Learning & Development

Keys to Success for Any Employee Training Effort

Employee training can be conducted in a variety of ways, but there are several keys to success that are applicable to virtually any training effort. These are the foundational must-haves training teams should embed in any training program.

Effective Communication

Clear, effective communication of expectations is an important foundation for any employee training effort. It’s important for employees to have a clear understanding of the program’s goals and objectives both to determine whether the effort will be worth their while and to understand the training’s desired outcomes.   

More broadly, training itself is simply an intensive and specifically focused form of communication. The trainers strive to communicate important, work-related information to trainees in a way that will ensure they both retain and leverage that information to the benefit of the organization.

In this sense, basic communication principles are crucial to any effective training effort. Messages need to be delivered clearly and effectively, and it’s important to confirm trainees have received and understood the message.

And, when it comes to communication around training, once is not enough!

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement needs to be fostered throughout the training program, which could involve employees’ participating in conversations, activities, and assessments that will help them develop their skills.

Engaged employees are more likely to retain and apply what they learn on the job. In addition, effective engagement can also help enhance the overall experience and employees’ relationships with other trainees.


Finally, feedback needs to be provided both during and after training efforts. Feedback helps ensure employees are on track and that trainers can make adjustments as needed to improve outcomes.

Feedback during training can take the form of “applause meters”—e.g., “raise your hand if you feel this information has been helpful”—or polls. Quick assessments or assignments during training can also provide an indication of whether key concepts have been understood.

After training, managers and supervisors can participate in follow-up assessments and feedback that can then be used to make continuous improvements in both content and delivery.

Unless a training course is extremely brief (i.e., an hour or less), providing feedback and evaluating progress at the end of the course is generally a mistake.

Ultimately, employee training can have a large impact on employee performance and workplace culture, so taking the time to ensure these three keys are incorporated into training efforts can create better outcomes for both trainees and organizations.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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