A business is nothing without its employees. How are you ensuring your employees are properly trained and equipped to understand your goals and benchmarks for success? Training and development in the workplace continues to evolve. Are you training them to go out and pitch your products and offerings to clients and consumers effectively?

Effective employee training is highly important for your company’s success. Crafting a plan for training your employees is the first step. It’s important to outline the specific technologies, policies and market opportunities employees should be aware of, as well as any challenges they’re likely to encounter.

Here are some items to consider when creating effective and efficient employee training and staff training and development programs. It’s also important to consider not just training new employees, but all employees to invest in their continued growth.

Make learning flexible and accessible

Training materials should be crafted to be accessible to employees. While scheduling onboarding training sessions with company leaders can be an effective way to facilitate engagement live, it’s often helpful to provide items they can access flexibly. From on-demand videos they can watch to certifications they can complete on their own time and schedules, there are a variety of ways to provide these training sessions. New employees especially can feel overwhelmed by the onboarding process, so they’ll be thankful for the flexibility of completion you provide.

Additionally, accessibility should be kept top-of-mind. You may not be aware of specific issues such as hearing loss or learning needs of all of your employees as they’re not obliged to divulge them to you. Keeping accessibility and disability needs a priority helps to create an inclusive environment for all employees. For example, adding captions to your videos is one easy option.

Tools like Verbit can be embedded into your training management systems, video hosting platforms and web conferencing tools like Zoom to add captions to videos both live and recorded. Captioning software not only serve the needs of employees who are deaf or navigating hearing loss, but many employees can benefit from an additional visual aid of captions. They’re also more likely to retain the training information when they both hear it and see it visually.

Additionally, offering transcription and note taking opportunities within these training videos can be helpful. Providing full transcripts of what was said fulfills accessibility needs, but also provides them with an item to go back and reference in the future. Some employees also retain information better when they’re actively note taking. Tools like Verbit’s allow them to take live notes within a transcript as its being generated both live on a Zoom call or within a video they’re watching on-demand.

Use various training methods to increase engagement

Think of your employees as students when considering how you craft your training materials. All students learn differently and consume information differently. While some benefit from reading information in the form of text, others prefer to watch video or consume audio in the form of podcasts or clips. Some training sessions offer stronger engagement when conducted live. Sessions covering content that you envision employees having lots of questions about are best delivered live or via live web conferencing tools like Zoom. If live isn’t a benefit, offer employees the ability to consume the content leisurely on-demand at their own pace and during their preferred time frames.

Master classes with experts and external events and webinars are additional formats which can help to fuel engagement. Provide employees with a variety of formats to learn and continuously offer sessions and opportunities to attend events. Showcasing that your company’s leadership understands that training and knowledge expansion should be continuous, not only offered to new employees you’re onboarding, will make for happy employees. Additionally, events and external classes offer ways for them to learn from thought leaders and bring insights back to your company.

Offer cross department training and exercises

It’s important to offer employees not just training on their specific role, but insight into what the company is achieving on a higher level. Offering cross department training and exercises will help them to gain insights on what other teams and departments are focusing on so they can see the bigger picture.

Additionally, offering opportunities for them to interact with members of other departments will lead to more collaboration long-term overall. Providing new employees with opportunities to interact with different stakeholders in the company and get to know employees better who they may not interact with on a daily basis will also help them to feel more invested in their position and how it impacts the company overall.

Identify benefits of training for employees

It’s important that employees don’t just see training as an obligatory requirement. Employers should work to ensure that their employees see personal value in their training as well. Identify ways that training sessions will benefit their careers and showcase how more training will lead to promotions and growth opportunities.

Showing employees that training them won’t just drive the company forward, but their individual careers is one way to get them to take these sessions seriously. They’ll also become more invested in providing feedback for how to improve these sessions for the future if they see a clear future at your company.

Create a clear way to assess training success

It’s important to take a moment to understand and establish clear benchmarks of successful employee training. Is it just about video completion? Are quizzes necessary to ensure they’re retaining the information? Are the videos actually working in conveying the important items they need to? Should you create a healthy competition of sorts or gamify the training to drive engagement with scores or teams?

Company leaders should provide opportunities to test different formats to ensure they’re working. This process will help you invest properly in the creation of training materials, as well as in your employees themselves. Training is designed to help employees reach their full potential at your company, so make sure you’re assessing how and if the training provided is actually doing so.

Feedback is also critical for employee training and development. If you’re unsure if your employee training methods are actually working, why have your employees set aside the time to partake in them? Why invest more in updating materials which aren’t working well? What does your employee retention look like? How can you improve employee training to keep employees, not just onboard them?

Taking a moment to garner feedback on your training activities for employees will serve your business long-term. It will ensure you’re setting up your workforce for success. Allow your employees to offer suggestions to improve training effectiveness regularly.