Although many organizations face tight budgets that can make creating a training and development program difficult, you do not have to spend a fortune to create an effective one. In fact, you can utilize your own employees to help each other learn and develop professionally. Just follow these three steps:
Establish a Mentorship Program
The best place to begin a corporate learning program is with new hires. To make this process easier, implement a mentoring program at your company that pairs each new hire with a more experienced member of the team. Depending on the level of training necessary, new hires can shadow their mentors or meet with them regularly. This arrangement will work not only to teach new hires about their job, but it will also help to make them feel more comfortable. Additionally, mentors will feel a greater sense of responsibility in their own roles. Your mentors don’t need years of experience or an important title, and you might be surprised by who thrives in this role.
Appoint a Learning Liaison
Think about each of the departments in your company and the managers within those departments. Who stands out to you? Are there people who consistently go above and beyond? Meet with them to see if they would be willing to act as a “learning liaison.” As a learning liaison, this employee will work directly with colleagues as a mentor or coach. Assign specific responsibilities such as regular check-in meetings with team members or presentations on recent (successful) projects. When an employee is struggling, have the learning liaison provide guidance to get back on track. When the budget allows, send them to relevant conferences and have them report back to their group.
The best place to begin a corporate learning program is with new hires.
Train Across Departments
To truly utilize your company’s resources, be sure to expose all employees to every possible career path. Hiring from within means that your employees will already have background knowledge about your company. To pique their curiosity, host regular meetings in which employees from each department get an opportunity to present about their role in the company. For example, you can set up a recurring “Lunch and Learn” where a different team or department will prepare a presentation on their roles and responsibilities. These meetings don’t have to be formal — let employees speak honestly about their day-to-day jobs.
Want more insights on improving your workforce? Check out our previous installment, Part One: Hiring for Success.
Can’t wait for more? Download our Ultimate Guide to Building a Better Workforce.