Employees crave opportunities to grow more than almost anything. And when you provide those opportunities, your organization will benefit together with your team. It’s no surprise that 88% of executives make educating their workforce a strategic priority. Employee training and development matters.
Corporate training is a key part of business success. Whether turning your sales team into experts on your products or ensuring your customer service representatives have everything they need to succeed, employee training and development is important. Realizing ssuccess requires overcoming challenges like keeping HR, management, and employees on the same page. And keeping the costs of training reasonable.
Discover how to overcome these difficulties by building an employee training and development (or corporate training) program with this guide. You’ll learn how to engage your employees and lift your organization to new heights.
What Does Corporate Training Mean Today?
Corporate training is any initiative with the goal of improving the skills or knowledge of an organization’s workforce. It looks much different today than it did a few years ago. Modern technology like mobile phones and devices combined with high speed internet means that learners can learn where and when they prefer. While in-person employee training still has value, there are many advantages of incorporating eLearning into your corporate training. And we’ve all see how effective remote initiatives can be when thoughtfully designed.
Professional eLearning can involve everything from video lessons on important leadership skills to remote instructor-led live sessions. The variety of training methods and media available — and the complexity of effectively managing and delivering them — means that incorporating a centralized, easy-to-use eLearning platform into your corporate training program is a must. This often takes the form of a learning management system (LMS) that can facilitate training from anywhere, anytime and makes it easy for HR, management, and other stakeholders to coordinate and meet training needs.
That last bit is critical. As noted above, lack of integration between leadership and HR is one of the primary factors that can hold an employee training program back. Executives and managers need to ensure their team members are getting the training they need when they need it, without spending hours handling manual administration and enrollment. Meanwhile, HR needs to coordinate the training process at a high level without switching between systems and duplicating information. Look for an eLearning solution that integrates with your HR system, your onboarding system, and even your ATS. Ideally one that automates everything from user permissions to course enrollments to get your employee training and development program off to a great start.
Why Corporate Training Matters
So you know the basics of what corporate training today looks like, but can it really make a difference at your company? In short: yes! Here are just a few of the many benefits corporate training provides to both employees and the organizations they work for:
- Better employee performance is all but guaranteed, as your team members have more of the hard and soft skills they need to thrive.
- Increased employee retention is one of the most important benefits of providing opportunities for professional development through a great corporate training program.
- Improved engagement across your whole workforce means that employees have the motivation to go above and beyond to contribute to key business goals. Gaining new skills and using them on the job will keep your team interested and committed to their work.
- All of the above results in a winning company culture where employees want to give back to the organization and are equipped with everything they need to do so. Employee training is a tangible investment that demonstrates to your employees that you value them and are willing to do what it takes to help them succeed.
The Uses of Corporate Training
Beyond the general pros of corporate training, there are many specific use cases that your organization is sure to find compelling. Let’s take a look at several of the most common.
Onboarding can make or break the success of a new arrival at your company. If it goes well, the employee will buy into your organization’s mission, gain the knowledge they need to begin fulfilling it, and start building the relationships that will carry them through the coming months and years. If it goes poorly, they’ll likely be moving on before long, and they probably won’t make an impact while they’re with your organization. In fact, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for 3+ years if they had a great onboarding experience.
Your organization can’t afford to handle onboarding on the fly. Establishing a formal process for each position and employee, complete with an individualized learning path built to transition them into their new role, is a must. You can automatically give fresh team members the information they need when they need it during the entire onboarding process with mobile-friendly eLearning technology.
If your sales team doesn’t know your products and services well, they’re not going to close many deals. Potential customers will look elsewhere when they ask questions your sales professionals don’t know the answer to, or when your sales team fails to mention a critical feature that would convince them. And customer education, a key part of business success, begins during the sales process, so those clients you do get will struggle getting the most out of their new purchase.
While corporate training can benefit your business in a variety of ways, compliance training is the most critical in many industries. Of course, failing to comply with relevant laws and regulations can have serious consequences, from fines to reputational impacts. But your employees also need compliance training to stay safe on the job and produce quality outcomes for your clients.
Customer Service Training
Customers expect exemplary services from those they give their trust and their hard-earned funds. Providing that service requires concentrated effort on the part of your organization, though. It’s easy for your customer service team to grow frustrated with common questions and irritated clients, and the cycle of poor service and lost customers can become self-reinforcing. When customer service teams have access to the training materials they need to understand your offerings and develop key soft skills, customer satisfaction will rise — along with your organization’s bottom line.
Leaders are the present and future of your organization. If your organization doesn’t invest resources in developing them, it will find itself ill-prepared to jump on business opportunities and tackle new challenges. Training leaders on the hard skills they need to excel in their role and the soft skills needed to manage and inspire staff should be a high priority.
Diversity and Inclusion Training
Diversity and inclusion are key parts of a winning organizational culture. Diversity means that your employees represent a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, while inclusion means that your whole team knows they are respected and valued for who they are. Supporting diversity and inclusion requires a comprehensive training program to ensure expectations are set and enforced throughout the organization, for each employee. This training ensures that your existing team understands the value of diversity and will prioritize it while working and when hiring new employees. By continuing to bring new voices into your company, you’ll keep it innovative, successful, and welcoming for years to come.
How to Deliver Corporate Training – Pros and Cons
eLearning forms a critical part of employee training and development, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. You should look to incorporate in-person training as well as a hybrid, blended learning approach to meet the needs of your company and your learners.
In-person training lacks the flexibility and possibilities of eLearning, but it offers hands-on learning and a personal touch that can be hard to replicate when learning remotely. And there are some forms of instruction, like on-the-job training, that can only be performed in-person. In-person training can take many forms, from a seminar on accounting practices held at a hotel to shadowing a co-worker. While some learners may associate in-person training with instructor-led lessons, that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, instructor-led training can also take place virtually or as part of a hybrid approach to training.
Blended learning combines in-person training with eLearning to create an integrated approach tailored to the needs of your organization. It helps organizations tackle training priorities that need hands-on instruction while still giving employees the freedom to learn remotely when possible. The key to blended learning is building a cohesive, connected experience. For example, employees might begin compliance training by attending an in-office presentation by a senior employee and then continue with online training materials that will take them through to certification, with the senior employee available to assist as needed.
Leaning into the strengths of eLearning with a virtual training approach offers many significant advantages. Remote training frees your employees to engage with your training materials on their terms and on their schedule. And you don’t have to create your own eLearning content to incorporate virtual training into your program — there’s a huge library of quality third party courses available to meet almost any training need, and the best learning management systems make it simple to find them and incorporate them.
Despite the many reasons remote learning is used by organization after organization — lower costs, streamlined administration, enhanced tracking and reporting — it’s not as simple as putting your employees in front of a screen and having them press a button. You need to provide the support to help team members troubleshoot tech issues, connect employees to build a social learning environment, align your offerings with your business goals, and more.
Six Strategies for Getting the Most Out of Corporate Training
No matter how you choose to deliver your training, there are some best practices for elevating your program to ensure employees thrive.
1. Define Your Goals
Before starting your employee training program, carefully determine your objectives. Maybe your company needs to generate more business, or maybe it wants to create a truly great customer service experience. Once you’ve decided on goals, identify the core business processes that contribute the most to them, and plan training initiatives that will ensure your employees get those processes right each and every time. Develop training programs that meet these critical needs first, then move on to secondary priorities.
2. Build a Business Case
Building a business case and gaining buy-in from relevant stakeholders is also an important part of getting your training program off the ground. This involves both calculating the likely costs of training and the benefits it will bring your company. The latter includes everything from improved efficiency to higher employee engagement and retention. While it may be difficult, do your best to quantify these benefits, and demonstrate how you will track them using relevant key performance indicators (KPIs). A centralized eLearning solution like an LMS with reporting capabilities can help.
3. Personalize the Learning Experience
Everyone learns differently, and your employee training program should recognize this reality. Some prefer to be guided by an instructor every step of the way, while others thrive with a self-directed approach. Visual aids, video content, frequent tests — the options for customizing corporate training are growing by the year.
While creating a personalized experience might sound both time-consuming and expensive, it doesn’t have to be. With an LMS, you can easily develop custom learning paths for each employee that give them the information they need using the approach they respond best to. You can even solicit feedback from employees and review relevant metrics to see what works best for different segments of your workforce and adjust your offerings in real time.
4. Make it Easy With Learning Automation
Learning automation is the key to a cost-effective corporate training program. Look for an eLearning solution that provides rules-based automation features for streamlining the entire learning process, from enrolling in courses to moving through personalized learning paths. This enhances the user experience and allows HR and management to focus on their core responsibilities rather than administering training.
5. Lean Into the Convenience of Microlearning
Microlearning involves engaging with small, individual bits of learning material. It is a great way to double down on the flexibility of eLearning. By breaking down a complex topic into manageable sections, it helps learners comprehend difficult material quickly. Microlearning requires taking advantage of the full range of learning media, from infographics to video to games. When done correctly, the bite-sized chunks of content keep your employees engaged and make the training process more efficient.
6. Measure the Effectiveness of Your Program
Your organization can spend all the time in the world setting up what looks like the perfect employee training program, but without tracking and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs), you won’t know whether it’s delivering the results you expect. Beyond obvious KPIs like course completion rate and employee course scores, you should identify metrics closely tied to your company’s business goals and then use an LMS with robust reporting features to measure them. If you’re not seeing more sales after investing in product training, or your employees don’t report higher satisfaction with management as a result of leadership training, your company needs to tweak its approach.
How to Choose an eLearning Solution for Corporate Training
Modern eLearning technology, like learning management systems, are the cornerstone of an effective corporate training program — but selecting the right eLearning solution isn’t easy. While there are many quality learning management systems available, finding an LMS that offers the features you need at a price you can afford isn’t simple. Here are some key capabilities you should keep an eye out for when choosing the platform that will power your corporate training program:
- Personalizing the experience for your users starts with a customizable user interface, and it continues with tailored learning paths you can create in moments.
- Mobile compatibility enables many of the major advantages of modern eLearning.
- Support for blended learning is key for those times you need to incorporate in-person training into your program.
- Social learning is enabled through native communication tools and the ability to create online communities and forums where learners can connect.
- If your platform isn’t compatible with the learning specifications your content uses, like SCORM and xAPI, you’re out of luck.
- On the topic of content, ensure your LMS makes it easy to find and use quality third party courses, as well as create your own by supporting your preferred content authoring tool.
Enable Modern Corporate Training with HR Learn
HR Lean is robust and packs a powerful set of features, acting as the accessible, powerful hub of your training ecosystem. Whatever training challenges your organization is facing, HR Learn provides the capabilities to overcome them.
Request a demo to see how it can jumpstart your employee training and development program.