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Identifying the Best Areas for Employee Training

Training can sharpen your human capital and provide the edge to help your business, creating confident and competent employees. But identifying which areas are best to address with employee training can be tough.

There are many components to your business and many demands on your time. The following tips can help you identify which aspects of your business would be best served when establishing a training plan.

Analyze the situation.

Check customer comments, and solicit input if necessary. Where are the weakest areas in your company? And how can you boost performance in those designated departments? Pretend you’ve got an “easy” button on your desk. What would you want to be fixed after pushing the button?

 Note all specialized positions.

Everyone gets sick at some point. Be sure that all jobs have a back-up plan and that people are cross-trained. Don’t take an employee’s word that there is someone else capable of doing their job. Ask specific questions about tasks and who else is cross-trained and capable of handling them. Some employees equate unique skills and knowledge with job security and don’t want anyone else to be capable of “their” tasks. To be sure that your substitute worker is capable of covering the position, you should have a clear and complete understanding of each person’s job requirements.

 Solicit employee input.

Your employees know their jobs and job requirements better than anyone and probably have ideas about what will make your company more efficient and effective. Find out what they would like to learn, what training they think could better their performance.

 Check out the competition.

What do they do differently? Is it better than your method? Or should you tweak one of the systems for the optimal effect? Research others in similar industries and examine what best practices they have adopted that may be applicable to your industry. Get creative and adapt best practices from a similar industry to suit yours.


The Internet has innumerable stories of business success and tips to help you improve yours. Spend a few minutes searching the Web. You may be surprised at what you find.

 Don’t forget federal, state and local laws.

If you employees must understand and work within Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), for example, be sure they have been trained on the act and all applicable tenets. Employers also must educate employees on the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and how it can impact their paid and unpaid time off. Keep abreast of new and changing laws and conduct an annual audit to insure compliance.

 Ask the experts.

Many trade organizations have knowledgeable staff that can provide advice on a variety of topics that impact you and your enterprise. Hiring a consultant for even a few hours can provide enormous benefit to your employees and invaluable problem-solving for your business.

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