The Association for Talent’s 2016-State-of-the-Industry-Report found that an average of $1,252 is spent per employee for training and development. In addition, this report shows that employees spend 33.5 hours in training.
There’s no denying the importance of training in the workplace today, and more companies are adopting training systems to help their employees grow and acquire new skills. The new trend is to offer personalized training that’s tailored to each employee’s needs and goals. Through personalized training, employees can learn what they need to learn at their specific experience level and according to their personal career path.
A critical responsibility of management is to determine exactly who needs training on what specific skills to minimize the use of resources and provide highly focused skills training. To experience a “win-win” for all stakeholders, it is imperative for employers to assess employee skill levels prior to training. Without that baseline, it is impossible to determine who needs the training and, afterwards, the improvements gained by those trained. Data analytics inform and validate successes in goals, programs, processes, but unless you identify deficiencies and problems by measuring the pre-training skills, you will never be certain of your success.
How to Integrate Skills Testing in Your Training Program
A successful training strategy to optimize organizational growth should follow the structure below.
Skills testing plays the key role in the phases of “Training needs assessment” and “Evaluation.” In practice this means:
Screen your employees to figure out who among them needs training.
The first step in the design of any training involves an assessment of employees’ training needs. The assessment comprises:
observing the workers performing normal duties
studying routine reports or performance reviews, along with job descriptions
identifying performance problems
If the training is advanced in nature, make sure employees are at the level at which they can understand the training.
Agree and define the employee goals and targets.
The second step involves defining the learning objectives of the training program, which are derived from the needs assessment and should specify the observable, measurable actions each learner will be able to demonstrate as a result of participating in the skills training activities.
When developing goals, make sure you have specific outcomes in mind, including the quality of the training program, cost, and effectiveness. You’ll want to develop a benchmarking strategy for evaluating your progress towards your goals and ensure that data and reports are easily available to provide you with the information that you need.
This process can be very beneficial to both employers and employees, increasing productivity and retention and making companies more competitive in the marketplace as their employees learn the skills needed to stay ahead of the curve. Skills assessments can determine the specific skill gaps employees have, so they can be trained in the best possible way.
Employees expect skills training that is experiential, flexible, social and credentialed. That’s why, when designing a personalized skills training, be sure it is dynamic, interactive, easily accessible from anywhere (and any device) and will adapt to the learner’s lifestyle, rather than requiring the learner to work around a fixed course schedule.
6 Benefits of Skills Testing During the Training Program
Increased morale and productivity as employees feel appreciated when they receive personalized training and are, therefore, more likely to feel fulfilled at work.
A more skilled workforce, since personalized training helps employees close gaps in their skill sets by getting the skills they need to do their work better.
Employee retention and reduced turnover as employees continue to develop their expertise and reach their professional goals within the company.
Less time wasted since personalized training doesn’t try to force everyone into a single training course that may not complement their learning style.
More satisfied customers who are receiving the services they need from better-trained employees. A stronger workforce leads to increased competitiveness in your industry.
A growth-mindset among the trained staff, which will organically inspire other employees to want to take advantage of personalized training themselves.
Everyone agrees that training will elevate employee knowledge and the ability to execute tasks with greater skills, but how to know if your choices in training modules are working?
Wouldn’t you like to know the Return on Investment of your training expenses?
One solution is to deploy a tool like eSkill. eSkill’s assessment platform was created to be an enterprise-wide solution for training needs and job candidate skills assessment. Over 4,000 organizations, including Coca-Cola, Zappos, FedEx, LG, and Paychex, have used eSkill to test for training success and assess prospective employees’ skill gaps. eSkill offers fully customizable, multi-subject tests that let you measure skill levels pre- and post-training to assess training needs and measure training gains. Our dedicated Client Success Managers are trained to help clients design the best tests for their objectives and optimize the testing workflow, and our tech support is available 24/7/365.
Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a global platform for complete candidate skills and job fit assessment. eSkill’s online skills testing is used by thousands of employers for pre-employment assessment and staff benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they're best at, and that they enjoy.