Staff development training tools and technology

Training to improve job-related skills is a regular part of life at successful companies. Understanding the benefits of staff development, the building blocks needed for this type of program, and the best strategies and tools to enhance trainings and keep employees engaged are the first crucial steps in making your program a success.

What is a staff training program?

Staff development training is focused on helping employees strengthen skill
sets directly related to their jobs. From the beginning, training gets employees started on the right foot as a productive member of the team. As their jobs evolve over the years, training continues to be essential to keeping a company on the cutting edge and providing the best services to its clients. Staff training tools, from simple PowerPoints to comprehensive learning systems, can assist companies in carrying out these programs and enriching the employee experience every step of the way.

Here are a few examples of trainings that are often included as part of a staff development program:

New-employee orientation

When employees start the first day of a new job, it is usually with a mix of excitement and nervousness. A good orientation teaches everyone not only the skills necessary to do their jobs, but also imparts important pieces of company culture while making new hires feel welcome and part of the team. (For more tips on mastering orientation, visit 6 ways to make new-employee orientation better than ever.)

Anti-harassment, anti-discrimination training

Establishing a welcoming work environment means more than just saying that everyone is welcome. Doing the work to root out workplace harassment and discrimination takes commitment and continuous education, and should be a part of any staff development program. (Need help creating a training? Check out our free, customizable PowerPoint presentation on this topic, with TurningPoint polling slides included.)

Safety training

Often dreaded or derided as boring, safety training is, in reality, vitally important in some lines of work. From basic OSHA regulations to chemical storage guidelines, these sessions can make up a big chunk of some employees training time. (Access safety training presentations with built-in TurningPoint slides here.)

Skills development

What else do your employees need to do their jobs? After the basics are covered, this is where training can really help employees shine.

Why implement a staff training program?

The benefits of training are numerous. In addition to closing skills gaps throughout a company’s workforce, a good training program can also help to improve recruitment and retention, boost employee engagement, align every department to the company’s mission and vision, and even build a leadership pipeline to shore up the future of the organization.

How do I choose the appropriate tools and technology to support a staff development program?

What technology do you need to make your staff development trainings a success? The most important thing to keep in mind is this: Technology should serve your learners, not the other way around.

In order to put your employees first, ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • What do the employees need to learn?
  • How do they learn best?
  • What (if anything) is standing in the way of their learning? How tech savvy are the trainers and employees?
  • How many resources (if any) can the company devote
    to supporting training technology?

These simple questions help to narrow your focus from the full range training tools on the market, to ones that will both meet your needs and be feasible to implement and maintain. Another major factor in choosing support technology is whether or not trainings will occur live in a setting or online in an asynchronous environment. Training tools for employees in live sessions, for example, are often designed to keep leaners engaged and to quickly assess their level of understanding.

Response technology like TurningPoint – which allows for live polling using PowerPoint, a floating toolbar or a comprehensive web-based platform – is one way to accomplish those goals. Participants respond to the interactive questions with their own cell phones, tablets and computers, or with hardware clickers. Results are displayed instantly, which allows instructors to make adjustments to lessons in real time. Response technology also supports active learning strategies – including gamification, team-based learning and peer instruction – which have been shown to improve learning results, and make even tedious trainings more interesting.

Asynchronous learning, on the other hand, needs a different set of tools. At that point, an eLearning platform may be right for you. Your needs will vary depending on the size of your company and the extent of your training and development program, but there are a few elements that should be in place regardless, including the ability to create courses and build diverse types of content; a way to assess your learners; and a means of tracking employee accomplishments at-a-glance or through more detailed reports.

TurningPoint offers the ability to share interactive questions asynchronously while tracking results online, and can serve as an eLearning platform on its own or as one piece in a larger training and development infrastructure. (Visit our blog to learn more about these and other top training tools for employee success.)

Want to learn more about how TurningPoint can support staff development?