Updated: May 21
Do you have new hires to onboard? Improved business processes to implement? Updated product offerings? Or ongoing customer service and leadership skills to support? Regardless of the challenge, top organizations know that when you want to implement change or drive new behaviors with your team, customized training (that is targeted to your audience and your business) is the best avenue to take.
If you’re interested in creating a successful training program for your employees, here are a few tips that will help ensure your learning is exciting, boosts engagement, and significantly develops employees’ skills.
1. Keep It Short
Rather than build a lengthy course that you’ll need to invest time, money, and resources into, create short corporate training sessions that are provided in “chunks” and scheduled over a period of time. Adults learn more in training sessions that are brief, bite-sized insights based on well-defined objectives. This technique, sometimes called microlearning, makes successful corporate training because it’s quick to develop and focuses on only a few objectives at a time. With this style of training, it’s easier to see learner progress or even address blind spots throughout the training. It’s also training that can be accomplished on-the-go with a short video, pdf, an online knowledge center - or during a brief Zoom call or face-to-face training session. Spacing the training out over time, allows learners to practice concepts in between training sessions and reinforce application of the topics.
2. Consider Various Technology
Consider using technologies that your audience is most familiar with and incorporate these to create and/or deliver the training. Short eLearning sessions, web calls, how-to videos, infographics, instant chat sessions, email or task-relevant, scenario-based activities that can be accessed during downtime at work are proven to be successful.
Set up follow-up situations, blending a mix of both low- and high-tech methods, to offer practice that is immediate and frequent to help participants retain the training.
3. Make Training Relevant
Today’s employees are self-motivated and have been taught to be digitally resourceful. Most employees have instant, on-demand access to billions of articles, videos, blog posts and images at almost no cost. The last thing you want is for your training to be a waste of time. If learners can quickly find the information on their own and perform the new task without training, then courseware might not be needed.
Course content should be relevant and add value to the learner. Train employees in skills and information that are immediately applicable on the job. Ensure the content covers what learners need to know, and that they clearly see how it impacts them directly.
Each course should also stress WIIFM or “What’s In It For Me” - the result learners will experience after their wholehearted participation in the course. To increase motivation and engagement, emphasize what's in it for the learner, how they will benefit from participating in the training, as well as the value of the information provided in the entire training program.
4. Engage your Audience
Another key to successful training results is interactivity. You need employees to feel like they’re in control of their own training - and that the tasks they’re performing will have a positive impact on their career and their future. Most people learn more effectively and retain information better when they can try out what’s being presented to them.
Use simulation and incorporate experiential activities as a means to engage learners. You can also blend delivery methods to accommodate multiple learning styles. Don't forget to include post-training activities to reinforce learning.
5. Ask for Feedback
Soliciting feedback from your learners is an important step. Most training surveys are done post-training, but did you know your program will be even more effective when you ask participants questions before, during and after the training?
Start by gathering responses via pre-training surveys to learn how much the training audience currently knows about - and what their challenges are - with regards to your training topics. This input allows you to design the training to include specific content that fills knowledge gaps and properly supports their learning. Asking for feedback from learners early on also gives participants ownership in the training.
If possible, plan for a “soft launch” or pilot of the training to a small group within the target audience and survey them to verify the training performs as expected. You’ll get valuable learner feedback to help you make revisions and feel more confident in the larger rollout.
Finally, sending learners a post-training survey is one of the best ways to identify which activities they enjoyed the most, what they struggled with, and how much they feel they learned. Be open to their feedback and any opportunities for improvement. Knowing what worked and what didn’t can help you change things up and deliver an even better course next time.
6. Encourage Ongoing Learning
The most successful companies recognize the benefits of ongoing learning. Creating a strong learning environment not only helps your organization attract and retain top talent, it also:
Improves employee job satisfaction and productivity
Gives opportunities for employees to grow outside their field of expertise, and
Empowers employees and makes them feel valued by the company.
Remember, learning at work can go beyond formal training. Get creative by offering informal training opportunities so employees are constantly developing their skills.