When they’re done right, employee training programmes are an integral part of a company’s success. Why build a training programme, you might ask? Well, not only can marketing training hone your employees’ skills and improve the quality of their work, but by showing them you are invested in their development, they will feel more appreciated too. Employees tend to thrive in environments where they can learn and develop - and one of the most common reasons people leave a job is actually because they don't see any prospects of learning or improvements.
In fact, a recent survey found that 40% of employees leave a job within their first year if they receive poor training, whilst another study found that having a culture of learning in an organisation was the number one driver of engagement and loyalty. This is something that is becoming increasingly important with the younger workforce too, with 65% of young people saying that personal development is the most influential factor in their job. Are you ready to build your first employee training programme? Read on for our five steps to success.
Step one: identify your training needs
Before beginning to build your employee training programme, you first need to take a step back and establish your training needs by doing a skills gap analysis. A skills gap analysis basically does exactly what it says on the tin - it identifies any gaps between the skills an organisation has and the current capabilities of its workforce. By identifying your company’s goals, rating the importance of each necessary skill and measuring your employees’ existing skills, you can start to pinpoint any gaps that might be holding you back. For example, perhaps in line with current trends, your marketing department needs to hone their inbound marketing skills? Maybe you’d like to start specialising in a specific sector, turn your managers into better leaders, or perhaps your team need additional support with a new type of software? By identifying what skills need improvement, you’ll be in the right position to start designing your training programme. Make a list of the most important skills that you wantto address first, and let that list lead you.
Step two: set your objectives
Don’t build a training programme just because you think you should. You will need to put aside time and money to properly train your employees, so it makes sense that you should know exactly what to expect from your marketing training - and in order to set a programme that truly adds value to your organisation, you’ll need a concrete plan. Any good programme starts with clear and definable goals, so start by defining the objectives of your programme before you commit to it. How do you expect employee performance to improve after the programme? How will they better achieve business goals? How will it prepare them to take on new roles? And how do you expect your training to improve engagement and help with retention rates? By asking these questions, you can define your objectives and what you are trying to achieve - which means when it comes to reviewing your training further down the line you can make sure your objectives were met and make any necessary amends before the next session.
Step three: ask your employees
Successful training is about both the employee and the wider company goals - and if you really want to know what your staff want to be included in your training programme, you just need to ask! After all, they are the ones doing the job day in, day out - so asking them what they need a bit of extra help with is the best way to get first-hand insight. Start by having an informal chat and asking them what could help them feel more confident, what they think would improve their performance and what learning methods work best for them. Are there any particular trends they want to focus on? Or anything they feel would help them grow as employees and leaders? By knowing what skills they want to improve on and what method of learning works best, you can make sure your training programme ticks all the boxes. Not only that, but by showing your employees you really care about their personal development, you can help improve morale too. Of course, you will have the final say as to what goes into your training programme - but try to accommodate their ideas as much as possible as long as its relevant to their job and within your budget - trust us, it’ll be worth the investment.
Step four: decide on the type of training programme
Next up, you need to decide what type of training programme you want to offer. There are plenty of different types of programmes out there depending on your needs, budgets and desirable outcomes. For example, do you want to do your marketing training internally or outsource it to a professional company? There are benefits to both, and cost often has a huge impact on this decision. The simplest - and often cheapest - form of training is to have your employees train each other. It costs absolutely nothing, can result in skills sharing across your agency, and it also empowers and builds confidence in the people delivering the training. However, if you’re learning something new and want a fresh perspective, external training might be best. Another thing to think about is whether your training will be online or in person. Online is low-cost and flexible, but on the downside, people need to be self-motivated and might feel they learn better face-to-face. If you do decide on in-person training, consider the type of learning environment you want to provide - individual or group? Workshop or classroom? Seminars or conferences? If you’re struggling to decide, refer back to your employee feedback for what learning methods work best.
Step five - assess your training programme
Your training programme isn’t complete until you have measured its results. After all, designing a programme is one thing - but its how you implement and improve on it that will determine how successful it will be. Refer back to your objectives - did your training fulfil the goals you wanted it to achieve? Ask for employee feedback on what they learnt, how they will use this knowledge and their likes and dislikes about the programme, and go back and tweak as much as you need in order to deliver the best possible training next time. By making a clear note of your employees' progress as a result of the programme, over time you will be able to track ROI and can see how effective your training programmes have really been.
In order to get the most from your agency, it’s important to provide regular marketing training so they can hone and develop their skills. A successful training programme isn’t about one-off stints - rather, you should develop a long term plan to make sure you are staying on top of industry trends and that your team are constantly learning new skills to help them do their job to the best of their ability. Need help finding the best talent for your team? Contact Stonor today.