Employee training: Balancing what they want and what you can afford to give

by on February 19, 2014 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Cafe
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As a progressive employer, you probably offer your employees professional training, both to hone skills that will benefit the organization and to give them additional knowledge that will advance their careers.

But are you providing that training in the way your people consider most valuable?

A recent survey by OfficeTeam, a unit of the Robert Half staffing agency, reveals that 55% of employees consider some form of “live” training most beneficial to them, as compared with 34% who prefer self-directed training.

‘Live’ options
The survey, of 409 employees who work in office environments, showed that 33% of respondents preferred on-site, instructor-led training, while another 22% were most enthuastic about off-site courses or seminars — as long as the organization reimbursed the cost.

As for the self-directed training, 18% liked online courses while another 16% would opt for learning from books or other reference materials.

(Filling out the 100%, 7% of respondents said they preferred other or no types of training, and 4% didn’t answer the question.)

What others are doing
Meantime, it’s also instructive to see what other organizations are doing. In a survey of 508 HR managers accompanying the employee survey, some 67% of respondents said they provided on-site, instructor-led sessions, while 64% did training through printed materials and 62% online. Some 35% provided reimbursement for off-site courses.

So what’s an employer to make of all these numbers?
Perhaps this: The ideal training mix reflects a balance between what employees want and what your budget will allow. Given the employee preference expressed in the survey, you may want to make sure that you do some live training. But you may also want to complement that with self-directed sessions that are likely to cost less.

Whatever mix you decide upon, don’t forget that follow-up is essential. None of these training methods work if you don’t hammer home the message more than once. Self-directed training that includes strong reinforcement elements may be just the ticket for that follow-up.

See survey at http://bit.ly/1hllJxN

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