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With headlines like “Colorado employers stretched thin by tight labor markets” and “Worker shortage will hold back Colorado’s economic growth in 2018” appearing regularly in local news coverage this year, it should come as no surprise that we’re amidst a skilled labor shortage. In the last year alone, SHRM reports that 83% of HR professionals have had difficulty in recruiting suitable candidates. And, to make matters worse, not only is the skilled labor pool dwindling, but hiring internally is becoming increasingly difficult. Employers just don’t have a deep internal pipeline of fully trained, highly skilled workers ready to fill openings.

As the competition for skilled talent continues to grow, companies are getting ahead by investing in training and development programs that upskill their workforce. According to Manpower’s recent talent shortage report, more than half of the businesses surveyed are investing in learning platforms and development tools to build up their pipeline. 

While these training programs sound like the magic solution to a skilled labor shortage, for them to be successful, they need to be thoughtfully implemented. To help you get started, here are five things you should consider before launching a new training program.

  1. Create an organizational chart for your company (if you don’t have one already), and make sure job descriptions are up to date.  This will help both you and your coach understand how the training might impact each employee within the company—not just those participating in the training.
  2. Define clear, measurable and realistic outcomes. Do you want to have 5% reduction in turnover in the next 90 days? Increased job satisfaction? Higher retention within a particular department or team? Before launching a training program, you will need to identify measurable outcomes that align with your business needs. These goals can be used as a barometer for the effectiveness of the program, as well as leverage for future investments in employee training.
  3. Get buy-in from your employees—not just the C-Suite. While you may already have approval from your executive team, don’t skip getting buy-in from staff. Without knowing why they’re being asked to participate in training, your employees have no reason to get on board. Communicate with them the intended outcomes of the training and how it will help benefit them and their teams.
  4. Don’t be afraid to deviate from online or software-based trainings, even if they seem like the “easiest” and most affordable option. Not all training programs are created equal. Online or software-based trainings are popular because they are cost effective and can reach a large number of employees quickly; however, they are not ideal for developing soft skills like leadership, social and emotional awareness, confidence, and conflict resolution. Determine which type of training is the best fit for your organization’s culture and will help achieve the outcomes you’ve set.
  5. Develop a realistic timeline and process for measuring outcomes. Ensure all team members involved are aware of the timeline and what is expected of them in the interim. After you determine the outcomes you’d like to see from the training, you’ll need to decide how and when the outcomes will be measured.

Have questions about launching a new training program at your company? Don’t hesitate to contact us.


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