Often, when employers hear about on-the-job training, the training pertains either to general knowledge or to policies and procedures that are unique to the company. Skills-based training is somewhat different—it focuses on how to do something specific and results in a learned skill that can be put to immediate use. Here are some examples of skills-based training:
- Mastering advanced welding techniques
- Setting up and using Excel pivot tables
- Keeping your cool during a hostile phone conversation
- Writing concise emails
- Coding in Ruby
Skills-based training is beneficial for most companies, but since good courses are often (but not always!) an investment, HR professionals should focus on where they can maximize value. Two types of employees come to mind as the best candidates: those who want to succeed but are struggling to meet expectations, and top performers who you feel could be a flight risk.
For the strugglers, you must first find out what they need to learn to reach their potential. Are they spending way too much time trying to figure out Excel on their own? Are they a new manager that doesn’t know how to coach? Giving these people access to skills-based training could make a huge difference in both their efficiency, knowledge retention and happiness—as well as your bottom line.
The high achievers, on the other hand, should be asked what they want to learn. It’s likely they’ve already thought about the next steps at your organization and in what new ways they could contribute. Give them a chance to shine! Your investment in their future won’t go unnoticed; employees who receive training are more likely to be engaged and less likely to leave.