Maybe your company has announced they’re going to launch a new employee training initiative, and you’re wondering what it’s all about. Or maybe you want to develop your personal skills and gain some new certifications.
Employee training benefits organizations — but it can benefit you as an employee, too. And there’s a lot more involved than just teaching you how to do your job.
In this article, we’ll list five reasons why you should be excited that your company has an employee training program. We’ll also discuss ten of the most common types of training that you might be able to take advantage of.
Employee training encompasses a variety of development programs aimed at upskilling a company’s employees.
Employee training programs may be necessary for specific roles (such as onboarding and training new hires), or they can be ongoing learning and development opportunities.
Companies approach employee training and development in a variety of ways.
Some use training methods throughout an employee’s entire tenure at the company, starting from day one.
Others send employees to specific classes or online training prior to them joining the team.
A third common option is to conduct professional development seminars or send employees to one-off, skills-based job training courses.
Employee training methods differ based on what employees are learning.
Common styles of teaching include:
Online learning (also known as e-learning)
Employee training often takes place on learning management systems, with 70% of organizations using an LMS to support the learning experience.
Effective employee training offers a number of important benefits:
Attracting top talent: 87% of millennials value training and career development highly.
Employee retention: 34% of job leavers say they left to learn new skills at another organization.
Better employee performance: 74% believe they need training to reach their potential.
Improved job satisfaction: 41% say effective training programs help them become more satisfied at work.
Growing new leaders: 60% of millennials say they want their company to invest in management training.
On the whole, the main benefits of employee training are improved performance, a greater sense of purpose at work, and increased earnings capability and career development.
One question many employees have is, “Why should I care about training?”
It can sometimes be hard to see what’s in it for you. So, here are five reasons you should be as invested in your training plan as your company is.
When you undertake new training at work, you’re not just developing skills to use in your current job. You’re developing your competencies for use in future positions.
That means you’re developing hard and soft transferable skills that you can use to advance your career, open up new job opportunities, and grow as an employee.
One of the main reasons you should be interested in training is that many certifications allow you to access higher-paying jobs.
In some cases, this can take place immediately.
For example, suppose you’re a warehousing employee who has recently undertaken a first aid certification. Your company may increase your hourly wage to reflect this increased responsibility (speak with your human resources department to understand your company policy here).
But your increased earning potential isn’t restricted to your current position. Many certifications are in demand, meaning you may be able to use your achievements to earn more in your next job.
Learners who take employee training seriously have the best opportunity to develop their careers and find meaningful opportunities for advancement.
A common example of this is stepping up into management positions by undertaking leadership training.
Companies can incentivize this development by providing skills-based training alongside mentoring and regular coaching.
By embracing the leadership training opportunities your company provides and addressing your skills gap, you position yourself to climb the career ladder and face new and exciting challenges.
Perhaps the greatest reason to be interested in employee training is the fact that you’ll be learning while you're earning.
The average cost of a college bachelor’s degree in the U.S. can be over $38,000.
And during that time, students are studying full-time with little opportunity to learn or to advance their careers.
But by taking advantage of your company’s employee training initiatives, you’re not only developing new skills (for free!), but you’re also earning a wage at the same time.
If you’re hungry for a promotion and want to step up into a new challenge at your company, then you should pursue as many training and learning opportunities as possible.
Organizations look fondly on individuals who are invested in their own development and are more likely to consider you for a promotion if they can see that you’re committed to self-improvement.
Let’s break down ten types of employee training programs.
The first kind of training you’re likely to experience as a new employee is orientation and onboarding.
This is essentially about giving you the tools you need to perform your job.
During onboarding, you’ll be introduced to various people in the company, taken through company policies and health and safety documentation, and issued important equipment such as a company ID and key tag.
For example, let’s say you’ve just been hired to be a transport driver.
The orientation and onboarding training will likely include:
Health and safety training
How to use equipment like your GPS unit
Introduction to key team members
This style of short-term training is incredibly important for new employees, as it gives them the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their new roles.
OJT training refers to a specific kind of hands-on employee training that takes place on company premises once you’ve already been hired.
In many cases, your on-the-job training happens as you’re actually performing the work. And it usually happens under the guidance and supervision of a manager or senior team member.
What OJT training actually looks like can vary depending on the organization and the role you’re going into.
If you’ve accepted an entry-level position, then you can expect on-the-job training to encompass absolutely everything required to perform that job.
However, OJT training can also be a way of acclimatizing new hires to specific systems and machinery, with the assumption that they already have a general working knowledge of the position they’re going into.
For example, imagine you’ve been accepted for a role as senior production line supervisor at a local food processing plant.
There is (most likely) an expectation that you have a good understanding of food processing operations, having worked in a similar role previously.
But you may not have experience with the specific machines the new company uses or the systems they have in place.
On-the-job training can then be used to get you up to speed and learn company-specific aspects of the job.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is the health and safety department of the U.S. Department of Labor.
OSHA offers a number of training initiatives, all centered around maintaining employee safety and health in the workplace.
For example, the ten-hour online basic safety training certification is a popular undertaking, and it can improve your ability to earn in your current position.
OSHA training is common in industries such as:
For example, if you work as a plumber on construction sites, your company may require you to complete a construction-specific OSHA certification. This certification teaches you about common hazards in your environment and how to mitigate risk to yourself and those around you.
Sales training is a specific kind of employee training aimed at upskilling sales team members.
Sales training initiatives can cover a number of different topics, such as:
Inbound lead handling
Presentations and demonstrations
This kind of training is often delivered in a variety of different formats. Sales managers and coaches are typically responsible for providing ongoing training and development, though teams generally use outside help as well.
This might include sending sales agents to seminars or clinics, bringing in sales speakers to work with the team in your office, or using online training modules to develop sales skills.
Sales training is a valuable form of education to have under your belt, and it can increase your earning capacity (top sales reps can earn more than $85,000 per year).
Certain industries and positions are subject to strict legislation and regulation, which the company is required to conform to.
Often, this means that the employees of the company are required to have an understanding of those regulations and how to perform their job within the context of those laws.
This is where compliance training comes in.
Compliance training is about teaching employees the legislation that applies to their job, how to ensure their company stays compliant, and the potential risks to their job and to their organization if the business fails to comply.
For example, if you work for a software company that sells into European countries, then you’ll likely need to undertake compliance training to understand your company’s risk under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Leadership training is a specific category of employee training designed to help managers become better leaders or to help employees transition into leadership roles.
Skills taught during leadership training include:
How to motivate a team
Hiring and HR strategies
How to give employee feedback
Employees also commonly learn about different leadership styles during this kind of training.
Though all leaders (regardless of how experienced) can benefit from further leadership training, it’s especially common for companies to invest in this kind of development for new managers and those promoted to supervisory roles.
For example, imagine you’re promoted to team supervisor. You’re great at doing your original job (that’s a big part of why you got the promotion), but you’ve never led and managed a team before.
Your company can invest in leadership training to help you develop the necessary communication and interpersonal skills needed to succeed in your new role.
Technical training teaches employees job-specific hard skills that are required for them to complete their job well.
For example, as an accountant, your technical training might involve introducing you to new software and the specific accounting procedures your company uses.
Technical training is about developing hard skills, as opposed to soft skills (such as teamwork, problem-solving, and time management).
In some situations (typically high-risk scenarios), simulations may be used to provide technical training, so new employees are developing skills in a safe and controlled environment.
Product training is a useful style of employee training that helps newly hired workers understand how the product their company sells actually works.
For example, imagine you’ve just been hired as a sales development representative at a software company.
Your job is to contact potential customers and convince them that they may be able to find some benefit in your product. To do this well, you’ll need a decent understanding of how the product works.
This is where companies can provide product training.
Whereas hard skills relate to what you do at work (the specific actions you take to do your job), soft skills are more about how you do what you do.
Soft skills include things like:
Managerial and leadership skills
Time management skills
Flexibility and adaptability
Soft skills training is aimed at providing employees with strategies for improving these skills.
For example, training around team management might provide employees with a framework for scheduling their week and ensuring they’re on track to complete their work within the required timeframe.
Diversity training is any program designed to help employees understand the diverse perspectives of colleagues who might come from different backgrounds.
It aims to reduce prejudice and discrimination and help employees of diverse backgrounds work together more effectively.
Diversity training can involve raising awareness about different beliefs, attitudes, and cultures, as well as providing strategies for dealing with conflicts between such ideals.
Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about employee training.
Employee training can embody a number of different styles. It can be delivered online, off-site, or in your company office.
There are ten primary types of employee training companies typically offer:
Orientation and onboarding training
On the job (OTJ) training
Soft skills training
Employee training is crucial for employee development.
For many roles, employees can’t perform their job to the best of their abilities without undergoing some form of training.
Aside from hard skills development like this, employee training is important for each employee’s individual growth, development, and career progress. It can also increase their sense of purpose and engagement in their position.
The most common kind of employee training is orientation and onboarding.
That’s because this type of training is necessary for any employee to get accustomed to their role. It’s uncommon for companies to simply throw new hires into the deep end without some form of orientation and onboarding process.
Now that you have a good understanding of the various forms of employee training, there’s one question left to answer:
What skills of yours could use developing? And, more importantly, would your company be up for providing employee training?
If you, like many other employees, are feeling frustrated at the lack of training and development opportunities provided by your company, why not check out the Jobcase job board and consider making a move to further your career.