Looking after your people is essential in any successful organisation. That's the key function required from management.
Employee development is one of the most important ways to drive productivity in the workplace. Well-trained employees will not only work efficiently but they armoire empowered and generally happier at work. Employee development should be designed to fit in with both your organisation’s needs and your employees’ preferences. By aligning training with both your business’ and your employees’ needs, you can successfully organise and implement an effective employee training program. Not only will you drive productivity in the department being trained but you will find your whole business inspired and motivated to motor ahead.
There are essentially two learning methods that allow adults to become better equipped with dealing with their future work life; learning facts and process learning. To increase the performance of the company it is important to choose the training method that gives the desired results for the individual, while giving the best benefits for the company.
Which methods and techniques to be used depend on the skills that employees need to develop. Fact based learning is appropriate when employees need to gain theoretical knowledge in a certain subject, for example increased factual knowledge of a task, increased industry expertise or a better knowledge about the company. When employees need to develop a more efficient work pattern or improve behaviour or performance, process learning is a better option.
Formal and informal learning
Learning can be divided in formal and informal learning. Formal learning usually means that external or internal trainers are hired to conduct a training course. The training can be carried out in house or outside the company where employees have the chance to meet people from other companies. Training can be conducted in groups via meetings, remotely via the web or a mix of the two. Informal learning means all learning that takes place during work projects, discussions, meetings etc.
How to increase the performance of each employee
Many employees have extensive experience in their area of work but their performance may not be as good as it could be. Alternatively, they perform well but they have the potential to perform even better. The longer a person works for a company, the more knowledge they get and the more they should be able to perform.
Low or average performance may occur due to several reasons. To increase the performance of employees a short training course is usually sufficient. However, even though a course might have the immediate effect of increasing the knowledge, improvement in performance is a process that needs more time. The employee will need time to test the new knowledge that has been gained and thereafter performance can be improved.
As a manager, you have a big responsibility to develop both you and your employees and create a successful team. Therefore, it is not always the best solution to send an employee on training for a few days and assume that will be sufficient in order to increase the employee performance. Often training is tremendously good and rewarding - while you are in the classroom. But what happens after the training? When you are back at work and as time goes by the new knowledge will fade and your high aspirations to change decreases when the workload is high.
Here are some tips to help you get the best results from increased employee performance:
Use experiential learning rather than theory. This type of learning is based on the employee's own experiences and on what the person feels she needs development in. When learning starts from the employee's own level, the employee will find her own opportunities for learning and development.
Problem-oriented rather than subject-oriented learning. Think about which concrete problems need to be solved. Instead of just sending someone on a course, analyse the problem and the solution needed.
This means developing the employee’s skills through learning based on problems at work, rather than following a pre-established pattern.
Formulate a concrete development plan with the aim of improving performance.
The employee is responsible for the development results, but the responsibility for driving the development process itself should be the manager.
Blog written by: Erika Lindholm
Sandra Anani is passionate about sustainability, with over 19 years’ experience. She has dedicated her career to sustainable development and communications.