Employees are inarguably the most valuable assets of every organisation. They are in their own ways contribute to the success of the company and the employers must try their best to nurture, develop and retain them so they become indispensable resources later on.
Thus, your organisation decided to invest in employee development, re-establish the program, making it more relevant and up-to-date with the current trends with the purpose of preparing them for the worst scenario possible. Yet despite the careful planning and resource allocation, your program still faces head-on with lots of hiccups and challenges.
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Common employee training and development challenges
These issues are quite common in every organisation, regardless of size and industry. Despite being common, these problems are easily ignored and deemed trivial due to they might not directly impact the company's bottom line.
Having said that, they can be the roadblock to your extensive effort in laying down the foundation of your employee development program. Addressing right at the start will prevent the problems to escalate.
Challenge 1: Your employees are too busy
Everybody has a life outside of work. It is exhausting enough to try and balance your work and personal life. And admit it! We all have used the "I'm busy" excuse at least one to get out of a situation before.
If your employees use this excuse, the worst case is your programs won't ever happen because they just can't seem to have any free time. What's worse is intruding on your employee's day off and commanding them to do training.
What to do?
Consider a "bite-size" learning approach, i.e., break your training materials up into smaller pieces so it's easier and faster for your employees to consume.
Additionally, invest in mobile training mode as a resolution to combat training on weekends or training that requires your staff to travel. Nowadays, there are a wide array of online courses for both individual and corporate to learn practically any skill. The best part about these online courses is they are available on-demand and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Making the training easily accessible and more convenient will make your employees more willing to try.
Challenge 2: Your employees detach themselves from the learning
Your employees are taking the training courses but they lack engagement on the cognitive, emotional, and behavioural levels. The root cause of this problem is due to the programs are unnecessary and irrelevant for them. Furthermore, a lot of developmental programs tend to be generic, disregards factors such as age, culture, skills or positions.
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Without engagement on all three levels, it will result in your employees tuning out most of the courses, they become passive learners and resist all future opportunities.
What to do?
Mere theories bore. Incorporate in your programs practical, real-life, relatable scenarios which can tickle their cognitive ability to solve the problems.
Pursue a corporate culture that encourages learning to boost the emotional engagement. Plus, provide platforms for your learners to interact and share their experience and progress is also a great way to boost emotional engagement.
To tackle behavioural engagement, the L&D professionals and managers need to address upfront the essence of training and development to each individual, what's the purpose, why the employees need it, and what the organisation has in store for them, etc.
Last but not least, frequently ask your employees to weigh in their opinions about the courses they have undertaken, what else they are looking forward to learning, the pros and cons that will help to fine tune the courses.
Challenge 3: Training is not always the best option for your employees
Despite accurately allocated all the resources on training courses, e-learning platforms, coaching, etc., there are far better methods to close a knowledge/ skill gap than a one-time learning opportunity or classroom training.
Training courses are only paid off when your employees are highly supported and encouraged to apply their new knowledge and skills in the workplace.
What to do?
There is a golden rule that the learning industry usually refers to when it comes to employee development: 70-20-10; 70 per cent of development happens via hands-on, on-the-job training, 20 per cent happens via feedback or through relationships, the last 10 per cent occurs in the formal training settings.
Classroom training does raise awareness but it is not the ultimate resolution to aid your employee developmental needs. You can assign your employees in a special team to handle a project through which they all learn the critical effects of teamwork, project management, or they learn more about your organisation, about how other department functions, or about a particular technical skill.
Think outside the box; the possibilities for new training methods are endless. Prioritise your employees’ needs, time, and select the option that fits most with your specific situation.