For a corporation to succeed it needs to ensure that its staff that are loyal, motivated and have all of the information they need to thrive. However, corporate training has a well-deserved reputation for being boring and ineffective. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this article we examine what corporate training is, look where the industry is at plus look at ways of making it as effective as possible.
What is corporate training?
Corporate training is the process of training staff within a company. It involves sending workers to passive, transmissive, face-to-face teaching sessions and partaking in eLearning courses on computers. In recent years the eLearning elements have advanced to take advantage of mobile smart devices on which microlearning-based lessons can be used. Corporate training also involves elements of Spaced Repetition, Just-in-time training and peer learning.
What does traditional corporate training currently involve?
There are two primary forms of corporate training. The first involves traditional training techniques whereby a teacher teaches learners. That may occur in classroom, type environment, an auditorium or face to face on the job. Little has changed in this area over the course of many years. There are many reasons why it is not a very effective form of training:
• Content covers multiple topics that won’t be relevant to all learners causing some to get bored and disengage.
• Learning is largely passive and therefore not engaging.
• Adult learners from a corporate environment are often busy and not wanting to perform training. Forced learning is ineffective.
• Attendees are forced to learn at one pace meaning slow learners get confused and fast learners get bored.
• Feedback (and reactive course engagement) typically involves passing out questionnaires, hoping people fill them in, return them and manually processing them before updating the course.
What does traditional eLearning-based corporate training look like?
Most eLearning-based training involves instructional designers at a course-creation institution, creating one-size-fits all training courses that they then sell en masse to organisations who subscribe to it. Learning and Development professionals then upload it into their Learning Management Systems and distribute it to learners. Whether courses are bespoke or commoditised, there are many reasons why this is an outdated method that’s ineffective too:
• Course designers get minimal feedback regarding the success to their courses.
• Updating courses is very difficult.
• Case studies age very quickly.
• Dated content is harder to relate to and less effective.
• Content is broad and not all relevant to learners.
• Interacting with LMSs is rarely fun or engaging.
• LMSs tell managers who has completed a course but not what they’ve learnt.
What does good corporate training look like?
The nature of corporations means that changing training policies is no simple task. As such, newer forms of training tend to be used more to augment existing practices rather than replace them. The most effective form of corporate training is that which is microlearning based and distributed upon learners’ own phones. Allowing staff to access easily-digestible, bite-size lessons at their own pace in their own time affords much better learning. Modern smartphones’ ability to display high quality video and embrace powerful, touchscreen, interactive microlessons increases effectiveness further. However, microlearning is a great enabler of other associated learning methodologies:
• Spaced Repetition. This ancient technique has returned to the fore in recent times. It sees lessons being retaken at increasing intervals until the knowledge is locked in for good. Repeating long, boring corporate training courses is impractical for this, however, the nature of short microlessons mean spaced repetition is a teaching technique that’s made for mobile. For more on spaced repetition, see here…
• Peer Learning. L&D professionals agree that up to 30 per cent of training should be performed by colleagues. It makes sense as your own workers will know your own operations, processes, customers and clients better than anyone. By using microlearning, even a novice can create a short, engaging interactive lessons using templates. The results are among the most effective forms of microlearning.
• Just-in-time training means on-demand training. The ability to deliver a short, topical microlesson, right before it is needed, is naturally a very effective form of learning.