When we think about employee training, we often focus on specialized or job-specific areas of learning. While these topics are important, there are some that are universal and should be taught to everyone who joins your company.
Employee training is an ongoing process. It shouldn’t be viewed as an expense or a luxury, but as an essential part of success. You need workers with strong skill sets who also know how to handle activities, situations, and tasks that are at the core of any organization. These are things like interpersonal skills, technology basics, ethics, and safety.
Many of these topics were touched on in the past but weren’t often given the attention they deserve. Old instructional presentations could provide some benefit, but they don’t have the effectiveness of an online learning course. If you are still using an old video, now is the time to upgrade.
If you are starting to build your employee training program, then you should begin with the basics. The following list includes high-priority topics that apply to any industry. You may find subjects to add to the list, but these should be present and delivered in a meaningful and engaging way for maximum benefit to your organization.
How to Communicate Effectively
Poor communication can be costly. When a misunderstanding happens, it can lead to personnel problems, lost revenue, and damaged morale. Everyone in your organization should understand how to convey ideas, instructions, and feedback effectively.
Training should include information as well as demonstrations or even opportunities to practice interactions. Some LMS platforms offer virtual experiences using AI or mini games. The learner can choose responses and see what happens as a result of their choices. It’s a valuable tool that helps employees learn how to communicate and interact before they face these situations in a real-life setting.
This topic should cover verbal and text communication as well as body language and how it can affect interactions. Honing your team’s ability to communicate will allow them to work with customers, business partners, and each other with confidence.
How to Manage and Participate in Projects
Projects are a part of corporate life. Employees should know how to manage and participate in them to be as productive and successful as possible. This should be taught as part of your training essentials because today’s new employees could become tomorrow’s project leaders.
It can be difficult to work alongside others to complete a shared task or reach a goal. There are more factors to consider, like whether you are keeping up with the project schedule, if you are providing progress updates, and if your portion of the work meets the requirements of others.
Employees who learn how to be good project managers also develop their time management and communication skills.
How to be a Good Leader
Leadership training will influence the future of your company. It’s something that everyone in your organization should have access to from the beginning.
Good leaders possess many beneficial traits. They know how to communicate, are motivated, and set a positive example. Leadership training is good for morale. It helps create a path to higher salaries and positions. These opportunities are a big part of keeping employee retention stats up and turnover low.
Leadership training shows your team that you are willing to invest in them. Your organization can nurture a reliable, skilled workforce while your team remains happy, productive and motivated.
Ethics and Social Responsibility
Ethics and social responsibility are another area that helps encourage employees to stay. Ethics sets the stage for a positive corporate culture.
Younger people entering the workforce have expressed a strong desire to work for a company that they feel aligns with their ethics. According to a 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Culture report, around 86% of millennials would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company that matches their values.
“It’s important for people to be able to bring their full selves to work,” said LinkedIn VP of benefits and experience Nina McQueen. “As people’s work and personal lives become more intertwined than ever before, there has been an increased expectation that the companies we work for have our shared values.”
Preventing and Reporting Sexual Harassment
Preventing and reporting sexual harassment should be a staple topic in your training program. This is important for employees and the company. Harassment of any type is uncomfortable for the victim and those around them. Many people do not know what to do when they witness or experience sexual harassment.
These situations are very bad for businesses, who could receive negative PR or even lawsuits if the problem is not properly and adequately addressed. Self-preservation aside, any company that’s worthwhile will care about its employee’s safety.
The bottom line is that you cannot afford to skip this training topic. It is usually a requirement by law, so keep your team compliant and help lower the risk of an incident by sharing information on preventing harassment.
Common Technical Skills
There is no way around it. Anyone working in an office today will need to be able to handle basic technical tasks. You need to know how to send emails, use a printer, and search the web. These may seem like easy activities to some, but for anyone who did not grow up with a computer, it can be daunting.
Including a lesson on basic technical skills can help prepare your workers for their jobs. The use of technology across almost all industries is growing and will likely continue to do so. Getting everyone on your team up to speed will give them the best chance at success.
Safe Practices and Regulations
Safety classes should be at the top of your training course list. The information included may vary based on your industry, but this is one topic that needs to be present across the board.
Workplace injuries can be devastating for the victim and expensive for your organization. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that companies pay around $62 billion annually for workplace injuries. That amounts to over $1 million every week.
That number only covers the injuries and not other associated costs, like lost production, damaged equipment, lower efficiency, OSHA penalties, and damaged employee morale.
Everyone should be able to work in a hazard-free environment. It’s up to you to create that environment starting with safety training. Knowledgeable workers are the key to maintaining a safe workplace.
Employees that are dedicated and motivated should strive to know as much as they can about the product or service they help produce and sell. Including training in these areas will help give them a strong start. It’s also necessary to keep customer satisfaction high.
Even if some of your staff do not work directly with customers, their efforts can impact the customer’s experience. When they know your industry and product inside and out, they will make better decisions that lead to higher profits.
Is It Time to Re-Evaluate Your Employee Training Program?
If you are missing any of the above, then it may be time to re-evaluate your training program. Many LMS platforms offer integration with third-party course catalogs that can give you easy access to the topics you need. Others include user-friendly features that make it possible to produce quality courses with little to no technical knowledge.
Get started by visiting LMS.org and checking out our collection of LMS reviews. Find out what’s available to discover the best tools to fill in your employee training gaps.