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Top 5 employee training programs
The bare minimum employee training programs businesses of all sizes should offer include:
Onboarding training typically covers various topics, like company culture, products and services, work standards, tool and equipment usage, and other company policies. OTJ training, meanwhile, uses hands-on learning to teach new hires the immediate skills and competencies they’ll need in their roles.
But compliance, onboarding, and OTJ training are not enough on their own. They don’t necessarily provide employees with the skills to effectively cooperate with others, manage their workloads, or create a safe space to spark new ideas.
The following are the top training courses you or your learning and development (L&D) teams should provide to cultivate the most well-rounded, productive, and collaborative workforce.
- Soft skills.
- Health, safety, and security.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion.
1. Soft skills
Soft skills training courses for employees comprise topics that help employees perform their duties more effectively or efficiently. Often, they are qualitative skills that you can’t measure through certifications, licenses, or degrees. They are also in direct contrast to hard or technical skills.
Examples of soft skills include:
Because every employee’s background and experiences differ, you can’t assume everyone comes with the same personal or professional standards. Soft skills courses can fill these gaps and give them the knowledge and tools to optimize their performance.
In fact, research by the Carnegie Foundation in 1918 notes that 85% of career success comes from having well-developed soft skills and people skills. More recent data from LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Report reveals that 92% of talent professionals say that soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills when making hiring decisions. This is especially important considering the increased rise of automation and AI in the workplace.
Communication training comprises courses to help employees effectively exchange ideas and collaborate with workers from various backgrounds or working styles. Although communication is a soft skill, it’s crucial to prioritize this kind of training to foster harmonious working relationships that lead to company innovation.
Communication training for employees also encompasses much more than “how to talk to someone.” It also involves the subtle verbal and non-verbal interactions that impact your company’s overall culture, like employee happiness, engagement, and loyalty.
Depending on your business, you can benefit from several communication modules, including:
3. Health, safety, and security
For some industries, health, safety, and security (HSSE) training overlaps with other compliance training. However, you should offer HSSE training in some capacity, even if you are not in an industry that regulates it. This is because HSSE training covers more than fire prevention or how to use personal protective equipment (PPE); it also covers protecting your company’s intellectual property.
Effective HSSE gives employees the tools to recognize and prevent or de-escalate safety or security threats. The training will also equip employees with the knowledge of how to react to these situations after they occur, such as recordkeeping requirements or who to notify internally or externally.
HSSE training covers a broad range of topics, but some examples include:
Leadership training courses aim to develop the skills to prioritize and manage projects and direct reports for those in or about to be in leadership or management positions. It is one of the most important employee training programs your company can offer because all organizations, big or small, need leaders.
Leadership courses frequently include both soft and technical skill training. For instance, leaders need a variety of soft skills to motivate teams, inspire followership, and ensure the completion of business objectives. Examples include:
In addition, leaders must be well-versed in the tools and techniques of their or their company’s trade and how to get priorities done with utmost quality and efficiency. Hard skill development courses for leaders may include certifications in project management, business development, or another industry-specific area.
5. Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training involves teaching employees how to celebrate differences and be more mindful and empathetic toward coworkers from various backgrounds. As the name suggests, DEI training encompasses:
One of the fundamental components of DEI training involves confronting our biases based on how we interact with and understand others in the context of our upbringings and experiences. But, because of the nature of this training, it is easy to create counter-productive DEI courses.
In fact, a 2023 study by WebMD Health Services found that nearly half (46%) of respondents say DEI programs failed them personally. Thus, although DEI training should be a priority for every organization, these programs require sensitivity and a way for employees to report injustices in the workplace, like employee resource groups.
Modules to consider in your DEI training program include:
Start crafting your company’s employee training programs
Offering employee training courses gives your company many advantages, such as increasing employee retention, reducing turnover, attracting qualified candidates, and supporting employees’ professional development, to name a few.
Moreover, employee training programs are something that your employees want, with 76% of employees saying they are more likely to stay with a company that offers continuous training in SHRM and TalentLMS’s 2022 Workplace Learning & Development Trends study.
Options like full-scale LMS software with pre-built course templates and gamified elements to improve employee engagement make starting your training programs easier than ever.
To explore some of these platforms, browse our Learning Management System Software Guide for our top favorites plus a complete list of other options to fit your needs. Or, check out our favorite eLearning features in our video overview below:
Featured LMS partners
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2 Absorb LMS
Empower organizations to provide employees, customers, partners, or members with the knowledge they need to effectively do their job with Absorb LMS. Absorb’s best-in-class interface creates an easy-to-use and dynamic learner and admin LMS experience. Make learning and development your competitive advantage by integrating an award-winning learning management system that combines the power of traditional LMS features with a core focus on user experience.