Form an Employee Training Plan in 6 Steps

An employee training plan outlines items like training needs, strategies, goals, activities, and a training curriculum.

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Form an Employee Training Plan in 6 Steps

A study done in early 2022 indicates that almost 1 out of 5 of your workers might be going through the motions, at best. According to a Gallup survey of 14,705 U.S. employees, 32% are engaged in their work and 17% are actively disengaged. An employee training plan might turn that around. Having a training plan that helps workers develop and advance their skills could mean the difference between high levels of productivity and a workforce that just shows up.

An employee training plan outlines the things you need for an effective employee training program, or programs. Your training plan will include items like training needs, training strategies, possible training activities, goals for training, and a training curriculum. Once you have your training plan, you can develop training programs that cover the actual courses, content, tools and costs.

To get you started, let’s take a look at how and why you need to develop a training plan for your workforce.

According to a Gallup survey of 14,705 U.S. employees, 32% are engaged in their work and 17% are actively disengaged. An employee training plan might turn that around.

What is the purpose of employee training?

Having an employee training plan and, eventually, a training and development program allows employers to identify training needs and create courses and content that address those needs. In other words, it allows employers to pinpoint training shortfalls and address them in a timely manner. Training plans and programs can also be used to help employees advance within the company.

Who benefits from employee training plans?

Employees, customers, vendors, executives and the business itself benefit from employee training plans. A few of the big benefits include:

  • The company will attract and retain the best talent available in their industry.
  • The business will be better able to promote from within because they will be developing future organizational leaders.
  • Employees will achieve better autonomy, which means leaders and managers will spend less time micromanaging and more time solving the big problems and researching innovative ideas.
  • A strongly trained workforce will give managers more time to mentor and coach because the employees in their departments can handle their own workloads and any small issues that may arise.
  • Employees will be more engaged while working because they know their company values them.

What’s included in an employee training plan?

You can look at an employee training plan as the big picture. This is what sets the stage for the creation of your specific training programs, their content, the way the training will be delivered, and the timing. It can also help determine the costs involved in creating the programs as well as identify any special considerations or issues that may arise. Here are some factors to include.

  • Training needs of employees. This might be broken down by department and/or career stage.
  • Training materials on hand. You may have old training handbooks, pamphlets, and software-based courses that were used for training employees in the past. These can often be updated or adjusted for current needs or used as guides to create new programs.
  • Ways in which you deliver training. This can include online, in-person, physical books, and classroom training.
  • Specific objectives of the training programs. List what you hope to accomplish by providing targeted training.
  • Metrics by which you plan to evaluate the employee training programs. Include success rates, number of employees attended, and increases or decreases in productivity.
  • Training budget. Determine the costs associated with creating and delivering the programs.

How to create an effective employee training plan

Creating an effective training plan for employee and management training can be performed in 6 simple steps.

Creating an effective training plan for employee and management training can be performed in 6 simple steps. These steps will help you determine the types of training you need, help you get upper management on board, and outline the specifics of your employee training programs.

1. Assess your needs and gaps

The first step to creating an effective employee training plan is assessing your current needs. You can do this by sending out a training needs assessment survey to all employees, managers, team leaders, and executives. Common questions you’ll want to have on your needs assessment include:

  • What skills do you feel like you have mastered and how did you develop those skills?
  • What skills you feel like you need to excel in your current position?
  • What skills do you think you’ll need to advance in your career/attain promotions?
  • What skills do your new employees need to be successful?
  • What type of learning environment do you prefer (classroom, online, video, other)?
  • What is your preferred classroom style for in-person training (lecture or traditional, discussion style or seminar, high-tech active learning)?
  • Do you feel like you need a college or university degree to advance and if so, which degree(s)?
  • Do you have any comments or ideas about workplace/employee training in our organization?

2. Assess your people and skills

To further determine your training needs, you can take a more hands-on approach by discussing training in the organization with your managers and team leads. In this step, schedule a time with your managers to discuss employee skills gaps. The goal is to identify employees that need additional skills and what those skills are. It also gives you a list of employees that you can recommend for the first round of training courses. After all, a company is only as good as its weakest employee.

3. Get upper management on board

Now, it’s time to get your upper management on board. If you sent a skills assessment to upper management, they already know that you’re working on developing a new training plan and may have a few ideas to offer. Contact them via email, phone, or in person to tell them about the company’s training needs and the plan for addressing training shortfalls and skills gaps.

4. Assess your resources

Once upper management is on board, it’s time to locate all those old training materials that your company has had for 20 years. Some of it may still be relevant. Some may need only slight updates to account for new software and procedures, and some may need to be developed from scratch. Old training programs can be used as a template for new training programs.

5. Start planning your training program

Now, it’s time to start developing your training program from your training plan. This includes determining the courses that you need, how you will deliver the course content, and if you plan to use any existing seminars or college courses to help supplement your training.

  • Determine the courses and their names.
  • Start creating course outlines and putting together the course material, which can help identify gaps in material and if you need to hire someone (or a 3rd party agency) to fully develop the training programs.
  • Determine how each course will be delivered (online, in-person, classroom, seminar or college course).
  • Start developing training manuals and presentations for your in-house training classes.
  • Determine if you also need to implement coaching and/or employee mentoring in your programs.

6. Define the training metrics and tracking systems

Lastly, define what you want to track and how you want to track it. Some metrics to consider tracking include:

  • Number of employees who attend training and the time they spend on training.
  • Productivity levels before and after training.
  • Cost to train each employee.
  • Business profitability before and after training is implemented.
  • How employees feel about the training.

Planning to succeed

Once you have your training plan outlined and a few of the details handled, it’s time to start creating the training content. The good news is that there are lots of tools and information available to help you build a high-quality training program, including employee training plan templates. To get help with your program, check out Zenefits tools and information for creating employee development plans and programs. Also, don’t forget to check out our People Ops, which can help you automate your HR.

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