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15 Employee Growth and Development Ideas for 2024 

Professional training aligned with goals is a cornerstone of a business achieving financial success, having effective employee recruitment, realizing strong employee retention, and implementing succession planning. Workplace training fosters a skilled, adaptable, and motivated workforce that powers a thriving organization that achieves business goals.


Discover the Top Training Trends for 2024

Stay ahead with the latest trends and strategies in corporate training.


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Introduction

When designed well, keeping professional needs mapped to business goals, training equips employees with the necessary skills, knowledge, and competencies to perform their roles effectively and efficiently.

Workplace training benefits employees with many things, including:

  • specific job-related expertise in support of career advancement;
  • knowledge of industry trends, technological advances, and evolving best practices to apply to the job
  • peer networking within their team and across the organization.

Workplace training benefits the organization by:

  • fostering a culture of continuous learning,
  • enhancing employee job satisfaction,
  • contributing to team morale and productivity,
  • facilitating succession planning and
  • assisting with talent retention.

Using this Employee Training Guide

Use this guide to determine what training method for employees at your workplace would be effective and why employers should allow employees to pursue work-related training. Within the guide, find information about:

  • value of effective employee training for the employees and for the business
  • different training methods
  • innovative training techniques
  • challenges and solutions
  • future trends

Understand the Value of Employee Training

When planning training for 2024 (or any year!), understanding the value of training will mean your efforts will have a more significant impact overall.

Why Employees Should Care about Workplace Training

Workplace training directly impacts the employees’ professional development, job satisfaction, and career opportunities. Employees who actively engage in and value workplace training can:

  • Adapt to technological and industry changes: Regular workplace training helps employees stay abreast of industry changes, ensuring they remain relevant, adaptable, and well-prepared for new challenges.
  • Enable progress towards career goals: Employees who pursue training in support of their aspirations (such as maintaining status as a high performer in their current role, transitioning to a different role within the organization, or advancing within the organization) find that they have an advantage over those who do not.
  • Enjoy confidence and good morale: Training builds confidence in the knowledge and skills needed to perform a job effectively. The confidence in one’s ability to perform high-quality work commonly results in good morale that contributes to a positive work environment for the team.
  • Build professional value: Employees who are continuous learners have the diverse skill sets and relevant knowledge the company needs to maintain market competitiveness.
  • Increased productivity: Employees who actively engage in training master the tools, processes, and best practices crucial for consistently high productivity.
  • Professional Growth Opportunities: Employees who demonstrate continuous learning may be more likely to be considered for promotions, leadership roles, or specialized assignments.

Training for the new employee and new hires helps them quickly meet their new role requirements and understand the company culture. Training for existing employees should include on-the-job training to learn new tools and training in the skills needed to compete for desired roles. All employees should view workplace training as a valuable investment in their professional development.

Why Business Should Invest in Workplace Training

A business that provides and supports workforce training is investing in its success. Organizations with effective workforce training can:

  • Enhance proficiency in role tasks and tools to manage new talent recruitment costs and maintain high customer service.
  • Foster a culture of adaptability, innovation, and continuous improvement to manage organizational costs.
  • Retain productive employees who enable a positive work environment through good morale.

As businesses contend with global competition, training is not an option but an imperative. Competitive companies that consistently train across skill sets and knowledge areas benefit from an agile, engaged, and productive workforce.

What is the impact of employee development on an organization?

Training has a measurable impact on an organization’s success, as noted by these reports:

Impact on Employee Engagement and Profit Margins:

  • “92% of employees say well-planned employee training programs positively affect their engagement. Furthermore, companies with comprehensive training programs have a 24% higher profit margin than those without such programs.” (Source: Zippia, “35 Key Employee Training And Development Statistics [2023]: Data”)
  • “According to 90% of HR managers, training benefits employee productivity and development, 86% say it improves retention, and 85% believe it impacts organizational growth.” (Source: MyShortlister.com, “90+ Employee Training Statistics in 2023: Investing in Employee…”)

Training opportunities tied to employee retention:

  • “Six out of every ten employees report never receiving workplace training, relying mostly on self-taught skills. Yet, 94% of employees would remain with a company longer if it invested in their training and development.” (Source: ThinkImpact, “43+ Employee Training Statistics (2023) + Benefits and Costs”)
  • “Employee retention rate increases by 30–50% at companies with effective training programs. Additionally, 94% of employees would stay longer with an organization that invests in their training.” (Source: TeamStage, “Employee Training Statistics: Cost of Progress in 2023”)

Designing training resources to address current skill gaps and future talent needs gives the business a more resilient, adaptable, and engaged workforce, ultimately leading to strong performance and realized goals. 

Training Methods for Employees

Using the training method that best fits your organizational culture, employee skill needs, and training budget can help deliver a workforce ready to meet the challenges of today’s evolving business landscape.  

Traditional Classroom

Traditional classroom learning is synchronous learning in which training is delivered in real-time to the employee from the instructor (often called “Instructor-led Training”) in either onsite or online formats.

Benefits

  • Provides immediate, personalized feedback from instructor to employee.
  • Fosters a collaborative learning environment among employees.
  • Encourages group activities and real-time discussions that enhance understanding.

Challenges

  • Travel and lodging costs may be incurred to bring employees to a training center or classroom.
  • Productivity can be negatively impacted for short periods if employees of a given role or on a project are all in class
  • simultaneously.

E-Learning and Online Training

Online training allows employees to access learning materials anytime and anywhere.

Benefits

  • Delivers content to many employees regardless of travel or classroom size.
  • Ensures consistency in training material delivery.
  • Enables timely content distribution for updates and changes.

Challenges

  • Inconsistent internet speed and access can hinder the consumption of online content.
  • Lack of personalization reduces engagement and knowledge retention.

Hands-On Training

Hands-on training provides employees with practical experience, an essential aspect for roles requiring specific technical skills. It is also known as “on-the-job” training referring to learning the skills within the context of performing the job.

Benefits

  • Fosters deeper understanding through active participation.
  • Allows employees to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios with little/no risk.
  • Improves skill proficiency through immediate feedback.

Challenges

  • Time and expense to set up hands-on training can be prohibitive.
  • Productivity can be negatively impacted for short periods if employees of a given role or on a project are all in class simultaneously.

Mentorship and Coaching

Mentorship and coaching are core to professional development, with personalized guidance, support, and knowledge transfer.

Benefits

  • Helps employee navigate their specific workplace challenges and achieve career growth.
  • Facilitates knowledge transfer that simultaneously creates a supportive environment for professional growth for both mentor and mentee.

Challenges

  • Mentors and coaches should receive training before being matched to mentees and coaches
  • .
  • Mentoring does not apply to all skills or knowledge areas. 

Innovative Training Techniques

Innovative training techniques like Gamification, Microlearning, and blended learning enhance employee training programs.

Gamification

Gamification incorporates game elements (e.g., points, badges, challenges, levels, leader boards) into the training for increased engagement. A game has competition, achievement, and progression, which tap into the human need for play. The goal is an interactive experience encouraging participation through which the employee learns.

Benefits

  • Enhances engagement via points and leaderboards.
  • Provides clear objectives that align learning to organizational goals.
  • Includes completion data for reporting.

Challenges

  • Longer development time to add game elements.
  • Reliance on technology to access training means employees need reliable internet.
  • Gaming elements can is inappropriate for some types of content and requires planning to prevent unintentional adverse reactions.

Microlearning

Microlearning are “bite-sized” training resources provided to employees via videos, infographics, quizzes, or simulations.  

Benefits

  • Delivers complex content in easier-to-understand snippets to speed comprehension.
  • Enables customized learning as employees can access most needed content rather than wait through classes or modules.
  • Incorporates into work day more efficiently.

Challenges

  • Reliance on technology to access training means employees need reliable internet to have issues.
  • An instructor needs to ensure personalized feedback or discussion.
  • Completing some microlearning could inflate confidence in a skill before the employee has learned it at the needed depth.

Blended Learning

Blended learning combines traditional and digital methods, providing a comprehensive approach that caters to diverse learning preferences and needs.

Benefits

  • Enables self-directed learning for online elements and customization with traditional learning in the classroom for the best of both.
  • Leverages broader accessibility and flexibility of online elements and with the social engagement of a traditional classroom setting.
  • Accommodates diverse learning preferences and allows for a more accessible learning experience with various tools and methods used in a learning program.

Challenges

  • Extended development time is required to create multiple learning experiences within a program.
  • It depends on reliable technology access and the ability to travel to a person’s classroom, not just one or the other.

Training to Help Employees with Workplace Challenges

Training provides targeted solutions enabling employees to overcome skill challenges and contribute more to overall organizational success. When training is designed to meet employee needs and address workplace challenges, it will demonstrate these qualities:

  • Relevant to current roles: content aligns with the responsibilities and tasks associated with the employee’s job.
  • Accounts for various learning styles: content blends visual, auditory, and hands-on learning experiences.
  • Addresses current skill gaps: content is focused where performance improvement is needed, contributing to overall productivity enhancement.
  • Adapts to evolving needs: content can be updated to meet technological advancements and industry trends.
  • Increases employee engagement: content customized to the company’s specific needs and employees demonstrates that the organization is invested in their professional development and, in turn, can spur employee motivation and morale.
  • Support cost management efforts: content that directly fits organizational needs ensures the budget is put where there is the most need and potential for good returns (in the form of talent management efforts).

Consider these examples of how well-designed training resources meet employee needs and address workplace challenges to benefit the organization:

  • Mitigate new talent recruitment costs and time: training can be designed to upskill employees so that the workforce possesses the competencies needed for evolving job requirements.
  • Enhance overall collaboration and workplace culture with training that provides employees not just a review of communication skills but a safe space to practice and refine those skills.
  • Address diversity issues with training that encourages employee awareness, understanding, and cultural competence.
  • Increase productivity issues with training focusing on time management, task prioritization, and workflow optimization skill sets.

For customized training, it is essential to start with an assessment of both workforce and organizational needs. From that, identify gaps and map to resources. Then, design and curate training that suits different learning styles and addresses known skill gaps. Structured training incorporates opportunities for personalized feedback; coaching and mentoring are powerful tools for feedback, reflection, and growth.

Challenges and Solutions in Employee Training

Of course, if training were as simple as sending employees to a single class one time, then all companies would do just that! To train employees, have a strategic plan shaped by workplace data, and learning best practices. Consider these workforce challenges within that plan, and training can address them.  

Diversity of Learning Styles

Challenge

One training solution only fits some, as employees have diverse learning styles and preferences.

Solution

Design training with a blend of methods to accommodate different learning styles. This applies to new employee and new hires training and on-the-job training.

Global Workforce

Challenge

The workforce may have language barriers, cultural differences, and time zone variations.

Solution

Have a multi-pronged approach with training content on cultural sensitivity, provide language options for training, and ensure asynchronous options for employees in different time zones.

Lack of Engagement

Challenge

Training with a long duration and delivered in a repetitive, monotonous way increases the chance of employees ignoring all of it. 

Solution

Use Gamification and real-world scenarios to make training more engaging and relevant.

Limited On-the-Job Support to Refine Skills

Challenge

Post-training may require more support for the employee to refine or apply new skills to ensure their competence.

Solution

Incorporate on-the-job application opportunities to refine new skills and leverage mentoring to ensure continued learning.

Technological Barriers

Challenge

Some employees may need more technology hardware, internet access, or technological skills to access online learning resources and classes.

Solution

Offer technology training for how to access training.

Provide technology support those who need assistance.

Organizations should continuously assess and refine their training programs to meet the evolving needs of employees and the business.

Measuring Training Effectiveness

The impact of a training session or a type of training for a specific skill can take time assess. Additionally, determining if something is an effective training method can vary depending on the skill or knowledge area.  The type of training needed to teach software will not look like a leadership training session. 

For all types of training methods, it is important to use proven data collection tools, such as surveys, focus groups, and key performance indicators (KPIs), to assess the impact of training on employee performance.

Future Trends in Employee Training

The workforce’s expectations regarding workplace culture, training, and career opportunities continue to evolve. The type of employee training and the training method for employees may vary depending on workplace-specific needs, but trends include:

  • Accessibility and Inclusivity: content in multiple languages and formats to increase accessibility.
  • Community Engagement Projects: foster a sense of social responsibility and teamwork.
  • Continuous Learning Culture: Foster a culture of continuous learning, where employees are encouraged to acquire new skills throughout their careers to remain relevant during times of change.
  • Digital Transformation: content accessed via virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) provide interactive training opportunities.
  • Microlearning: short, focused learning modules aligned with the workforce’s preference for quick, on-the-go learning that fits busy schedules.

Within the training tools, these skill areas are in high demand across industries:

  • Agile development practices,
  • data literacy,
  • effective communication in digital environments, and
  • virtual collaboration tools and practices.

The businesses that fail to adapt and meet those new expectations will incur the costs and challenges of talent retention, recruitment, and engagement.

Organizations increasingly recognize the importance of nurturing talent to stay competitive and innovative. A business that encourages continuous learning aligned with business goals will likely have a productive and engaged workforce.

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