Workforce Training and Development Best Practices

I wrote earlier this week about management training, and how no matter your situation, this was a largely constant field. But, when it comes to workforce training and development, you’ll find yourself up against quite a problem. You see, you’re going to have to worry about specific fields, unless it’s soft skills you’re dealing with.

Well, there are some constant things you can bear in mind, so this isn’t a total loss to advise on. There exist technologies that can help you, and new models of learning which make this a much easier proposition. So let’s look at how to handle workforce training and development, what resources exist to make it easier, and how to make avail of them.

First, consider letting go of some of the more old hold overs from ancient academia. The classroom environment has many disdvantages. Everyone is alone in a crowd, the experience is linear, dull and nerve racking.

It also costs time, and scheduling conflicts to make it work. So, considering new ideas like flipped classrooms and the like. Putting the teaching role into that is a supervisor and guide is a good way to loosen the atmosphere, and to engage the trainees more directly and effectively.

But, there’s more to it than just considering new ways of handling the interaction and atmosphere. Along with this, you also need to get rid of location dependence and schedule dependence overall.

Instead, consider sing something like an LMS system, which allows the creation of courses, group projects, wikis and other shared things, along with grade tracking. Many of these also integrate video, and offer group chat and group forums, which lend well to that new learning model concept I mentioned before.

This also opens it up so that everyone can access learning, along with their colleagues, and do so from any device, mobile or PC. This means they can learn anywhere, and don’t have to be tied to a central location simultaneously.

These LMS systems are flexible, and support app add ons which help to implement new methodologies easily, such as gamification or new ways of handling grades and so forth.

But, above all else, a big boost is the availability of onboard systems like WalkMe. WalkMe is a tutorial creation system which can integrate into a webform. Following sensory input it gets from elements, browser states and user activity, it can act on logic given to it through a simple point and click system.

This means that you can easily program this subclass macro to guide users through vastly complex things safely and effectively. Now, initially, this was only helpful if you were training them on technical things. But, with the flexibility of quickly-assembled HTML5, and the flexibility of WalkMe, you can build on LMS frameworks in a way to use this to train them on non-technical issues with it as well.

This is the dawn of the age where the teacher is but a shepherd, and AI will do the grunt work of guiding through processes and concepts, and students are free to use their minds, not just sit and memorize facts or procedures.

This is the future of workforce training and development. It is a bright future.

bnr8

The Flipped Classroom Model in Corporate Training

At this point, nobody’s denying that the traditional classroom model that has endured in scholastic life, higher learning and in corporate training is not the end all to be all that it once was. There is a reason that so many young people hate school, and it is not, contrary to popular belief, because they don’t like gaining knowledge. They just hate the lack of agency, the pressure, the time consumption and the tedium of classrooms.

It’s worse in corporate training, because the grind of daily work life preserves the tedium that makes students less than enthusiastic, the sole consolation being that working adults are free from the extra negative trappings of scholasticism.

Additionally many have questioned whether classroom training is the most effective way of connecting training to performance, and for employees to easily be able to apply what they have learned once those classroom sessions have ended. Many models have been proposed to alleviate this, but they require radical transitions. A new one, the flipped classroom model, however, offers a stopgap.

banner-training

Ok, before I go any further, let me explain that this alone isn’t enough to eliminate the huge and vast hurdles of training, where the more drastic change models theoretically might. But, since these transitions to severe change aren’t practical to just up and do without more case studies and standardization by practice, this is a good way to fix a lot of problems now, just not all of them. At least, the flipped classroom model fixes a lot of these problems in theory.

So, how does this work? Well, there’s no fixed standard for how this is implemented. It’s pretty open-ended, but the goals are very clear. Rather than sit everyone down silently, and lecture them, and give them exercises to drill them repeatedly (like grade school), it changes the role of the teacher in the classroom.

Instead of lecturing them in the class room, the teacher is present as a guide, who assigns projects, activities and other group processes. The students present will then work on these projects together, while the teachers are present to give them input and guide them along the way.

Rather than more tedious homework, the students are then sent off with lectures to watch or reading to go through to supplement the social environment of practice and activity in the class room.

Now, the theory behind this, especially in corporate training is to first make the training sessions more engaging and less tedious. The social activity aspect will encourage team work, diversification and a social mindset which a business needs in order to grow and succeed.

Along with these, it also builds experience through realistic exercises, building more on the “learn by doing and experience” concept which has proven far more proficient.

Along with these, this sort of model is more flexible as well, which works more with busy professionals in a corporate training environment. If physical interaction is unneeded, educational technologies, cooperative data systems and communications technologies can be coordinated together to set up this model over the internet, where location means far less.

Coupled with the ease of implementing gamification, the flipped classroom model is a good stopgap for bringing the corporate training concept into a new age, and will serve to help wear away at old roles and preconceptions about how education should work. There are far bigger changes on the horizon, but this model is a good way of easing into giving up a lot of old ways of thinking that this will require.
 

Tips for Employee Education in Enterprise Environments

Employee education in a corporate environment has a number of challenges to overcome that performing training in smaller business environments, or in non-business environments do not always contend with. At the same time, though, there are a number of concerns and obstacles that do exist across the board, even if training experts in other environments will rigidly argue against that fact.

banner-training

Employee education in general is a difficult thing, because professionals are busy people who can often take solace, in the face of hard working life, in the fact that they are free of the rigors of education, which all sit firmly in the past for them. This breeds a bit of resentment and dread among employees when faced with training.

Along with this, finding the time to train them effectively while not reducing their productivity in daily working life, but also not trespassing upon their personal time or overworking them by layering things on top of their existing workload results in a hairy situation to say the least.

Well, now that we see the problems, how can we address some of these effectively? We can start by first addressing that problem of training being tedious and unpleasant in its traditional form. Use of gamification is a way to improve engagement and enjoyability. This will improve effectiveness of training by reducing the low level of cooperation that traditional training often causes.

That can solve the problem of unfreezing people, and improving their receptiveness to training, but it doesn’t solve the problem of people being very busy, and there are a number of problems to solve here. This is the meat of our concern, in fact.

Training employees in corporate environments can be disruptive of daily processes if they must completely drop everything they are doing in order to go through training exercises in total. So, a good solution to partially make the training overall productive is to use an onboarding system like WalkMe, which can guide them through learning a system by using it, as WalkMe guides them safely step by step through using designs. This allows them to safely perform real work while they learn how to do it.

That alleviates part of it, but for those times when you must actually take them from their work schedule, and in the very rare (avoid at all costs) times you must ask them to devote some extra time above their work hours, there are other things to consider.

Making these times pleasant social occasions (with food, activities and other modern training concepts) is a good way to make the negative impacts of biting into these times less significant.

So, employee education in a corporate environment is a tricky prospect, and while the actual internal aspects of training doesn’t change just because it’s corporate or large scale, the trappings around training should adapt to account for busy people who regard themselves as having neither the time nor desire to be bothered with “more school”. These changes, however, are not applicable only to corporate environments, though, and most of these changes should be applied to all education and training scenarios from preschool all the way up to college and beyond. It’s time to rethink training and education.
 

Interesting Corporate Training Companies

Corporate training is a big industry, and a vital one. There’s no questioning this. While it’s not unheard of for smaller businesses (and even some big ones) to have an in house training department, or to hire a consultant to handle this, that’s seldom as practical as it might seem.

More often than not, when in house training is handled, it requires leadership from other departments having to rush to come to terms with training sciences and rethinking how they handle their leadership position, and while there are some shining examples of people doing this with great success, it’s easier on everyone, if the budget permits, to hand the reins of this over to corporate training companies who make their name by mastering the complex and challenging sciences of various training concepts.

What are some of the better corporate training companies out there? Well, there are a lot of them, and many of them specialize in specific forms of training, such as IT, sales etc. This means that you can’t really pick one as the best of them all. It’s actually hard, even within fields to pick the best, because there are many, very competent companies for any given scenario. I’ll just point out three industries, and for each one, a company that stands out for training the best people for those jobs.

#1 – AXIOM (Sales)

AXIOM Sales Force Development may sound like they train people to expertly operate Salesforce CRM software, but that’s just a misnomer. In fact, AXIOM is one of the Tradingindustry.com top twenty sales training companies in 2011 and 2013. That is a big deal. Fortune 500 and Forbes Cover companies have used AXIOM many times to great success.

They embrace the purely scientific nature of sales (even where the human element comes into play), and they even use parallels in these sciences between training and sales, to expertly shape lumps of coal into absolute diamonds of the industry.

#2 – Wilson Learning (Workforce Development)

Wilson Learning is a global leader in performance improvement, structure optimization and workforce development practices. Bringing in all of the most proven and documented strategies for reorganization, communications building and organizational learning to train large groups to become a well-tuned unit, they are at the top of their game for building effective teams.

In the modern world, teamwork within a company is more important than ever, and Wilson understands this, and they want to bring the power of unified efforts to any company wise enough to seek out their expertise.

#3 – eCornell

While they are a subsidiary of Cornell University, this corporate-geared online learning division specializes in training the IT people of today to handle the technologies and solutions of tomorrow. Having made top lists for the past four years in leading training magazines, websites and reviews, thus company offers over 120,000 courses in over 200 countries across the world.

Technology is a bigger and bigger part of business and of life, so you need the sharpest IT people you can come by, with the best learning they can get. You can’t go wrong with eCornell, and the convenience of their online infrastructure is fantastic.

Corporate training companies are positively numerous. I didn’t scratch the surface of the different industries specialized in here, or even the various amazing companies within the industries I did touch on. If you need corporate training, and you know you’re not geared to handle it in house, then rest assured, these companies and hundreds more have your back.
 

The Changing Role Of Learning And Development Leaders

Over the past several years, the notion of what L&D (Learning and Development) should be has changed dramatically.  We’ve seen a shift from looking at training as a single event, which then is followed by employee daily work (with the expectation that they’ll be able to perform up to expectation following that initial training event). Rather, training is now looked at increasingly as a long-term, continuous event, as I wrote about earlier this week.   

158909743Beyond the timing itself, there has been a dramatic change in methods and tactics, and most importantly the channels by which employees learn.  While traditional formal classroom training have not gone away entirely, and still play a key role in the learning process, a strong contemporary L&D relies heavily on internet-based learning options and technology, such as webinars, learning management systems, online presentations and courses, instructional videos, social media forums, performance support aids, and more.

Given this change in the timing, methodology and technology in L&D, it is perfectly normal for the role of training professionals to evolve as well, in order to meet the ever-changing needs of employees. Having said that, here is a closer look at the changing role of learning and development leaders:

How Has Technology Affected The L&D Process?

Tom Cruise’s character Maverick in the film Top Gun once famously said, “I feel the need, the need for speed!” We live in the 21st century, a time period characterized by the need for speed like no other in human history. Nowadays, we are able to send information from one side of the world to the other within seconds, thanks to the Internet. Boundaries of time and space have virtually disappeared, and knowledge is more portable and immediately accessible than ever before.Top-Gun image

The technology of speed of course has had a clear impact on the way L&D professionals – and managers in the bigger picture – have altered their expectations and strategies.  One might be tempted to ask, if learners can be given information immediately, and have access to that knowledge outside of the classroom, wherever they might be, and on any internet-connected device, then shouldn’t they be able to reach proficiency in no time?  And, to a certain extent, there is some truth to that.  Yet at the same time, even though information is more accessible quickly and at any location, the nature of how employees learn – at a human level – is still what it was.  People learn at different paces, in different styles.

While some might have strong memories and the ability to pick up things quickly, far more people learn by repetition and over a longer period of time.  So while speed does play a key factor in strategizing L&D plan and setting expectations, training professionals need to be still open-minded, flexible and able to present a diverse and long-term set of options in order to best help employees learn effectively, one that will provide long-term value and high performance.

Of course, the most fundamental and visible change that the internet has brought to employee training is online learning, or e-learning.  Whether in the form of formal online courses and exams, or if talking about “informal” learning, which might include encouragement to utilize online videos, social media, forums, webinars, and other channels, there is no doubt that employees are more “connected” during training.

Due to the internet-focused nature of training, Learning Management Systems (LMS) have evolved to play a key role in enabling L&D professionals to monitor learner progress, and to see which areas still need improvement.

Finally, mobile technology – in particular the ever-increasing adoption of smartphones and tablet computers – have empowered employees to access learning materials both inside and outside of the office.

From Transferring Knowledge to Facilitating Information

Yes, technology had empowered both trainers and employees to utilize more information than ever before, on any device, from any location, at any time.  So how does that change the role of L&D professionals?

Well, for one thing, L&D professionals cannot encompass their teaching in a single course anymore. What if an employee says, “well, I looked online and it says something different?” The knowledge transfer process is more transparent and to a degree, there is a less of a learning hierarchy that there used to be in the trainer-learner relationship.  Yet that does not weaken the trainer.

Furthermore, let’s not look at it as a knowledge “transfer” process at all, but rather, the key role of L&D managers these days is to FACILITATE access to information.  Equip employees with all the various channels they can leverage in order to increase their skillset and understanding.  Suggest specific webinars, provide for them an e-learning course, and empower them with performance support software.  Give them the tools they need to excel. 

In addition, two-way communication and feedback will always be important, both for the manager and for the employee.  Due to the fact that there is less of a hierarchy than there once was, it’s critical to engage the learner at every stage, to get his/her feedback, how they think it’s going, what they still need help with, what concepts they believe they already have grasped, etc.  Involve them.  That’s key.

Focus on Performance

Most of all is the need to remember that in the workplace context, the ultimate goal of training is improved productivity and increased performance. The learning facilitator must directly appeal to the needs and requirements of the employees, having the flexibility and ability to tailor and customize training plans to each employee’s needs.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

One major change that can be noticed in the approach of leaders from the L&D field is that they focus on what is known as “performance consulting”, meaning that they assess the overall performance of an individual in order to identify the core problem and address it in a timely manner. The purpose of this approach is to boost the efficacy of the training using skilled and well-trained staff and performance practitioners that are focused on team working and want to see positive results.

So with a focus on performance, make sure employees have the tools to empower them to receive performance support long after the initial training sessions end.  WalkMe is a great example.  A performance support software that enables employees to receive immediate, directly relevant and specific instructions in order to help them perform any online task.

Whether you’re using a complex enterprise software, or an organization’s website, WalkMe provides an indispensable tool for managers to “be there” with their employees as they work, empowering them to succeed.

There is no question that the times, they-are-a-changing. L&D managers, in the role of facilitators of learning and information, can move forward and get the highest performance from their workers, with the right strategy, methods, and technology.

Guest Post: How do you get the best out of coaching for your company?

This is a guest post by Scott Drayton, a Marketing Executive at Optimus Sourcing.

Despite the economic difficulties that have arisen from the global downtown that began 6 years ago, the business coaching industry has continued to flourish and grow. However, in the unregulated world of business coaching, how can companies ensure that they are utilising coaches effectively and getting the most out of their investment? Optimus Sourcing decided to write a whitepaper on the subject to guide you so you can make the best out of coaching for your company. Below is a small look at the whitepaper.

158909743

Training and mentoring, external and internal: What is business coaching and who is it for?

Business coaching used to be thought of more as something for senior management to help them in their personal lives however the coaching industry has increased substantially over recent years to include more and more lower level, career building employees in order to boost performance and increase employee retention. Specialisation has also increased with numerous subjects being covered from international relocation to achieving specific goals. Business coaching is different to mentoring and other techniques as it aims to encourage the learner to come to the conclusions themselves rather than teaching them. There are also no seniority issues and there is emphasis on the relationship.

What benefits do external business coaches bring to companies that use them?

Whilst classroom led training is still an integral part to any learning strategy, more and more businesses are seeing the advantages of the personalised, specific learning business coaching can provide. External business coaches can bring fresh ideas and viewpoints to a company’s culture as well as produce a safe environment where sensitive issues can be discussed more freely. Coaching cultures are also becoming more popular to supplement the actual business coaches by making more senior staff skilled at coaching methods so they can carry on the business coaching process continually.

Measuring the success of business coaching and ensuring quality

Only a small proportion of businesses have actually been found to regularly measure the effectiveness of their business coaching activities however the four most common units of measurements used are individual performance appraisal, increase of individual productivity, employee satisfaction with the programme and increase of individual assessment tool scores. The lack of measurement by companies has been largely attributed to the lack of a recognised methodology to do so.

To read this full unique whitepaper please download it here. The full paper includes more information on saving costs whilst still increasing quality as well as Optimus Sourcing’s definitive 13 tips to making the most out of coaching for your company.
 

Help Your Employees Grow and Learn with the Latest Technology

Learning does not end after the training sessions are completed; it’s an ongoing process that must be maintained. Whether a person has been with the company for one year or twenty years, there are advancements in both industry climate and technology that force employees to grow and evolve. When employees aren’t given the right tools to compete in today’s job market, not only are they placed at a disadvantage, but the company as a whole isn’t able to move forward and meet customer needs.

For example, social media has been taking the world by storm, and companies are scrambling to incorporate this new medium into their business models. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube all have very specific approaches that can drastically increase a company’s reach when handled properly. Each one of these can become huge marketing possibilities for companies large and small. At the same time, there have been several different companies that have struggled to grow and evolve, being left behind in the times. While technology can be a scary thing, learning to embrace it instead of fight against it is the key to success.

When you don’t understand what is going on, technology can be a very scary thing. Older people are especially cautious of learning about new things because there is so much that they are not familiar with.  However, it is important for a company to take the bold steps needed and guide everyone into the next frontier. It’s one thing for a company to show customers new features, but another when the company is the one that is lagging behind. This puts everyone at risk and can easily break down the foundation that a company has been built on. The key is to understand what technology is capable of and teaching your staff how to properly use it to their benefit.

Technology is always changing, and that means that the world around it is as well. While some advancements change how the company is run and what priorities are made, others handle the training of employees and streamlining other aspects that make growing easier. One of the best examples of this is a program called WalkMe, one of the hottest things that’s changing the way people learn and become proficient at tasks. Unlike other training methods, WalkMe gives users the tools they need to succeed, but ensures that they are learning at their own speed and only get assistance when they need it.

As the name suggests, WalkMe walks users though what they need to do with an interactive step by step guide. How do they do this? WalkMe overlays any browser and lets the designers create guides that highlight necessary keys or create pop-up boxes containing helpful information. Users can expand their knowledge through this type of training because they are learning in more than one way at the same time. WalkMe can be used to train newcomers on how to perform basic tasks, or it can be used to introduce new ideas and programs to veterans. Regardless of how you use WalkMe, the benefits are very easy to see.

The future is bright for technology, and the growing adoption for smartphones and tablets means that the growing hasn’t come to a stop yet. These new additions force companies to think outside the box and change their approach to reach the highest number of customers possible. As companies begin to adopt these new mediums, they have to change how they run their business and how their employees work. With WalkMe by their side, companies don’t have to worry about leaving their employee’s behind, allowing them to focus on the potential growth that lies ahead of them.
 

How Effective Employee Training Can Best React to New Software Onboarding

Within organizations, a big challenge faced by managers is the need for workers to familiarize themselves with software they have never used before. This most commonly affects new employees to the company, as this is often the first time they are asked to navigate through the company’s intranet, enterprise software program and website. However, veteran employees are also affected by this process in the case of updated and new features introduced, or especially when the company has decided to make the change to an entirely different software altogether.

laptop

Onboarding Challenges

The main problem that comes with software onboarding is represented by its costs – regardless whether we’re talking about direct money (how much training has absorbed in terms of price) or indirect revenue (the potential revenue that’s been lost during training due to employees not performing to their maximum capacity in daily tasks). This is especially true since training managers are forced to constantly deal with limited training budgets, mostly during tough economic times but not only.

In addition to costs, another problem which rises is represented by the time involved, with training going on too long in the eyes of managers. This happens due to poor management of the course duration, and because they are often forced to integrate a large amount of information in these courses due to time constraints. This results not only in trainers being stressed, but also the employees, since they have to ingest a large amount of data in short times and then effectively apply it in everyday duties.

Furthermore, there is loss of potential revenue during IT training sessions, which precludes employees from being able to perform at full capacity at the end of training courses. In an effort to combat this, training session times are then cut, which can lead to a period of employee errors and assistance requests in operating the software, which often leads to a decrease in company’s profitability.

Finally, software used by most companies often updates itself, integrating new features and characteristics, so the need for training sessions cannot be defined as one-time event anymore, but rather as a continuous strategy.

A High-Value, Efficiency Training Strategy

board

As a result, training managers need to research solutions that can help them reduce the time involved in training employees to understand the usage of new software, but also maintain a cost-effective approach at the same time. Put otherwise, companies need to get a higher value for a lower amount of money through appropriate and effective training strategies and solutions. They need to find those solutions which allow them to leave a long-lasting impact on employees, while at the same time educating them and helping support their daily work performance and business flow. In this regard, there is a variety of solutions which training managers can resort to:

1. Cross-training. Through this method employees are given the chance to explore the jobs of their colleagues, which will not only enhance their skills in the long run but also give companies the advantage of owning multi-specialized employees. Cross-training will also deliver workers a better understanding of their coworkers’ duties, and thus allow them to understand what they can do best to fulfill company goals.

2. Demonstrations. One of the most attention-grabbing techniques is through the use of demonstrations.  By utilizing demonstrations, training managers can show employees exactly how to use the new (or updated) software step-by-step, as well as engage their safety skills. In addition, by giving employees the chance to ask questions, one can benefit from truly long-lasting results in workers’ operational capabilities.

3. One-on-One Coaching. This technique has the role of improving individual employee performance by focusing on the individual characteristics of the employees more than all others. This don’t really serve as training sessions, but rather as instructional guides in which a supervisor, manager or veteran employee has the role of a coach. The person in charge will be responsible for correcting an employee’s errors, answering his/her questions, suggesting effective ways of accomplishing tasks, providing support and encouragement, leading him/her toward goal achievement, giving feedback on employee actions, and more.

4. In-Work Performance Support. In addition to all these training performance boosters, one can successfully relate to the specialized just-in-time aids in the industry, which have greatly evolved in terms of performance and adoption over the last years. For instance, with the aid of an online guidance software such as WalkMe, companies can rapidly resolve their concerns related to under-performing employees. What WalkMe does is to provide step-by-step live instructions for employees, via a series of tip balloons, every time they need to accomplish a certain task or learn about a new feature. Thus, they have the freedom of learning at their own pace and without any external aid. At the same time, their performance level is boosted and they benefit from enhanced creativity due to the fact of being able to experiment on their own, all in a completely safe environment.

 

Forget Me Not – Critical Steps to Making Employee Training More Memorable

employee trainingBenjamin Franklin said once “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Employee training professionals have to constantly overcome different challenges faced during employee training sessions, perhaps the most pressing being the retention rate of learners. Many of heard the “20 percent statistic”, that is that learners only remember and take with them 20% of the knowledge transferred during training.

One common method used to assess knowledge retention is to conduct post-course testing. In IT training, for example, you can test specific tasks that you addressed during training and see how successfully the learner can perform them successfully.

You can and should also conduct post-training interviews with learners, in order to receive their direct feedback as to how the training went, and what they think they were able to take away from it.  And of course, following the testing, there are various performance supporting aids (such as WalkMe which we’ll get to more later) to help bridge the gap between the end of training and when an employee reaches full levels of proficiency and independence.

Yet, to address the remaining question here – one which learning managers consistently struggle with – is how to make learners remember what they learned during the course? Are there specific strategies and steps that can be taken to reinforce knowledge absorption and retention? Or, in other words, how can one maximize the value of an employee training course?

bannerOmri

Let us look at 5 Tips To Make Employee Training work

Deciding over the Location

If you want training sessions to be memorable, than you need to host them into a space which enables workers to focus on what you have to say, yet remain engaged throughout the course of training.

Regardless whether you teach your employees the basics into an open area, through team-building activities, or indoors, you need to ensure that the environment is a conductive one.

Keep the external noise levels to a minimum so that employees can understand what you’re trying to teach them, and make sure that the space isn’t a large and cold one, as the groups need to closely collaborate with each other.

Getting the Best Trainer

Regardless whether it’s a general presentation, or a specific training session, if the trainer fails to attract the learners’ attention, then chances are they will never learn anything from those courses, or at least forget the majority of it.

A good trainer can easily inspire learners through the power of example, subtle humor, and the like, even if the subject is pretty dry or abstract. In this regard, organizations should seek to find the person with the best qualifications and with the right amount of experience, so that every employee training session will be a memorable one in the eyes of the learners. Besides energy, it’s important for the trainer to be adaptable and innovative. Remember that we live in a digital world and in a social world – the trainer needs to make sure to engage the learners. He must also be able to help them understand that training is essential for their work to be done properly.

1415060_business_graphMaking the Training Sessions Interesting

Beyond the trainer himself/herself, if the content is dull and not engaging, then chances are the learners will soon become bored and sleepy. Yet a reality must be faced here – not everything addressed in training sessions is going to be fascinating and riveting, neither to the trainer nor the learner.  Yet it’s THE WAY it’s presented that matters.

Everything that’s presented at the training sessions should be pointed out in the most interesting way possible, so as to stimulate the employees’ interest and engagement level. In this regard, various techniques can be used, including the telling of a personal story or using humor.

Another great way to stimulate your audience’s interest is to secure a senior leader, which will act as the session host for the purpose of leaving a memorable impression. He does not need to be there during the entire training session, he just needs to be there at the beginning and make a few motivational comments regarding the topic’s importance.  In addition, you can look at including learning games in workplace training.  They provide a unique way to make training fun and engaging, and they also provide a relatively easy way to assess results both during and after the training.

Making Each Training Session Short and Relevant

Let’s face it – we live in a world of short attentions spans. It’s impossible to maintain your employees’ interest for several hours, even if you are the best trainer in the world. People are not used to staying focused for so long, and even if they manage to, they will hardly be able to remember everything that’s been presented during the course.

For this purpose, it’s important to structure each training session in such way as to make it as short and concise as possible, providing workers with the most important skills they need to acquire. All the irrelevant stuff needs to be cut out of the presentation, as this will help them better retain the main points of the course.

In addition, it would also be a good idea to send them a pre-work quiz which is to entice their interest for the topic and give them a brief overview over what they are going to learn.

technologyTaking Advantage of Technology

Technology is undoubtedly a great asset when it comes to compelling interesting training sessions. If possible, the trainer should use different audio-visual strategies, including the usage of colors or pictures, bringing in music for the different segments of the presentation, displaying short videos, etc.

As mentioned earlier, we live in a digital world, one in which the Internet and the devices that allow us to access it have really changed the way we absorb information.  So being able to use multi-media technology in employee training is essential these days, based on how we’re wired, pardon the pun.

Additionally, nowadays technology has enabled executives to either host a training session remotely, or to supplement it, through the usage of e-Learning, m-Learning and associated tools. People are supplementing formal training sessions through informal learning, via social networks, webinars, YouTube videos, and other online channels.

Furthermore, companies would be wise to embrace learning and performance support technology into their employee development strategy.  Continuous learning, in which learning remains long after the training sessions end, have been increasingly cited as leaving a lasting impact.

For those in the world of software training, incorporating online guidance software into their programs such as WalkMe  enables you to deliver a personalized experience for each employee and help them remember what they learned during the physical training sessions.  WalkMe provides step-by-step instructions to aid employees in performing complex tasks, IN THE MOMENT of need, thus reducing employee training times and costs.  In addition, there are some other great performance support software options available for you to consider.

Keep these 5 steps in mind when designing your training sessions, and the ultimate results will be more than satisfactory. Remember that it’s not about the quantity of information, but about the quality and retention of it.

confusius

Confucius Said: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
 

Using Technology to Drive Learner Responsibility

The rapid development in technology has transformed the way we regard our workplace in recent years. Technology has modified the way in which we learn. With this explosion of technology, people have started communicating and collaborating in different, more efficient ways. From infographics, to audio and video, to LMS software, to learning over consumer devices like smartphones and tablets and through e-learning programs, people regard training in an entirely different way. With this, comes the ability of managers to encourage employees to take a sense of ownership for their learning and performance. As technology is changing, the way we think about teaching and learning online is changing too.

Reality requires training departments to replace – or at least to supplement – traditional classroom models with a new long-term strategic focus. Better trained employees represent a healthier development line in organizational terms. So, what can training executives do to increase the motivation of employees to value their training in their organizations? Well, here are some useful tips in this regard

1.     Simulate actual working conditions

Successful training does not mean sending a trainer into a classroom session thinking they can bring true change. Even in the case of the most engaging trainers and the most effectively designed sessions. Employee learning must be looked at as a long-term process, not a one-time event. While important information and knowledge may be taught in the classroom, impactful training has to be done through practice. Employees learn better by doing certain actions wrong and learning from their mistakes. Stimulating real working environment, real trainers create learning opportunities for employees, customers and suppliers.

Fortunately, technology has created more opportunities today than ever, so the simulation and costs also become more affordable. Effective training strategists cry out to you to use this technology to your advantage. Think that airplane pilots only learn how to deal with the most risky and dangerous situations in a flight simulator. Think you can apply the same principle in your organization?

2.     Streamline and consolidate the portfolio and sellers

Quit doing unnecessary things. If some courses have no relevance to your business, then get rid of them. Classify better training activities based on your business’s values, and create strategies that you can arrange on a scale. If a program has a low value and relevance, then you’ll no longer need it

3.     Provide permanent access to information

Any young employee will tell you that the work day is not from 9 to 5 anymore. E-mail, mobile devices and the internet have created a new type of freedom in time and space. Training managers can use these tools in the delivery of a portable learning exercise, without depending on the physical presence of a man who is not willing to do that. This represents a huge advantage especially for the new generation, who is used to search for information whenever they need it.

4.     Transform intellectual capital in knowledgeable products

The intellectual capital market explodes in front of you with amazing new technologies and products designed to be of utmost use. As a trainer, you have the responsibility to look for ways to create additional value for the organization and use them to transform knowledge into products or services for your organization. Only in this way, you may succeed in an ever-growing market of opportunities.