training and development best practices

What’s a best practice when it comes to training and development?

To help you identify best practices for training and development of your workforce, we asked CEOs and HR managers this question for their best advice. From tailoring programs to the needs of employees to repeating essential information, there are several best practices that you may adopt to achieve the best results for the training and development of your workforce. 

Here are eight training and development best practices:

  • Tailor Programs To The Needs of Employees
  • Remember People Learn in Different Ways
  • Be Consistent With The Programs
  • Engage Employees Where They Are
  • Avoid Shortcuts
  • Use Data To Evaluate Your Organization’s Needs
  • Prioritize On-The-Job Training
  • Repeat Essential Information


Tailor Programs To The Needs of Employees

Business leaders implement training and development programs with the best intentions, but often miss the mark because they develop these programs with their needs in mind, and not necessarily with the needs of the workforce they are trying to actually professionally develop and train!  

Identify clear goals.  To identify clear goals, I recommend speaking to the potential participants and understanding what they want, what they want to learn, and how they would gauge a successful learning and development program.  That gives you an idea of how you should best approach creating an effective L+D program.  Once you’ve identified your goals for the program, you need to identify timing and cost.  What topics can you build internally (for example, if you’re a construction firm, you may already have access to OSHA and safety courses.)  Other courses that may relate to non-industry related topics may require contracting with an external professional to build and develop and deliver.

Eric Mochnacz, Red Clover


Remember People Learn in Different Ways

Training and development needs to take into consideration the various ways in which people learn. Some learn by listening, others by reading, some need to “experience” what it is you’re teaching them. That could be role playing or making a game of the learning experience. Don’t expect one approach to work for your entire group and support those that don’t excel with just a power point presentation!

Logan Mallory, Motivosity


Be Consistent With The Programs

Do you know the only way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same applies to training and development. Our brain’s RAM is finite, and when you learn often, you may spend less time and energy. Besides, the more you learn and develop, the easier you concentrate. The brain receives the training it needs, and as a result, you gain a more efficient operation – you are able to learn faster.

Michal Jonca, Passport Photo Online


Engage Employees Where They Are

A best practice for training and development teams is to ensure that these programs take place where the employees are in terms of their readiness.  Oftentimes training and development teams create programs in a HR vacuum without properly assessing where the employee population is as it relates to them receiving the information.  Important questions to consider are: What is the best method for deployment of the training? Are there prerequisite training that need to take place prior to the implementation of the new training? And, how will we measure the success of the training program?  Considering these factors will ensure the employees are more engaged thus increasing the likelihood of a successful implementation.

Andrew Lee, CareerUnlocked, Inc.


Avoid Shortcuts

Shortcuts will only add time in the end. While it might be tempting to try to expedite training and development during an employee’s onboarding process, it will only lead to time-consuming errors and oversights. 

What’s particularly tricky is that many employers are most likely to rush through employees’ training when their business is most strained, which will only exacerbate whatever issues they’re currently facing. For that reason, it’s important to take your time and remain deliberate and thorough with training, no matter the situation of the company at large.

Alex Wang, Ember Fund


Use Data To Evaluate Your Organization’s Needs

Rather than relying on survey or focus group data, leadership and human resources professionals can use tools like Skilltype, a library talent platform, to run a skills gap analysis and identify the skills and interests of employees, comparing that data with the needs of the organization. From this, they can build out training and development programs and identify internal mentors or workshop facilitators to deliver training.

Jasmine Powers, Skilltype


Prioritize On-The-Job Training

You can read all the books and take all the classes, but knowing is not the same as doing! To truly learn new skills, employees must practice them on the job. 

The best, and most cost efficient, way to train employees is through the delegation of tasks that help them acquire the skills they need. For example–if they want to become a people leader, you might put them in charge of training your new employee.  

Just be sure to let the employee know WHY you’re delegating the task and how it relates to their development first! If you don’t, it may look like you’re adding to an already heavy workload.

Courtney Ramsey, Courtney Ramsey Speaks, LLC


Repeat Essential Information

When it comes to training and development, one of the best practices is incorporating repetition to enhance knowledge retention. This strategy involves regularly repeating essential information, practices, and proceedings learned during training. In this way, knowledge is retained, and the chance of forgetting is reduced. Incorporating repetition allows you to achieve 100% of your training. Studies proved that this is one of the best techniques to strive for long-term knowledge retention. So once you’ve completed the training, go back to its conclusions regularly. Not only will you reinforce what you already know, but each time you will learn information that you may have overlooked.

Nina Paczka, MyPerfectResume



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