Providing employees with top notch training keeps businesses competitive and helps them grow. However, just like no two businesses are the same, training and development programs are not one-size-fits-all. Learning managers are tasked with developing training initiatives that address the unique training needs of their organizations. Below are some of the ways companies can ensure the efficiency and flexibility of their training processes.
1. Customize Training for the Organization and Individuals
Portfolio courses tend to become too big, outdated, and repetitive. Traditionally, they are created to meet the needs of all employees. Learning managers should design training programs to evolve to fit the company’s needs and not be afraid to eliminate courses that no longer match these needs. Training design should also take into consideration the learning needs of the individual. Not all employees have the same amount of experience. A senior manager’s training needs differ from those of an entry-level employee. Training that helps nurture skills that need improvement benefit both the employee and the organization.
2. Decide Who Executes the Training: Internal vs. External Trainers
Deciding on who delivers training depends on the type of training needed. Internal trainers possess internal knowledge and expertise. They are also under the control of the company and can save on training costs. An internal trainer would be better suited to delivering company-specific initiatives such as induction training. External trainers have their own wide range of experience in different businesses and can introduce new ideas and approaches. Their specialized knowledge outside of training may provide companies with a competitive edge. External trainers can also be cost-effective when introducing new systems or technologies.
3. Do Not Attempt to Set Up or Do a System Makeover Completely In-house
Setting up a new training and development platform or doing a system makeover is very achievable if a company has a full-fledged training and development team comprised of experts in different aspects of learning development, such as eLearning and course design. When that is not an option, a learning manager could benefit from working with a training and development specialist to develop materials and collaborate on a learning platform. This can aid in creating training that suits the unique training needs of the organization. Input from individual departments within a company, as well as prospective trainees, can provide insight into training needs and how to deliver learning objectives.
4. Standardized Training Modules
Creating standardized training modules helps to create consistency and same learning outcomes. Inconsistency may result if a company utilizes different external trainers with differing expertise and teaching styles. Because most training and development is now online, designing training modules to have clearly defined learning outcomes with identical time constraints and delivery is manageable. Breaking up modules into small but equal chunks with quizzes or questions can aid in minimizing cognitive overload and increase retention. Developing module templates to be shared with other trainers will also ensure that all trainees are receiving the same standard of training and are capable of mastering learning objectives.
5. Develop Resources that Address Cultural Differences
As diversity grows within businesses, it is imperative that learning managers understand that learning styles vary culturally and impact the overall success of a training initiative. Developing resources that are multilingual and multicultural can improve the reception of learning objectives keeping in mind that some training methods are more successful than others in different parts of the world. Also, learning managers should consider how training is delivered as some cultures favor individual learning approaches and others prefer collaborative, group training. Multilingual/multicultural training materials help narrow the gap between cultures and reduces culture shock. They also help employees from different cultures to interact effectively and perform competently.
6. Use Trainees to Help Close Generational Learning Gaps
Effective corporate training takes into consideration and advantage of each generations’ unique characteristics and work ethics. As technology develops rapidly within training and development, some generations lag as others catch on quickly. Millennials are adept at acclimating quickly to changes in technology, effectually communicating what and how they learned, and often prefer working in groups. This makes them perfect candidates for peer-to-peer training. At the same time, an employee who has worked in an organization for decades can teach a new hire about company processes. This prevents the need for learning managers to create different training programs for each generation and fosters teamwork and learning across generational gaps.
7. Engage Employees with Training
To ensure that trainees are mastering the learning objectives necessary to succeed at their jobs, it helps for them to be fully engaged during the training process. Unengaged trainees fail to understand learning objectives or the relevancy of training. They also become harder to motivate and engage over the long term after training. Including surveys and/or appraisals following training increases engagement and make trainees stakeholders in their training and development. Employee engagement surveys provide insight into employee self-interest by measuring key indicators that generate engagement and motivation. Performance appraisals let employees know how they are doing and open dialogue on what both employee and the organization can do to meet their training goals.
8. Get Feedback
Getting feedback after training sessions helps to identify areas that need improvement for future training initiatives. Post training feedback should assess the training methods, materials, and quality of the experience. It should be used to indicate how to increase the effectiveness of training for employees and demonstrate the value of the training through solid data. Feedback also ensures the training process meets key business objectives. The overall goal of training is to ensure employees have the skills and knowledge to meet their organization’s goals. Surveys following training could include metrics that measure how training has improved skills such as time management and productivity.
Wrapping It All Up
Providing all employees with valuable training should be a strategic priority that keeps companies at the top of their game and able to evolve with changing trends. Providing a holistic approach to training and development overcomes common training obstacles to ensure the efficiency of corporate training.