A company is only as good as its people. So, whether you’re bringing in new staff, transitioning someone to a new role or up-skilling professionals in their current job, it pays to have effective training plans in place.
Though investing in training can be expensive, not making sure your employees have the skills they need is even costlier — from the risk of mistakes to simply falling behind your competition.
But you can save time and money developing these programs by starting with a training plan template. Keep reading for tips and templates to help you supply your team with the training they need to succeed.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a training plan?
- What is a training plan template?
- What should a training plan include?
- How do you create a training plan?
- New hire training plan
- New manager training plan
- Employee development plan
- Training needs assessment
- Individual training plan
What is a training plan?
A training plan is a visually organized document detailing the steps and resources needed to teach a worker a new set of skills, task or policy. There are many types of training plans, depending on the specific needs of the company and the employee.
Training plans are useful not only for organizing resources for workers, but employers can also use them to track performance progress and see at a glance where their teams’ greatest skill deficiencies may be.
Managers can also use training plans (and their knowledge of how well workers have done under them) when making advancement decisions.
Learn more about creating a successful employee training and development program built on visual communication.
What is a training plan template?
A training plan template is an existing, blank document that managers can fill in to describe the path needed to train a worker on a new task, get a new hire ready to roll or otherwise ensure an employee is able to achieve their potential.
Training plan templates are ideal for businesses that need to develop many training plans for different types of workers or processes, as this can speed up creation and implementation time (which also speeds up the overall training process).
What should a training plan include?
The exact content and setup of a training plan varies depending on the end goal, but here’s a broad overview of what your training plan should include:
- List and/or description of specific goals
- Length of time in which employee is expected to achieve goal
- List of milestones to complete toward the goal
- Specific classes, certifications or materials required to achieve goal (depends on purpose of training plan)
- Method of checking off or otherwise denoting that milestones and final goal have been met
How do you create a training plan?
Of course, creating all of these elements is easier said than done. Even if you’re working within an existing template (like one you find on this page), as a manager or business owner, you will still need to put in thoughtful consideration about your organization’s needs.
Think about the following:
- What is your ultimate objective? It could be filling a specific job and you want to see which of three employees are best-suited. Or you might want to ensure all your workers are trained on a new computer system. Or perhaps you want to improve your bottom line by increasing efficiency and syncing up everyone’s skillsets in order to do so.
- How long is the timeframe? Again, your mileage may vary, but it’s helpful to consider where your team is beginning and where they need to get to before establishing a timeframe. For example, is everyone starting from zero knowledge about a new software being installed? If it’s hard software to learn or they don’t have much extra time in which to learn it, a long window is probably best.
- What resources will you provide? Is the company in a position to enroll staff members in a certification course, or schedule a training retreat for everyone? Or will workers be expected to pick up the skills they need in the regular course of doing their jobs?
- Who needs the training? Knowing where you want to go and where your team is starting will help you answer this question unless, of course, the training applies to everyone.
New hire training plan
Perhaps no single training plan is more important than what is created for new hires. A bad hire is an incredibly costly prospect for any business, and for a small business, it’s especially problematic. That’s because a small business has less wiggle room in the bottom line.
According to Business News Daily, poor onboarding is a leading cause of turnover — costing the company as much as 300 percent of the person’s salary for the unsuccessful training and eventual hiring process to fill their position.
Let’s look at some new employee orientation and onboarding training plans to keep this from happening to your team:
A new hire training plan checklist is a perfect way for the new employee and their supervisor to stay on the same page. Plus, this ensures new hires get all the crucial information they need early on in their tenure. Customize this template with the policies and procedures unique to your company.
Onboarding checklists can help both trainees and managers keep track of all the tasks that need to be done when a new person joins the team. And by monitoring how many boxes are checked, it’s easy to see where you’re falling short.
When you think about it, a new job begins from the day of the hire, not the moment the new person starts working. Seize the opportunity to make sure your internal processes are up to speed before the person even walks in the door with this orientation process checklist template.
With Venngage for Business, you can easily customize a new hire onboarding HR checklist (like the one below) to add relevant company documents. For example, your new hire may be expected to have certain licenses or qualifications; add those to the new hire paperwork section to keep your HR department happy (and legally compliant!).
Make onboarding fun by using the principles of microlearning, which can help overwhelming tasks seem manageable. Keep important materials organized so that your new team members get all the knowledge they need in an accessible format.
New manager training plan
Study after study has confirmed: bad managers — not low salaries or heavy workloads — are the number one reason people leave jobs. In fact, Gallup has found that about 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement scores can be attributed to the quality of the individual’s direct supervisor.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure that from the top down, your management structure is filled with people who have the right temperament and skill set to get the very best out of each team member. Here are some new manager training materials that can put your leadership on the right path:
Just because they’re already in management, that doesn’t mean your team members don’t have further goals. Sit down with them and talk through what they want to accomplish, and then help them visualize how to get there with this career roadmap.
Not sure about using visual content in training? Let us convince you.
Focus on the team aspect with your new manager training plans by having them creating a mind map like this one. Get them to fill it in with their goals for various aspects of their stepped-up role in your company.
One of the hardest parts of running a company is identifying people who have management potential. Use this chart to help you understand the difference between those who would be good first-line managers and those who might have executive potential.
Though this template was created to supplement an annual performance review, it’s also an effective tool for training a new manager.
Have them plot where they perceive themselves to be on a matrix (customize it easily by updating the text) and then add your opinion. From there, you can discuss what changes they need to make to land in the ideal quadrant.
Employee development plan
Employee development plans have a wide range of uses, from getting underperforming team members to improve what they’re doing to helping workers add skills to their arsenal. They can be focused on individuals (adding skills) or the team (improving performance) — or both.
You might think it’s counterproductive to have team members adding skills that don’t align entirely with your business objectives. But remember: employees are more likely to remain with an employer if the company invests in their careers, according to LinkedIn.
Use this SMART goals template to set objectives, timelines and methods for improving your employee’s skills. Customize it to your needs by updating the colors and adding new items to each column.
Data visualization has been shown to help with information retention — plus, it just looks cool. Use pie charts like these to help your employees visualize on a 1%-100% scale how well they’re doing at various tasks. And use the second page to expand further on where they could improve.
Work with your staff member to establish the areas where they need or want to learn more and list out the specific steps to get there using this template. Or use it to set goals they want to accomplish as part of their employee development plan.
Training needs assessment
Understanding where deficiencies are is an important part of any employee development plan, and it’s useful in helping your team members set their own career goals. Here are several training needs assessment templates you can use in your business today:
Use this training needs assessment to see your entire team at a glance. Update the columns and rows with your specific needs and see where your teams may be falling short (or excelling!).
Customize this skills checklist for your needs and have your team members fill one out for themselves. Using a method like this can help you better understand how your staffers feel about their contributions to the team — and where they see room for improvement.
Before advancing an employee to a new role or even elevating them to management, assess their positives and negatives using this readiness checklist template.
This multi-page assessment template can help you go into detail on what skills and competencies you expect members of your team to have. While it’s long, it remains accessible because of its clear organization and color-coding.
Use this questionnaire, which was developed for a healthcare setting, to understand more about how your employees rate themselves.
What’s unique and interesting about this template is that it calls for workers to rate both their success in each task and that task’s importance to their job success — which can also help you understand whether your priorities are in line with theirs.
Individual training plan
No worker wants to feel like just another body. But creating a truly individual training plan means sitting down with your team and understanding where they are — and where they need to be. Once you’ve done that, here are some individual training plans you can work together to create:
This individual training plan template is ideal for staffers who need to work on their performance before they fall into the range of under-performing. Having templates like this on hand can help turn you from a reactive manager into a proactive one. In other words, you can head off minor issues before they become major problems.
Work with your employee to determine where they fall on this matrix. Make one quadrant for each of their critical skill sets, determining if the job in question is being done well and how important it is to the success of the employee and the company.
Here’s another alternative to an individual training plan. This template can help employees do some introspection and determine what they want to get out of their jobs and how they might plot out their future with your company.
While this employee evaluation template is geared towards an annual self-review, it can also be useful as the basis for an individual training plan. Work with a single team member, or have each person on your team fill one of these out. Then, work with the group to address each individual’s needs and potential.
Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link; individual training plans can help strengthen your entire team
Use the templates you’ve seen here, or consider them a jumping-off point to leveling up the skills each individual contributes to your team.
And remember, you can customize any of these training plan templates to suit your needs.
With Venngage’s user-friendly, drag-and-drop editor, you can edit the text, colors, icons, images, branding and more — and impress trainees with your professionalism and organizational skills!