More often than not, training is viewed to be something that benefits the employee instead of a factor that is an investment in the business. This also then explains why training and employee development are the first budget items to be let go during difficult economic times. In order to avoid these cuts, educational programs need to be aligned with a company’s business adjectives – a position that enables delivery of results.
Here is a guideline on how companies can build effective logistics training programs that can benefit the business.
Understand the business
Meaningful training programs only ever address one basic question which is – How can the company improve the customer experience? Every business, especially one in logistics, knows that customers are the driving force behind any kind of success. So, understand the challenges your company goes through and build a training program that deals with them. This will make it easy to gain buy-in for training investments as management will see that it’s the only way to strengthen the business.
Conduct a needs assessment
For logistics training programs to be successful, they need to be constructive, relevant and engaging. Have conversations with key stakeholders in your company and find out what they want to achieve on a departmental and employee level. This will allow you to create a meaningful program around those business needs.
In all this, make it a point to also consider employee needs. Not everyone responds to the same learning techniques so there has to be several options available to suit each need. A blended-learning approach gets everyone involved. In your program, include visuals and make it interactive in a way that will allow everyone to participate.
As mentioned already in the first point, if management believes your training programs will strengthen the supply chain and position the company for success, they will definitely support the initiatives. Conducting a proper needs assessment and getting input from key stakeholders will raise awareness of your goals. Attain management’s feedback in the development and implementation stages of your training program. Consider whether or not your program achieves what you aim to accomplish and try to make use of as many metrics as possible. Embrace feedback from both management and your employees at the same level of interest.
Keep your focus
Stay focused and avoid taking on many new initiatives at once. Focus will help you achieve quick wins and momentum that you can use to build from in order to keep the initiative going. Providing employees with the necessary skills, tools, and resources will not only enhance the customer experience, it will also boost logistics and operational efficiencies, allow you to build credibility with employees, and help improve retention and morale. Adjust your training plan if you feel the need to and keep in mind that the end-goal is for your employees to embrace the training and for management to back it.
Keep in touch and find out in three, six or 12-month intervals whether or not your employees are making use of what they learned in the training programs. Have one-on-one meetings where you probe what the employees have learned, and request specific examples of how they have incorporated this knowledge into their daily routines. These sessions will enable you to help them understand the value of applying what they learned.
Following this set guideline will definitely allow you to develop a learning culture that has meaningful and relevant training programs. It will also position your employees and company for continued success through aligning your logistics training program initiatives with your business objectives.
Now that you have pointers on how to build effective logistics training programs, see the Guideline: How To Achieve Effective Logistics Management!