What To Consider When Improving Corporate Training Programs

As a business leader – perhaps, a small business owner who is planning on growing a business or an HR executive in charge of the training programs a large organization -- you understand the value of investing in learning and development programs. However, while there has never been a more important time to cultivate your cadre of knowledge workers, there are many challenges with launching a successful training system.

How do you enhance the effectiveness of all your training programs?

The answer to this question is two-fold:

  • First: Improve how you set up your training programs.
  • Second: Improve how you execute your training programs.

Setting Up Your Training Programs

You don’t have to set up your training programs from scratch. You can use a provider of training delivery solutions like Ready Tech to create instructor-led training or self-paced training. Depending on your organizational needs, you might decide to do one or the other. You might also decide to use both, starting beginner classes with an instructor and then offering experienced students the chance to take advanced self-paced training courses.

Executing Your Training Programs

It is one thing to have all the resources you need to create an effective training program, but it’s quite another to deploy these learning systems in the best possible way. It's a shift from thinking about learning systems alone to thinking about the best learning policies to execute these learning systems. 

When it comes to executing your training programs, there are at least 4 unique challenges.

Challenge # 1. Disempowered department managers and corporate trainers.

In the past, a department manager would share their knowledge and insights with their people as a matter of course. However, while the role of the manager is still to bring employees up to speed, there is so much that needs to be learned that a corporate trainer is now required to teach specific skill sets. Today, both need to be supported to fulfill their roles. 

Managers, overwhelmed by a multitude of responsibilities, need to be incentivized to still help employees fine-tune what they learned in a classroom setting. 

Meanwhile, corporate trainers need to be allowed to follow their intuition on how to design their own curriculum rather than blindly follow the ideas outlined by senior executives who have lost touch with the needs of the workforce.

Challenge #2: New knowledge is increasing at a rapid rate.

Knowledge today has a shorter expiration date. The rate of human knowledge is doubling every 12 months due to the use of faster, more efficient computers and higher interconnectivity and knowledge sharing between specialists all over the world. 

Business knowledge that used to last for years can now become obsolete in months. For instance, employees have to keep up with the rapid rate the hardware and the software they are using for their work is changing because their hardware is continually being upgraded and their software updated. 

Sometimes, too, a longstanding technology or business process might even become obsolete, replaced by something entirely new. The new skill a student needs today is to learn is how to learn faster. 

Instead of thinking about learning key business skills once, corporations have to think in terms of continuous learning programs. At the same time, there is the danger of overwhelming students with too much information, and a balance has to be struck between what they are learning in the classroom and what they can apply on the job.

Challenge #3: Not everyone is able to keep up with classroom instructions.

The idea of a classroom setting where everyone is taught the same concepts regardless of their skill level is being replaced by self-directed learning. For instance, in an organization where employees need to learn higher level formulas to do their work, those who will learn the fastest will be those who already have enough of a knowledge skillset to keep pace with the instructions. Those who have a weak foundation will fall behind. 

However, through customized learning, people who are lacking in foundational learning skills can catch up on what they don’t know to prepare for more advanced knowledge.

Challenge #4. Virtual teams need to keep up with organizational needs.

While learning programs in an organization may be effective for onsite employees, those who are working from home as telecommuters or those who are outsource teams may start to fall behind. 

As a result the quality of their work starts to fall behind what an organization expects to strengthen its services. 

This gap in knowledge and skills needs to be addressed by providing remote learning opportunities for virtual employees and contractors.

Return on Investment

While learning and development programs are valuable in helping a company stay competitive in the marketplace, they are also expensive and there needs to be a high return on investment for the programs to be sustainable. In other words, instead of learning for its own sake, the learning and development programs should focus on what employees need to learn in order to feel more engaged, work more productively, and produce innovative products.

About the author

Amanda Green is a site contributor that often writes on personal finance, marketing and business. In her free time she enjoys reading and playing volleyball with family and friends. Her work may also be found on http://www.paidtwice.com


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