It’s the start of a new year, which means that many of us are looking to how we can do things differently in 2017. One New Year’s resolution a lot of companies are going to have this year is improving levels of training for their staff, but as we all know sticking to those pledges is often harder than it first seems.At AVADO we’re all about learning that works, so we’ve compiled a list of the questions you need to be asking in order to deploy effective training within your company.
It may seem obvious, but the first step is to find out what skills are in demand within your company – or will be in demand in the next year. For example, you can look at trends and predictions for the next year. HRDrive recently spoke to LinkedIn and Udemy on this topic, with Agile and L&D skills both being ranked highly.
But don’t just blindly follow trends if they aren’t relevant to your company, and don't train just to fulfil a regulation, as as doing this probably won't lead to any real change. Look to see if there are any areas you are underperforming in, or if replacements need to be trained for employees who have left.
Sometimes you want training to be rolled out company wide, but often this results in a lot of unnecessary expense in training people who don't need it. It’s important to pick employees that are actually going to gain useful skills from whatever training you give them. If people are gaining skills they aren’t going to be able to utilise in their role, or not gaining skills at all, the training hasn’t been very successful.
It’s also important to pick people who want to improve and change, else in all likeliness your training budget will be going to waste. It’s also important to note that enthusiasm for getting out of the office for a training day isn’t necessarily the same thing as a hunger for learning!
Are you going to deliver this training in-house, at the office? Send people to an off-site training day? Or enrol employees on online courses to study at home? At AVADO we specialise in online, but we also offer our Digital Leadership Bootcamps, so we understand the benefits of both rapid-impact sessions and sustained distance learning. However, in our experience we’ve found that even training days benefit immensely from elements of continuous microlearning placed alongside them. This helps training to actually effect change within roles and organisations, rather than simply being forgotten shortly after delivery.
Online learning also has the benefit of not having to grant expensive time off, and also allows employees to study wherever they are on mobile devices – particularly important as we move toward an increasingly flexible working culture. L&D teams have traditionally been slow on the uptake of learning technologies, but 2017 looks set to see more and more online learning options being chosen.
If you still need convincing, Andy Lancaster (Head of Learning and Development at the CIPD) has written an article on 6 reasons why online learning is so important, arguing that "online learning is not a technology of the future, it is a technology of now."
How are employers going to make sure 2017’s training is a success (besides paying for it)? It’s not just a matter of signing it off and waiting for the benefits to roll in; employers and managers need to offer appropriate levels of time and support.New skills may take a while to get the hang of. Newly trained employees need to be treated patiently as they get to grips with what they’ve learned. Being pressured or overworked can lead to them just falling back on however they did things before; this is especially true if the old behaviours are being rewarded in colleagues while their own new ones are being ignored. If they’re allowed to get themselves up to speed, you’ll both be reaping the rewards of the training! Assuming, that is, that you followed the other steps correctly…!