HR 22 June 2017

Seven simple steps to create a staff training plan

training
Each new member of staff will have a different level of experience and knowledge 

A good training plan should develop both an employee’s hard and soft skill sets. Here, managing director at Love Energy Savings, Phil Foster, suggests seven ways to create a staff training plan that’s guaranteed to succeed.

Training your team is an investment, and one well worth making. Employees who lack skills or knowledge are likely to struggle in a role they aren’t properly equipped for, causing demotivation, anxiety and underperformance.

Creating a good staff training plan

It takes time and effort to create a staff training plan that’s effective. It’s critical to understand each team member’s individual needs and to set training targets that match your business goals.

A good training plan isn’t just a job description, it should cover hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical skills that can be measured, such as the ability to use software for example. Soft skills are those less tangible skills, such as negotiation or listening.

How to create a staff training plan

1. Assess staff needs

Each member of staff will have a different level of experience and knowledge so it’s important you start by assessing them individually. This could take the form of a survey, a personal interview or manager’s observations.

Use a survey to help create a staff training plan
A survey can help you to assess staff needs.

2. Engage staff

Your staff are much more likely to be willing to take part in additional training if they understand the importance of it. Not everyone likes change so be open to questions from your team and emphasise the benefits training will bring. Create a staff training plan that encourages your team to research opportunities and make their own suggestions.

3. Recruit a specialist

To properly create a staff training plan and implement it, you may need to look outside your organisation. By bringing in a specialist co-ordinator who is dedicated to ensuring training happens, you can send a strong message to employees that you’re serious about their development.

4. Make it measurable

Your training co-ordinator should create a staff training plan that meet SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Agreed-upon, Realistic and Time-based. This will ensure each team member is on a development path that can be measured.

5. Celebrate success

Encourage your team to take pride in their training achievements by celebrating their success. This will help maintain morale and drive, which is important for long-term training plans after the initial excitement has worn off.

How to create a staff training plan
It takes time and effort to create an effective staff training plan.

6. Receive feedback

Be open to receiving feedback from your staff on how their training is going. It should be a two-way conversation, so encourage an open and honest dialogue within your team. Training should be a discussion point that staff can openly debate and get passionate about.

7. Refresh and refine your training plan

Training should be reviewed and revised continually, ensuring it meets both your staff and business goals as they develop. Accepting adaptations and improvements will ensure your training is relevant and fresh, and it’ll help to keep your team inspired.

Staff training plan templates

A staff training plan template can help you save valuable time, learn best practice and make your training more cost effective.

  • This template from Workable functions as a new-hire training checklist to help a new employee ease into their new role
  • Smartsheet provides free, downloadable training plan templates, available in Microsoft Excel and Word, as well as PDF, formats
  • Use these employee training plan templates from Creately to create visual corporate training programmes
  • This template from Project Management Docs also includes an example training plan, developed by Ace Consulting

Phil Foster is managing director at business gas comparison site Love Energy Savings.

Read more: Majority of workers want training to help them get to grips with new software.

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