Building Successful Employee Training Programs

Four key components to establishing an effective training program

by Amy Campbell

In a world that runs on change and innovation, companies must continuously adapt to meet the evolving needs of their communities. A local multifamily real estate development and management company, P.B. Bell, saw a need early on to provide its employees with a comprehensive continuing education program to keep up with the changing landscape of its industry.

The company established P.B. Bell University to reflect a commitment to the growth and development of its employees. Using the success of this program as a guide, the following are four key strategies that other businesses can utilize to foster employee success.

Implement Training Software/Sessions

When thinking about training, most businesses consider traditional methods such as workshops and seminars. However, in today’s digital age, training software plays a crucial role in modern training programs, offering an extensive platform for employees to enhance their skills and knowledge. P.B. Bell University utilizes a software program called Aspire to give its employees a well-rounded education on topics such as leadership and policies.

Every employee at P.B. Bell has access to the course catalog offered through Aspire. Upon onboarding, each position is assigned a personalized learning plan, which includes several learning steps. For instance, an assistant community manager follows a 10-step learning plan, comprised of 140 required course assignments.

In addition to this online learning platform, P.B. Bell hosts quarterly meetings to enhance employees’ skills and motivation, fostering a strong connection from the beginning of their careers. Also, P.B. Bell offers several special in-person training sessions. One example is this year’s “Tribute Interview Preparation and Celebration,” which helped attendees prepare for the AMA Tribute Awards interviews.

One of the most memorable in-person elements of P.B. Bell University is the onboarding process. This process takes place at the corporate office and allows employees to feel connected on Day 1 and supported. During this training session, each new employee is introduced to leadership and support staff. Additionally, they complete their core compliance courses through Aspire, enjoy a special lunch, have their headshot taken for their signature and receive a special welcome kit with items that remind them of the company’s core values.

Finally, it’s important to look for ways to connect with top associations in one’s industry. P.B. Bell employees can participate in additional training sessions and events offered by the Arizona Multihousing Association. By being part of this association, P.B. Bell has gained recognition with several awards year after year.

Track Success

Tracking a learning plan’s completion is essential for organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of the training and identify areas for improvement. This dedication to employee development not only enhances the program, but also serves as a key metric for the overall success of the organization.

P.B. Bell University also celebrates top learners. This recognition incentivizes employees to engage in the training program and aim for excellence, leading to increased motivation and a commitment to professional development.

Establish Company Values

Company culture is the foundation of any successful organization, shaping its values, behaviors and practices. Teaching new employees the company’s values can ensure that they are aligned with the organization from the start, leading to significant job satisfaction, greater productivity and employee retention.

P.B. Bell has five core values: get creative, act with integrity, be accountable, show you care and enjoy the ride. These values are celebrated at all levels of the organization, and the company’s commitment to instilling them into everything the team does strengthens their impact.

Facilitate Mentorship

Mentorship programs play a vital role in employee development, providing new hires with personalized guidance and support as they navigate their roles.

P.B. Bell’s mentorship program pairs each new hire with a seasoned manager, ensuring personalized guidance and continuous support. These mentors are always available and a direct line for all questions.

Additionally, P.B. Bell hosts Meet & Eats sessions to provide a platform for nurturing relationships and fostering a collaborative environment. Meet & Eats happen once every two weeks; three people from the corporate team go and have lunch with one of the on-site teams at a P.B. Bell property. It’s important that the on-site teams have a healthy balance of support and feedback, and these Meet & Eats help accomplish that goal. Also, P.B Bell holds bi-weekly HQ Crew support sessions, designed to provide updates and support to on-site teams while keeping the corporate support connection strong.

These four key initiatives will, collectively, contribute to the personal and professional growth of employees. By providing continuous learning opportunities, fostering strong connections within the company, and ensuring employees are well-equipped to excel in their roles, P.B. Bell University sets the standard for effective training programs.

Amy Campbell is the director of learning and development at P.B. Bell. She is responsible for developing and managing P.B. Bell’s in-house training and career development program, P.B. Bell University. This includes more than 900 courses offered online as well as in-classroom and onsite training.

Did You Know: P.B. Bell University’s onboarding process includes a personalized experience for each new hire, complete with in-person introductions to P.B. Bell’s leadership and corporate support staff, a P.B. Bell lunch box and in-person review of the company’s values. This unique approach sets the stage for a successful and engaging start to their career at P.B. Bell.

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