nternal training offers employers and employees advantages that are not found when you send an employee to an external training program or seminar. Training transfer occurs more naturally and employees cement learning through training other employees.
On-the-job training that enhances an employee’s skills and ensures her readiness for the next promotion, or eligibility for internal transfers, is generally far superior to a public seminar.
Why Internal Training and Development Is a Superior Way to Train Employees
This core article about training lists the various ways that organizations can provide training to employees. While some of the methods involve external attendance at training programs and seminars, the power of the training and development activities that employees do internally are normally far superior for these reasons.
Internal training and development leap the huge barriers that encumber external training. Internal training reflects a solid knowledge of the organization’s culture.
The internal training uses real-life examples, problems, and challenges that participants encounter every day at work. Successful internal training identifies the exact skills and knowledge that participants need to succeed in their jobs. It also prepares employees for success in their next job.
Internal training is presented in the language and terminology that participants understand and can relate to. Internal training develops the skills of employees and cements their own knowledge of the topic.
You are likely familiar with the old adage that the best way to make sure that an employee thoroughly understands a topic is to have the employee train others.
Tips About Internal Training for Employees
These tips will help you provide effective internal training and development for employees.
Use the Performance Development Planning Process to lay out a plan for the internal development of an employee. This is specific job-related training that results in a successful, developing employee.
Internal, on-the-job training includes such activities as:
Invite the employee to contribute to the department or company-wide decisions and planning.
Provide the employee with access to a higher level, more strategic, planning meetings.
Provide more information by including the employee on specific mailing lists, in company briefings, and in your confidence.
Enable the employee to establish goals, priorities, and measurements.
Assign the responsibility of teaching machine operation, quality standards, production standards, and safety practices to employees who train new employees or employees who are new to the work area.
Assign supervisory or team leader responsibilities, or function as an assistant lead while learning.
Assign the employee to head up projects or teams, or function as an assistant lead while learning.
Enable the employee to spend more time with his or her boss in a coaching / mentoring relationship. Set goals for employee development as a team.
Provide the opportunity for the employee to cross-train in other roles and responsibilities.
Mentoring and Coaching
Mentoring, coaching, and field trips, both inside and outside the company, help employees develop their skills and knowledge. Employees who “teach others” most effectively incorporate the knowledge and skills themselves.
Assign the employee a formal mentor from within his or her work group. The more experienced employee has the responsibility to help the employee learn the skills necessary to succeed in their job.
Sponsor a “take a coworker to work” day, as one of my clients did. Employees applied to participate and spent the day learning about another job function within the company. As an example, a developer spent the day learning about public relations. Human Resources sponsored a debriefing lunch to gather the employees’ takeaways, explore their learning, and improve the experience for the future.
Encourage employees to seek out informal mentors on their own in areas of needed development and interest.