Continuous training is critical to setting up your employees for success. Even if you hire the most qualified qualified employee you've ever seen, there's always room for learning and improvement through diverse training opportunities.

Unfortunately, in today's fast-paced work environment, many employers have let employee training programs fall by the wayside. According to the 2018 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Study, more than half of employers surveyed (54 percent) said they have no programs in place to build the skills of the future.

And only 18 percent of respondents feel they give employees the ability to actively develop themselves and chart pathways for their careers.

As a result of limited training programs, internal promotions are often driven by tenure, title and internal politics, leaving employees frustrated. To keep employees happy and excited to be working for your team, it's time to get back to the basics with structured career paths and training programs. Here's how to get started.

Define Career Paths

The 2018 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Study also found that 72 percent of organizations surveyed do not follow traditional career paths. In other words, specific promotions and career advancement opportunities aren't as defined as they once were. Not only can the absence of clear career paths make your current employees frustrated, but it can turn off prospective employees when they're researching your employment brand.

On your career site and in-job descriptions, make sure to highlight what career paths look like across roles. This will get top talent excited to join your team, and help current employees feel valued knowing they can advance in their careers with your team.

Set Measurable Goals

Going hand-in-hand with defined career paths, each employee should be given measurable goals during their first week or two on the job. The specific role and responsibilities should be discussed between each new hire and his or her manager, along with any goals or benchmarks required to get raises or promotions.

For example, in a sales role, your employees might need to reach a certain quota to be eligible for a promotion, whereas in other roles across department, employees will need to master certain skills to get promoted. Having measurable goals in place will keep employees motivated and excited to do great work so they can reach the next level in their careers.

Create Recurring Training Sessions

While you're likely to offer a variety of training sessions in each new employee's first week on the job, it's important to offer continuous training. And training should align with helping employees reach the goals necessary to continue growing in their careers.

Training can include shadowing fellow employees, attending lunch and learn sessions, taking skills assessments, reading books related to their career paths, watching structured training videos and just about anything else that might be a fit based on your specific business goals. .

Reimburse for Additional Training and Certification

In addition to any formal, recurring training programs you have in place, your top engaged employees will likely approach you with their own ideas for training or outside certifications. A member of your HR team might want to become certified by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), or a marketing team member might be interested in Google Analytics, HubSpot or related certification.

Some training and certification options don't have any cost associated with them, but consider setting aside budget to support continued training for your most proactive employees. Such training can help your employees improve in their roles and be more productive, and your employees will feel empowered to continue advancing in their careers.

Many businesses today don't have career paths or training programs that are clearly defined. To attract top talent in today's competitive employment market, make sure your team is doing everything possible to attract quality employees and help them continue to grow.

Published on: Aug 16, 2018