Great training and development program: A key differentiator for your employer brand!
Employee training and development programs are always part of the HR benefitsMost Wanted Employee Benefits. Many of today's top performers have ambitions that go beyond their current role. If they don't have a chance to learn and develop, they will almost certainly look elsewhere for opportunities.
Also, learning and development (L&D) is a crucial component for cultivationpositive corporate culture. It puts the employee first and makes personal growth and innovation a priority. With the right options, a company can demonstrate its commitment to its workforce.
Many companies with outstanding employee training and development programs can assert themselves as leaders in their niche. That helpsrecruitmentandemployee retention.
If you're wondering what leading companies are doing with their training and development programs to stand out from the crowd, you've come to the right place!
5 top examples of employee training and development programs
In many cases, the idea of developing an L&D program from scratch is daunting. Luckily, you can let industry leaders guide you and follow their example to create a robust solution that meets the specific needs of your business.
If you're not sure where to start, here are five examples of companies that are truly leading the way with world-class employee training and development programs:
- Pilot Flying J
L&D Example #1: Amazon
At Amazon, the onboarding process includes extensive training. Each new hire takes part in a month-long journey that allows employees to acclimate to the company, build confidence and improve their skills.
In 2012, Amazon launched thecareer choiceProgram that gives hourly employees access to educational benefits after being part of the company for just one year. Career Choice offers tuition and tuition coverage and textbook reimbursement rates of up to 95%. Participants can access up to $12,000 while earning a certificate or associate degree as long as they take courses in in-demand niches.
In 2019, Amazon pledged to invest in and commit to its employees700 million dollarsRetrain 100,000 team members. The goal was to upskill employees and give non-technical employees access to training on technical skills. For example, the Amazon Technical Academy enables employees to develop their skills and transition into a career as a software developer.
The programs create a win-win situation, empowering employees to pursue their career dreams and enabling the retail giant to close skills gaps. As well as creating internal advancement opportunities, participants earn certifications to carry with them, increasing their value when looking for jobs elsewhere.
L&D Example #2: AT&T
AT&T offers employees access to development opportunities in two ways. First, the company has a robust tuition support program that makes college more affordable for its employees. Second, it has internal employee training and development programs that give workers opportunities to improve their skills and potentially advance.
At AT&T University, employees can participate in an executive-led training program that focuses on topics such as management and leadership. In addition to offering in-person learning opportunities, the telecom giant has also partnered with Udacity to create online self-paced courses that give its employees access to non-degree programs in subjects like data analytics and mobile development that can accelerate their careers.
But the company has another feather in its education cap. In partnership with Georgia Tech and Udacity, AT&T helped create the first online Master of Science degree in computer science. This not only benefits employees, but also everyone else who is looking for an online opportunity to advance their tech career.
L&D Example #3: SAS
A globally recognized leader in business analytics solutions, often referred to in “best jobsLists around the globe, SAS shines when it comes to L&D opportunities. The internships focus on supporting professional growth and preparing college students for the next phase in their lives. It combines formal learning with on-the-job training and experience, creating a well-rounded approach to training the next generation.
In addition, SAS offers a range of entry-level programs. Through it is paid”academy roles,“The company helps new graduates make the transition to the job market. Through Sales, Customer Advisory, Technical Enablement and Marketing rotation programs, new professionals can hone their skills at corporate headquarters and ensure they have the tools they need to succeed.
In addition to the options above, employees have access to a program specifically designed to support emerging leaders. The goal of this service is to nurture talent who can advance to the executive level, advancing their team's career while creating their own path for reliable succession planning.
The company doesn't stop there, however. The SAS Academics program provides rigorous training for new sales and technical professionals, typically those just out of collegeOnboardingand prep experience. Each of the newly hired employees will have access to on-the-job training and classroom hours to ensure they have the skills needed to be successful before formally moving into permanent employment.
L&D example no. 4: Etsy
Etsy focuses on a well-rounded approach to employee training and development. Offerings combine proven methodologies, including organizational psychology, adult education theory, and sociology. In addition to traditional learning opportunities, employees have access to coaching and retreats, as well as online resources.
At Etsy, employees are not only learners, but also teachers. Through the Etsy School, attendees can explore a variety of topics, including options focused on hard and soft skill development. Along the way, those who teach also improve critical skills, including organization, leadership, and perseverance.
Additionally, the Etsy L&D team makes it easy to choose a path. They work with employees to identify options that will move their careers in the desired direction and pave paths for growth and advancement.
L&D example #5: Pilot Flying J
At Pilot Flying J, helping employees achieve their goal of moving into management is a priority in their employee training and development programs. During management training, participants work alongside top executives and learn everything from the nuances of the POS system to how to read financial reports.
After completing the initial program, participants will continue to receive support and development opportunities. Once assigned to a location, training continues to ensure they acquire new skills, adapt to changes in the organization and prepare for new technologies.
In addition, full-time employees can gain access to a tuition reimbursement plan. Through this program, team members can access up to $18,000 to support important educational expenses.
Shaping your company's learning and development strategy
The above examples have many aspects in common. First, they address not only technical skills, but also important soft skills. Leadership, teamwork, communication and many other soft skills are essential for your workforce to thrive. Be sure to include them in your training and development program.
Also, cramming training into short periods is not the norm. Many of the examples above are large - they are designed to be completed in weeks or months, not days. Also, continuous learning is actually the core goal of most companies. A key component that is certainly worth adopting.
Finally, personalization plays a role in most L&D programs. Employees can choose career paths they want to pursue and get access to relevant courses. It's not about forcing everyone into the same education box. Customization, flexibility, and customization are all facets of the experience. This makes training a valuable asset in the eyes of workers while benefiting the organization at the same time.
Key Takeaway: 5 Tips for Creating a Great Training and Development Program
The above companies have used creativity and innovation to build their training and development programs. Let's explore some actionable tips they used so you can create your own.
Tip #1: Offer continuous, self-paced training
Many companies offer their employees in-house, self-paced online learning options. This gives employees the freedom and autonomy to advance their own careers and to learn the skills and knowledge that are valuable both to them as individuals and to the company as a whole.
Tip #2: Consider offering tuition assistance
Offering educational benefits such as Such as tuition reimbursement, is a great way to encourage employee retention, improve talent acquisition and enhance brand equity. Especially for businesses with high employee turnover, such as retail and restaurants, tuition assistance can help improve employee retention and reduce future training costs.
Tip #3: Create an internship program
When designed properly, internship programs can serve as an optimized talent funnel for your company. Many successful internship programs take into account the entire career start - from studying to integration into the job market.
Tip #4: Peer-to-Peer Education
We learn best from our colleagues. Consider creating a training and development program where employees teach other employees. Not only does this help with skills acquisition, but it also provides a great opportunity for younger employees to understand your company's values and culture at a deeper level.
Tip #5: Provide opportunities to connect with top executives
High-performing employees are always looking for opportunities to interact with and learn from leaders. Although you must be sensitive to your top executive's time, these experiences are hugely important to employees' personal and professional development. What is the ROI for management? You get the most highly motivated people qualified andready to take on leadership roles.
Why do you need an employee training and development program?
Employee training and development programs are critical to any business. While many companies see them as a cost, they are actually an opportunity. With an L&D strategy, you can strengthen your business, create opportunities to close skill gaps and improve the skills of your workforce.
According to an estimate byCenter for Economic Research, Skills gaps cost American businesses $160 billion annually. The problem is so pervasive that 80% of Americans feel their country is in front of themskill gap.
35% state that they are personally affected. In addition, 40% believe that changing skill requirements will have a significant impact on their job. One way of addressing these problems is through on-the-job training.
With a tailored L&D program, you can provide access to courses specifically designed to improve your employees' skills in specific areas. L&D offers an in-house solution to a longstanding challenge that can differentiate your business from the competition.
But closing skill gaps and nurturing your workforce aren't the only reasons you need an employee training and development program. It is also crucial for recruitment and retention. according to aUdemy Poll42% of millennials said L&D is the most important benefit companies can deliver.
In addition, after aReport by Randstad43% of professionals cite limited career paths as the top reason for leaving a position. 47% of highly skilled professionals would seek and pursue a better opportunity if there were no clear paths to advancement.
With a well thought-out training and development program, your company is responding to this desire – to help employees take their careers to the next level. By providing a training and development benefit, you will increase loyalty and engagement, improve both recruitment and retention, and position your company as an employer of choice. Invest in the future of your employees. And they will love you forever.
About the author
Andrew DeBell is a training consultant and digital marketing strategist atlearn water bear. He helps companies create fresh, creative, and well-designed learning programs by infusing marketing principles into every step of the design process. You can connect with himLinkedinto learn more.