Make it personal: how to take your employees on an individual training journey.

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Effective training underpins everything that will contribute to the success of your company. You can bring good, talented people in, but if you fail to train them in the right way then you’ll soon lose them to the competition. Take this statistic from researchers at go2HR, that suggests that an incredible 40% of employees given poor training will leave the company within the first year.

But what does ‘poor training’ actually mean? Well, it may be that the training is based on out-dated methods or resources. It might be irrelevant to the real-life roles that employees are doing every day. Employees may simply be feeling disengaged and are struggling to see any value in developing themselves further.

Training can fail for many reasons – but the overarching reason behind many of these factors is that employers have failed to take their people on any kind of individual training journey. Here’s what that means and why it’s so important.

Why is taking an individual approach to training is so important

Here at Cognito, we’ve seen a lot of training, delivered in a variety of ways with varying degrees of success. But what all the very best training programmes have in common is a personal approach.

For employees, that means that the training they receive feels meaningful to them. They recognise that the skills they’re learning are beneficial – directly, for them, and indirectly for the company as a whole.

In turn, they feel empowered and valued by the business because they can see that they are being invested in. They recognise that the company is taking the time to understand their needs, and that their personal ambitions and those of the company are closely aligned.

The result? The employee feels more engaged and motivated to commit to the training. Meanwhile, the company doesn’t waste resources with training that’s not focused in the places where it can make the most difference.

How do you take your employees on an individual training journey?

So how do you make sure that training feels personal for your employees? Here are a few pointers.

Firstly, think about why your people want to learn. It might be because they can see that it will either help them in the short term in their current role. Or, it may be because they recognise that it will benefit them in the longer term, as their career develops.

With this in mind, linking your training plan to your broader development plan is crucially important here. This is all about helping your people to see that they’re not just learning for the sake of it. The new skills and abilities they’re acquiring are driving them towards fulfilling their own development aims, which in turn benefit the wider business.

Note as well that taking a personal approach to training doesn’t mean taking a piecemeal, ad hoc approach to it. Instead, it’s about listening to people’s needs, understanding how these align with the needs of the company and seeing how training can help by giving them the skills they need to contribute even more.

Make the decision to learn a conscious one on the part of the individual employee.

Helping your employees to feel in control of their own learning and development is central to making sure that they engage with it. For this to happen, the decision to learn new skills needs to be a personal one. Employees should feel that the learning and development choices they are making are just that – choices – not something that’s being imposed on them.

When this happens they feel empowered to take more responsibility for their own personal training and development. And, they recognise that the company values them and trusts them enough to give them this freedom to define their own learning journey.

Ultimately, if you’ve recruited well, then your teams will be full of people who buy into your company’s vision and values and feel motivated by them. If they do, they should also feel that any training you’re providing them with is helping them to develop the skills they need to contribute to a business that they believe in.

But it’s not enough to just assume this will happen. Approaching training with a clear plan around how you’ll support employees before, during and after the training is crucial. At every stage, you’ll need to dig deeply into their personal needs and accurately identify what their individual motivations for learning are.

This is tough – and has been made even tougher during lockdown as managers work remotely with learners. And even with eLearning, there is a risk that employees can feel lost and directionless when presented with an unstructured learning programme.

This is where a solution like Cognito’s is so invaluable. We offer an accessible, engaging training method that adapts to the needs of the individual learner constantly. Cognito’s technology makes learning an ongoing experience that puts the employee at the heart of the process and makes it easier to align the needs of the organisation and of the individual.

To discuss more about how Cognito can help learners in your organisation, give us a call today on 01423 203 733.