The Importance of Ongoing Training and Follow-Up

With a shortage of skills and talent being something businesses across industries are confronting, there is a tremendous focus on training and development. Unemployment is low, certain skills are in high-demand, and for many employees, they’re in the driver’s seat.

Good employees have plenty of opportunities, and one of the best things employers can do when there are situations like this is focus on their training and development initiatives.

There are plenty of business benefits that come with training, especially when it’s delivered via a learning management system. First, there is the idea of creating your own talent pipeline.

When employers have comprehensive training programs, they can train the employees they need, with the skills they need. This provides companies with at least some level of protection against a skills shortage or talent gap.

There’s also the sense of appreciation employees have. Employees want to feel like their employer sees a future with them and is willing to invest in that future. They want to feel like they have chances to move up within the company, and by training and developing them, you’re showing them that you believe they can be a long-term employee.

Along with a refreshed interested in employee training, many employers are also looking at more effective, efficient ways to deliver training, such as through a learning management system. Employers want to make sure that they’re following best practices when it comes to training employees, such as making courses on-demand, as well as short and to the point. Another best practice that employers should be thinking about is ongoing training, which can also be referred to as follow-up training.

When we talk to a lot of our clients who want to implement a learning management system, there seems to be a lack of understanding regarding how important follow-up and ongoing employee training really is.

Even when an employer invests the time and money into creating great, modern training, if they neglect the follow-up their initiatives may fail.  

The following are some key things to know about follow-up training and ongoing employee training, with a particular focus on how this can be delivered through the use of learning management systems.

Understanding Ongoing Training

There are a few different reasons ongoing training is important for employees. First, while using a learning management system and e-Learning can on its own increase retention of information as compared to traditional classroom learning, sometimes more is needed. Adults all learn in different ways, and retention should be a top priority of employee training. Follow-up can significantly improve retention and reinforce key concepts.

Ongoing training delivered through a learning management system can also be helpful when employees are on-the-job.

Employers can provide employees with access to ongoing information so that once they are actually in the environment to apply the knowledge and skills they learned through training, they can access important information on-demand.

Of course, in many industries, constant changes are going on. These changes can relate to anything from technology to compliance and regulation. Sometimes you don’t need a whole new training course to address these changes, but employees do need to be kept up-to-date, thus the need for ongoing training.

Initial employee training, starting at onboarding, should be considered the core foundation of everything an employee does. Follow-up training should then be viewed as a way to help employees retain knowledge and skills, stay up-to-date, and as a way to eliminate any gaps that may exist.

How To Implement Follow-Up Training

One of the many advantages of using a learning management system is the ability to easily implement follow-up training and on-demand information. The following are some ideas employers can use to embrace follow-up training and continual learning and development:

  • Social Learning: Social learning and collaboration are important concepts within the larger concept of follow-up training. Implement ways employees can connect with one another, share, and collaborate to reinforce what they learned during training. Forums and video interviews of employees sharing what they learned are good places to start. Another idea is having chat rooms be part of your learning management system and e-Learning, where employees can come together and share things with one another, and ask and answer questions. Gamification is another way to use social learning and to follow-up on training. Social learning gives employees the chance to interact with learning content differently, and concepts are reinforced through this interaction.
  • Release Regular Information: Using a learning management system, create regularly timed content and information that strategically builds on more in-depth training programs. Let employees access this information, so they’re not only constantly thinking about core concepts, but they’re also being provided information that builds on those concepts.
  • Invite Employees To Develop New Training: Once an employee or a team of employees has completed a certain amount of training, invite them to collaborate as you create training for new employees. This has multiple benefits. First, you’re getting the benefit of employee feedback to ensure new training is as relevant as possible. The other benefit is that you’re allowing more senior employees to become subject matter experts. When they’re in the role of being the trainer or creating the instructional materials, it actually reinforces their previous training as well.
  • Integrate e-Learning with On-the-Job Training: e-Learning and the use of a learning management system often work very well when paired with on-the-job training, or other contextual learning experiences, such as coaching or mentorships. Employers should move away from thinking employee training has to be all one way or another and should think more about blending learning and how training is delivered. Just one example of intersecting a learning management system and on-the-job training would be delivering training videos through a mobile device. Immediately following the video, employees could be asked to replicate what they saw in the video in their actual job. That immediate on-the-job training follow-up is such a valuable way to make sure the training content resonates with the employee.

Finally, employers should think about regular reassessment of employees. This can not only increase the incentives for employees to retain information, but it can also provide insight to employers. They can see where gaps exist, so rather than thinking every aspect of training has to be provided to employees all over again, just the as-needed training can be delivered.

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