Workforce

Do Your Staff Have the Training They Need?

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Do Your Staff Have the Training They Need?

Having a knowledgeable staff is a key element to running a successful business. Asking your staff to perform certain duties – or even perform their work in certain areas – without comprehensive training could pose serious risks to their safety, the safety of others and lead to costly legal consequences for your business.

Every industry has its own demands and requires businesses to have the right training program to ensure all their employees and contractors get up to speed as soon as possible. Without a properly facilitated induction to your company’s best practices staff don’t have all the training they need for certain duties which put them at a higher risk of making costly mistakes.

Without the right systems in place:

  • Staff won’t have all the training they need for certain duties.
  • Staff might access areas or perform authorised duties that they are not properly inducted for.
  • Organisations have difficulty determining staff training needs and/or training gaps.

For example, Aged Care is an industry whose reputation has suffered greatly because it has struggled to find a method to provide standardised training and assessment across all levels among it’s staff. Despite government intervention and regular inspections by the Department of Health and Ageing, we continue to hear horror stories about mistreatment and negligence in facilities around the country.

In nearly every case when an abuse has been reported, better systems of induction could have played a major role in solving an issue, or avoiding it all together. Unfortunately the lack of these systems has led to lengthy legal battles, government intervention and low customer confidence a norm.

With the right training system in place, it is not difficult to imagine the possibility of better conditions for some of the most vulnerable members of the community. With the right induction tools in place that can deliver the right training materials across multiple sites it is possible for the culture of a company, and eventually an entire industry to improve, take responsibility for its standards and live up to its true potential.

How do you know whether or not your staff has the proper training?

After an induction process is carried out, results have to be measured to determine effectiveness. In the 1950’s Dr. Donald Kirkpatrick developed a training effectiveness evaluation system known as the Kirkpatrick model. His system measures the value of training across 4-levels with appropriate information sources to determine what each employee has actually learned from the training program as is still highly regarded today.

Level 1: Reaction

The degree to which participants find the training favorable, engaging and relevant to their jobs.

  • Completed participant feedback questionnaire
  • Informal comments from participants
  • Focus group sessions with participants

Level 2: Learning

The degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitude, confidence and commitment based on their participation in the training.

  • Pre-and post test scores
  • On-the-job observation
  • Supervisor reports

Level 3: Behaviour

The degree to which participants apply what they have learned during training when they are back on the job.

  • Completed self-assessment questionnaire
  • On-the-job observation
  • Reports from customers, peers and participant’s manager

Level 4: Results

The degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training when they are back on the job.

  • Financial reports
  • Quality inspections
  • Interview with manager

Both training systems and the tools used to evaluate them need to be effective across the full range of a business organisation. Considering the modern business environment, it is immediately apparent that it is not standing still.

What was once a successful training program today may not be as effective (or cost-effective) tomorrow. This is particularly true for businesses that have customer-facing staff at multiple sites. With a widely dispersed workforce responsible for contributing to a consistent brand experience, the approach to and standards of training and induction must also be
consistent.

With the right combination of induction and assessment tools implemented and regularly tailored to the needs of a business, a knowledgeable workforce will become the foundation a business needs for sustainable growth and continued success internally and for its customers.
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