How to Improve Staff Training and Development During Crisis?
Making investments in learning and educational programs has never been more important for business leaders. A crisis situation can sneak up on any side and at any time. It may be related to global economic issues or sudden situations and events such as COVID-19.
Spending thousands of dollars on learning and development programs, executives all over the world still grapple with how to improve and enhance their effectiveness. The need to improve learning programs is still an important concern among many executives. In this post, we list eight challenges managers and their companies must meet to create development programs that really work during a crisis.
Nothing scares managers so much than being informed about a crisis. Any leader may suddenly face a crisis in all shapes and sizes, whether technological, financial, technological, or human resources. However, managers should not lash out at team members, otherwise, they will be counterproductive to solving the crisis challenge.
Education is a possible key to solve many critical situations. This element of crisis management should be especially considered in 2020 since this year is showing that further will not be easy. But creating an employee training and development program from scratch is also a kind of challenge. What training should be given to employees? How can training programs be used to support staff development? Finally, what specific steps should be made to improve your employee training and development processes during the crisis? Let’s figure it out.
Team development and different kinds of training refer to educational activities within a company. During the crisis time, they are aimed to enhance the skills and knowledge of employees while providing useful instructions on how to better perform specific tasks.
What is the difference between training and development?
- Training is a program designed to develop and improve technical skills and knowledge of employees to do a specific job in a more effective or safer manner.
- Employee development is the entire process employers provide to employees to help them gradually improve their abilities and skills, acquire new knowledge, and demonstrate progress in their careers.
The aim of employees during the training activity is to develop additional skills while in development, the key goal is to develop a total personality. In training, all initiatives are taken by the management who have the objective of meeting the present needs of employees. In development, initiatives are taken by people and their objective is to meet future needs.
Why staff training and development are important?
- They enhance skill development
- Provide optimum utilization of human resources
- Accelerate organizational culture and effective teamwork
- Boost productivity
- Improve quality
- Increase profitability
- Optimize the company’s morale
What are the pros of training and development?
- They help employees develop new skills and increase their knowledge.
- Raise productivity and efficiency of individuals and the whole team.
- Create improved job positions.
- Keep individuals motivated and enhance contribution levels.
Are there any cons?
- Training and development are often relatively expensive processes.
- There is a risk that after training and development, some employees can quit the job.
Eight-Step -Strategy for Working on Your Employee Training and Development Processes
Training is all about employee development. But development is not only a set of educational courses combined together.
To succeed in staff training and development in the crisis period, you must have an overall plan and a template that will ultimately justify the resources your company is putting into training.
Here’re 8 steps you should follow to create your own employee training and development program:
- Defining goals
- Highlighting competencies
- Building trust in leadership
- Arranging deep analysis
- Employees interviewing
- Offering formal training
- Self-directed learning
1. Determine goals
Resist the temptation to immediately plunge into the search of training courses, tools, and timelines when developing a training and development program. Step back a moment and first try to define the overall business goals you are going to achieve. Outline the milestones leading to those goals.
You will need a plan containing a change management strategy that will share the common mission, vision, and company values.
2. Highlight competencies
Competencies represent abilities, knowledge, and skills that affect the success of companies and employees. Competency-based learning is a current trend in the most successful businesses.
For example, building effective teams or customer service are useful competencies. When you define the competencies your company wants to foster, it will be easier to find the ways for learning employees.
3. Build trust in leadership
Unfortunately, trust is frequent challenge business leaders continue to face. Employees always crave transparency and honesty from their leaders. Only about half of employees believe their employer is open and upfront with them. If managers want employees to engage in learning processes, they need to show that they are actively pursuing their own personal learning journeys as well.
4. Make a gap analysis
A gap analysis means reporting that demonstrates where employees are today, as contrasted with where you want them to be.
Even if you already have enough data, the gap analysis is worth considering. Start with standard job descriptions, performance evaluations, and even safety reports. Additionally, you may use employee self-assessment or 360-degree performance reviews.
5. Interview your colleagues
Partnership is also a crucial aspect of employee development. It seems obvious that if you want your employee development program to work in a crisis, you need to talk to your employees and listen to them.
It is rather important to find out what are their own goals within your company. Perhaps a good worker is dreaming about being a manager. He/she can also be perfectly happy in his/her current role and has no interest in leading others. Regardless of how much training you have in your plan, forcing a new role on the person may create resentment and set him/her up to fail.
6. Propose formal training
After the preliminary work that was described above, it is time to target those gaps in employee competencies. You’ll need to compose a formal training program with specific training courses. This program should regard not only job-specific skills but general business and soft skills training as well.
Then you should choose a form of training sessions. For many skills, streaming short video courses will be ok. You may practice blended learning that involves both instructor-led sessions and digital media.
7. Practice coaching/ be a mentor
Coaching and mentoring can be invaluable additions to your training program during the crisis, especially for developing high-potential team members.
Mentoring and coaching allow developing and transferring knowledge to help the less experienced employees grow professionally. Matching coaches/mentors and mentees is not on an easy challenge but it is crucial for creating a successful program.
After you have determined potential matches, draft a guideline and a mentoring agreement. It will help to formalize the relationship and prevent some issues that might develop down the road.
8. Think of self-directed learning
Creating a special library for employees so they can find the courses they want is a good idea. Providing self-directed learning has some evident benefits: it allows better accommodation for different learning styles and increases the speed of development.
Self-directed learning will positively influence on soft skills (multitasking, decision-making, creativity, communication skills, etc.), and point-of-need skills.
Employee training and development programs should go further than offering a few classes. Make it a part of your company culture! Document training opportunities and make it a company value. Encourage your team members to speak up when they find new educational opportunities.
Whether you’re looking to add a few classes to your current training strategy or build a staff development program from scratch, do not doubt to try and your company definitely get success.