Get the Most Out of Your Training Program

We know most employees value continuing education, but according to human resources organization go2HR, 40% of employees who leave their jobs within a year cite lack of skills training and development as their main reason. Training helps employees advance their career goals and promotes greater job satisfaction, often resulting in lower turnover.

Of course, training matters. But where do you start?


My previous blog post, “Are your company’s recruiting efforts strategic?” I discussed how to increase your odds of success by setting goals and thinking through your strategy. This also applies to employee development. Start by identifying the problem or challenge, then systematically develop a solution to solve it.


Ask Yourself These 5 Questions Before You Start Your Training Journey

Before developing a training program, asking these five questions will help you build an effective, results-oriented employee development program.

  1. What is the need we’re addressing or problem we’re solving?

Is the sales team underperforming? Are they getting plenty of leads, but not closing sales? Is your accounting staff making errors that take significant time for their superiors to find and correct?

  1. Is training the best solution?

If the sales team isn’t closing deals because they don’t know how to ask for the sale, training may be the answer. However, if your sales team is underperforming due to lack of motivation, a sales incentive plan may be more effective. If your accounting staff knows how to do their job but is making errors because they’ve have more work than they can handle, training may not help. But if they’re making the same errors over and over, training may be the solution.

  1. What is our goal for training? What do we want to achieve?

Do you want to increase employee morale or retention? Is morale low because employees feel they don’t have the opportunity to learn and grow? Or is your goal more specific to objective performance measures like productivity or sales?

  1. What is the best way to deliver the training?

Depending on the size, availability, or location of staff, plus the amount of training required, you may consider one-on-one, classroom, or online instruction. Will you need to customize training or are existing solutions or programs already available? What hands-on activities or experiences will help students learn most effectively? And finally, how can you make sure these skills are implemented in the workplace?

  1. How will we measure success?

Do you have metrics in place (e.g. sales) or will you need to develop new ones? If the metric is already being tracked; remember to measure it prior to training, and again after, to document change. And while training may not pay off immediately, tracking metrics over time will demonstrate the long-term benefits of training.


In my next blog, I’ll summarize the benefits to the company of an employee training program, and show you a formula for calculating return on investment (ROI).



Employee training just makes good business sense. But it’s not something you can do just once a year or even once a month. NAED recommends every employee receive at least 40 hours of formal training a year to help companies operate efficiently and remain competitive. It’s an investment you can’t afford to not to make.


The NAED's Education & Development Council (EDC) has created a suite of downloadable toolkits that are available here. Look here for more recruitment best practices, candidate tip sheets, and a recruitment video that you can show candidates or play at job fairs. You’ll also find onboarding guides plus helpful links to other resources for workforce training. 


Schedule a consultation by clicking the buttom below and we can assist in developing your plan.

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Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara is the COO of the NAED and the Executive Director of the NAED Education and Research Foundation. In her dual roles, McNamara is responsible for implementing strategic plans to further the mission of NAED and the Foundation. Prior to 2011, she was the Vice President of NAED and the Executive Director of the NAED Foundation where she was responsible for program and project execution including direct management of multiple departments and fundraising. McNamara joined NAED in 1998 to manage educational events. McNamara began her non-profit career with The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).