Real world education: Tips for workplace training

Formal education is a finite exercise, it ends with graduation or certification, although there is no limit on the number of degrees and diplomas a person can earn. Learning, however, never ends. In fact, long-term success in business demands that individuals continue learning, but not always through continued formal education.

“The perception of the value of learning in driving organizational performance is increasing, as is the level of investing in learning,” says Brenda Sugrue, Senior Director of Research for the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and author of the ASTD 2005 State of the Industry Report. “More so than ever before, an organization’s learning function is being run like any other business function with increased attention on operational efficiency, accountability, and connection to organizational strategy.”

Most companies have a training budget. However, the types of training the budgeted funds provide vary greatly based upon the opportunities presented, as well as the needs of both employee and employer. Much of the training provided by employers is specific to the industry or profession the company represents. Managerial and supervisory training is also popular, as is business process training.

When it comes to offering workplace training, employers should consider the following:

  • Learning is more than good scores. Don’t judge a training program solely on how attendees score on tests at the conclusion of the training session. The real value of any workplace learning is how it is applied on the job.
  • Mix it up. Individual learning styles vary. Offering a variety of educational formats ensures that staff will acquire the information they need in the way best suited to their learning style and schedule. At the same time, encourage staff to experiment with different types of training in order to broaden their experience with different learning styles and people.
  • People learn by doing. Encourage staff to put their new skills to work immediately, even if it means changing responsibilities. Be open to hearing and trying new methods and processes for doing things, keeping in mind that regulatory compliance may prevent rapid or significant change in some areas.
  • Bargains happen. Good training doesn’t have to be expensive. At the same time, not everything with an inexpensive price-tag is a good value. Take the time to really understand what you are buying and what return on investment to anticipate.
  • Time out. Some learning can be accomplished in a single training session. Some topics require extensive study. Space sessions out so that attendees don’t get burned out but also have time to implement new skills in their daily lives. Experiencing success, even in small doses, helps create and renew enthusiasm for additional training and learning.
  • Be reasonable and creative. Not all workplace learning has to come from outside the organization or even from professional training staff. If an employee has an interest in a topic and acquires some expertise or advanced knowledge on it, allow them to share that knowledge with other staff members.

 

You may like these other stories...

With our recent coverage of the recent changes and complexities found in FATCA, we realized that regulations are just part of the story. Accounting professionals have to work with foreign financial professionals, and the...
Four years after the first iPad spreadsheet, users finally have a Microsoft-sanctioned solution. When I first installed Excel on my iPad, I immediately focused on its limitations, but upon reflection I see that Excel for...
Change. For some people, it can be a dirty word. Change means adjustment, re-thinking and perspective shifts—all daunting thoughts for an industry such as accounting that is based on mitigating risk and regulations...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.