what the desired outcome is, there is little room for error.
When training programs focus on creating a level of clarity for both, the result is success.
Perform a split test within a team that has the same function. Provide test group “A” with refined training on the how-to’s and desired outcome of the function. Test “B” will be provided basic instruction. Measure how long it takes both groups to perform the same task (on average) and what, if any, the varying degrees of error are.
Team members who feel valued in an organization buy into company culture, are more likely to stick around long-term, and generally perform better. A large part of adding value to any team member is to invest in them via training from day one through their last.
Training improves the performance and safety knowledge of the team so that they can do the job correctly, safely, and return to their families once completed.
Measure turnover rates of team members pre-training implementation and post.
Perform employee satisfaction surveys pre and post training program implementation.
The benefits of better training and development programs aren’t restricted to the members of your internal team, they have large implications for your clients as well.
When every client receives the highest level of service every time, from every team member, they will thank you. When they don’t, they will search for other opportunities.
Measure client retention rates pre and post training implementation. On average, what percentage of your clients are return business for 6 months? 1 year? Beyond?
Measure the value of each client pre and post training implementation. Do clients ask for repeat services more frequently?
There’s little dispute that quality training and development programs are a must for continued growth. Now armed with insight you need to make your case, it’s time to get after it. If you’re looking for additional resources, check out our free “Knowledge Management Basics” eBook. It’s packed full of tips and insights from successful companies like yours who’ve made training and continuous improvement a priority for future success.