Correctly identifying your employee training needs is a smart first step toward an effective learning and development strategy. Ultimately, a skilled workforce is a happier, more competent one – and the positive results of this situation can be seen in the success of your business.
In this post, we’re going to tackle a few ways you can pinpoint your company’s training needs. And, you can use your Learning Management System to do it. Put these things into motion, and you’ll be well on your way to building a truly great culture of learning within your organisation.
Should I Be Tailoring Training for My Teams?
Training your employees online via a Learning Management System is a great way to upskill your people, but it requires you to target courses and modules to be truly useful. Generic’ one-size-fits all’ training strategies aren’t always useful at best, and at worst, can actually de-motivate people as they proceed on their learning journey.
There Will Be A Variety of Training Needs
Everybody working for your company is different. Diversity in skill sets, job roles, attitudes to problem-solving and learning is likely an asset to your operations, but it’s crucial to consider when working out your training strategy. Even if you’re just looking to ensure everyone has grasped basic information – perhaps related to company policies or compliance – you should be aware that people will absorb and retain the information you’re offering differently.
Assess The Current Picture
To create a robust training plan for the future, you’re going to need to know where you currently stand. Where are the skill gaps? Are there departments presently performing better than others? Could training overcome any current issues, or does the problem actually lie elsewhere? To answer these questions, look no further than your eLearning software. Let’s take a look at what you can do with it.
Use Your LMS To Create Questionnaires
Your Learning Management System is indispensable when assessing your employees’ current competencies and evaluating that data. The simplest way to find out what’s going on is to disseminate quizzes and questionnaires to your folks. This is a great way to identify employee training needs. Quickly completed click-box or multiple-choice questionnaires can be delivered to everyone simultaneously, and if you’ve not made it too laborious to complete, you’ll likely get answers from everyone pretty quickly. You can create these questionnaires using your LMS‘s authoring tools to cover different topics or departments in your firm, and your LMS dashboard should help you evaluate what comes back in the form of reports and statistics.
What Kinds of Questionaire Will Help Identify Training Gaps?
For instance, you may want to consider creating a self-assessment type of questionnaire. These can be invaluable for identifying an employee’s current understanding of their job and how well attuned they are to your company culture. Once the answers are in, your L&D team and management can leverage your online training software to understand employee training needs and also take a good look at the whole picture across business operations.
Work Metrics Can Reveal A Need For Training
Remaining on the topic of data, you should consider assessing the current performance of an employee against your KPI’s. Your LMS can help you do this in a way that can be fun for a staff member to complete too. For example, if you use your LMS software to create a real-life scenario task (essentially introducing a little gamification into the process), the participants can perform an element of their job. You’ll be able to capture how well they did it, the behaviours and skills they demonstrate, and if there is any room for improvement.
In addition, you can make this role-playing or Virtual Reality ‘test’ into a group task or a solo endeavour. In this way, you’ll discover whether you need to upskill your folks in terms of working as a team or simply boost one individual’s knowledge in a particular area. The benefit of using your eLearning software to do this is that you can test the upper limits of staff skills without risk. If they perform well – great – but if they don’t, there’s no harm done. Your employee won’t be stressed because they’ve ‘failed at their job’, and your profit margins or business’s reputation remains unaffected.
Test for Natural Aptitude
Psychometric tests can be another good way to identify your employee training needs. These are tests designed to take a closer look at the personality traits and characteristics of the people in your company. You can develop these using your LMS (or purchase them as an add-on from a speciality company if your LMS is SCORM compliant), and your folks can complete the tests online, whenever it suits them. Using the results, you’ll be able to see whether an individual has the natural ability to take on a different role alongside or instead of their current responsibilities, and you can target training to get them up to speed quickly.
Focus Group Interviews with Managers
Talking directly to managers and those responsible for various teams is a solid way to get feedback when planning future training actions. In these times of social distancing and working from home, you might want to use the more social features that come with your LMS. For example, you can set up online video conferencing, allowing more than one manager at a time to participate if you like, and add in live chat features or a discussion board, which gives people a bit more time to reflect or follow up on a topic raised. Listening to your manager and team leaders is a critical element of identifying employee training requirements. They can shed light on business goals met or missed, give you a picture of the performance levels they observe from the folks they supervise and suggest ways forward in terms of training to bridge the gaps.
Seek Feedback from Employees
You might also want to interview your employees face to face too. A capable interviewer – perhaps their manager or someone from the HR department if you have one – should be able to make them feel at ease. What you’re seeking is not an intimidating re-hiring scenario but an opportunity to receive feedback from your staff members and what they think about their performance. They may let you know they feel uncertain about certain aspects of their job role and would appreciate more support. You might also discover they are quickly hitting targets and are looking to move up the corporate ladder. With this information, you can tailor training appropriate to each employee training needs, which will improve morale and results for your company.
The COVID-19 Impact on Training
Also, bear in mind that COVID-19 might have taken its toll on your employee training needs in several ways, and reaching out via interviews is an excellent moment to help them feel supported as well as identifying training needs. Those working from home may be feeling disengaged from their work, and extra training via eLearning could help refocus them and bring them back into the fold. Your LMS can offer a way to get multiple home-workers together at the same time to learn online in a more social way. If you employ front-line workers, interviews can help them voice concerns and areas where more training will make them safer. You may even identify that you need to train a staff member to offer emotional support services, either in the workplace or remotely.
Consistent eLearning & Assessment
Deploying eLearning is a powerful way to keep track of training needs consistently. When an employee completes a course or module, the reporting of their results gives you a clear picture of where you can take them next. Individuals training online can complete traditional tests or even work through game-like apps on their mobile devices with an LMS, and you’ll have an automatic record of how they’re performing over the short and the long term.
Is Group Assessment Important?
Using your Learning Management system to orchestrate group activities and assessment is a fantastic tool to look at two types of potential training needs. Firstly, it demonstrates how much folks know about their roles overall, but secondly, it gives you a window into everyone’s performance when it comes to soft skills.
Using your LMS to Monitor Group Performance
Online workshopping can reveal your staff’s analytical and communication skills’ status quo and highlight good and bad behaviours equally. Setting these kinds of events up and examining how it plays out in the results is a valuable exercise when you’re looking to identify training needs. Technical ability is all well and good, but if this is hindered in a theoretical exercise due to poor communication between your workforce, (or even outright bad behaviour) your Learning & Development team need to add interpersonal skills to your future training strategy.
The people who work for you can be the greatest asset to your company, but continual investment in them is key to achieving this. Most managers and CEO’s understand that training is vital to a healthy and productive workforce, but not everyone manages to hit the right note with said training.
By assessing the current overall picture and accepting the diversity of training needs there may be, the first building blocks are in place. Follow that up by asking questions, talking to supervisors, and looking into the data your LMS can present with clarity. Don’t underestimate the impact of the pandemic and how that might have shifted the training needs of your staff too. And throughout, lean on your eLearning software to not only train your employees but help you plan their training arc now and in the future.