Your employees are an investment in your business. Whether they are new to the company or seasoned workers, providing opportunities for them to grow professionally is essential to the success of your business. That's where a training and development process comes in.

The training and development process is a systemic approach aimed at improving the performance and outcomes of individuals and groups within the business. While most managers and owners understand the importance of a quality training and development process, many lack the tools and knowledge to create and implement a plan of action.

Step One: Identify the Need

Your employees have different needs. Whether those needs are individual or as a specific group within the company, it’s your job to identify those needs before you design a training or development program.

If the training is for new employees, they will need an introduction to the company culture, policies and procedures. Once they have completed this training, they will move on to job-specific training for their roles in the business. This step in the process is where you will need to have several different training programs in place.

If the training is for existing employees who are cross-training or moving to different positions within the company, they can go through the same job-specific training as new employees.

Step Two: Plan the Training and Development Process

Once you identify the need, you'll decide which information you plan on delivering. If you already have clear business and managerial goals in place, use this information to help develop your program. Ensure your goals align with the training and development process.

The next step is to design the process of hiring and training new employees, which includes initial onboarding tasks and review of the company’s policies and procedures. Finally, you'll create the curriculum or materials for training employees on their job-specific duties.

Step Three: Implementing the Training and Development Plan

Having an excellent training and development process on paper is a start. But it’s how you deliver the information that matters. Depending on your type of business, this process may take place in-house, online or off-site at a corporate headquarters.

Step Four: Track the Progress

An effective training and development program always involves follow-up. Start tracking an employee as soon as they complete the initial training and development program. Tracking helps you determine if the employee understands his or her role and employer expectations, and gives you feedback on the process so you can make adjustments, if necessary. You should also track progress on existing employees who go through a new training program.

By training and developing your workers, you can increase productivity, reduce employee turnover and decrease the need for supervision.