10 small changes that will make a big difference to your training
Posted on Jan 13, 2016
These small changes to your L&D approach have the potential to bring big benefits for your training performance.
Based on our experience offering bespoke elearning and blended online training courses we can help you make tweaks and adjustments to your training programmes that make a real difference.
1. Benchmark your training
Comparing your performance with other L&D departments and learning from the best and worst achieving companies is a great way to make real improvements.
Using standard Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) gives you the chance to compare real results and see what changes you can make. Looking at a problem from a competitor’s point of view can be just the inspiration you need to make a breakthrough with your own courses.
Taking the hour or so to fill in the Towards Maturity survey will give you access to a wealth of information on what you can do to align your strategy and day to day actions with the highest performing L&D teams.
2. Put the learner experience first
Work hard on the interface between the learner and the online training, small tweaks in the way your learners interact with the content in the training can make a big difference to their experience.
A rigorous Quality Assurance (QA) process helps to remove misleading or incorrect navigation or links in the course.
Using an experienced designer with a good understanding of the learning outcome and the way a learner will use the training before the QA stage will result in a better User Interface (UI) design.
Creating a good UI depends on knowing the trainee and what their goals are for the training. Combining instructional design and graphic design to create something user-friendly and attractive is an art.
Take the first step by putting the learner at the forefront of the design process for your next programme.
3. Extend leadership training to a wider audience
Towards Maturity report that 25% of the L&D budget is allocated to leadership training. The number of people who will benefit from that training is limited by your strategy and the scope of the courses you offer.
Opening it up to a wider range of staff allows you to build their skills much earlier than you would traditionally and it can help identify talented future leaders.
Moving some of your management or leadership training online can make it more cost-efficient and easier to access for a broader audience.
4. Survey your learners
Feedback and the data it provides is critical to improving your online training performance. The simplest change you can make will depend on how much trainee feedback you’re already collecting.
If you aren’t collecting any information from your staff on how they rate their training you should a start by creating a survey to capture their thoughts.
If you are using elearning this is straightforward and cost-effective to introduce to any module and can often be incorporated into a Learning Management System (LMS).
5. Future proof with responsive design
More people access the internet through a mobile device than a desktop computer, and the multi- device trend is continuing.
Making your online training courses available on a variety of devices used to be a big deal, but advances in technology now make it a lot easier. Not too long ago you would have to build a unique course for every type of device your learners wanted to use.
Responsive learning design makes it possible to create one set of training content that works everywhere. Using technology like the Adapt framework for your next project means it will be flexible enough to be accessed on any device which supports popular web standards.
6. Move parts of training online to reduce costs and make them more accessible
Face-to-face training sessions can be expensive, travel costs for attendees and time away from work all add up.
Moving parts of this training online using elearning is a change that can have a big impact on your budget.
Many training programmes can benefit from a blended approach, using elearning elements with face- to-face training to deliver a rounded package. It’s a great way to start moving towards an online, technology -led learning strategy without making sweeping changes to the existing process.
We also provide some tips on keeping down the costs of elearning based training to make the savings even greater.
7. Preboard your new starters with online training
If you’re already offering an online induction programme for your new starters then you can make a simple change that helps bring them up to speed more quickly.
Preboarding, or pre-induction, involves starting the induction process before day one of their employment. Elearning is uniquely suited to making this transition easy and cost-effective.
Make a better first impression by being proactive and answering your new starters questions before they arrive at your workplace. It helps with staff turnover as well as reducing time to productivity, which can be one of the biggest hidden expenses of new hires.
Allowing staff to access key parts of your induction training online from home will introduce them to the new culture and help set their expectations for their first day.
8. Market your online training
You’ve spent a lot of time creating great training materials for your staff, but how much time do you spend promoting them?
Giving more thought to getting the right training in front of the right people, or widening the audience of existing training, can improve the Return On Investment (ROI) of your training.
Many learners complain about having too much choice in training, especially when online elearning courses are presented through a Learning Management System (LMS).
There’s lots of inspiration available for the budding training marketer. We’ve looked at how big names like Apple and Amazon appeal to their customers, and what techniques you can borrow from them, for instance.
9. Find out how your staff are using social learning
Many businesses have yet to introduce a social learning element to their L&D strategy, and creating one isn’t a small change that’s easy to implement.
What is much more achievable, and something that could have a large impact on other types of training, is identifying where your staff are already learning informally from each other.
It might be through official channels, or you could find a knowledge exchange taking place via a third party social network. If you can identify these areas you can find out what staff want to know and who they are asking to find out.
Even if you don’t plan on rolling out official support for informal learning to your L&D programme, you will have a much better idea of what training is desired and who is in a position to help create it.
Find out about how social learning could benefit your business and hear about some examples of how it works here at Sponge in our webinar.
10. Focus small changes on a big goal
Our final change relates to implementing other changes. Any changes you make should serve to move your L&D strategy closer to your business objectives. Whether your priority is to improve employee performance, engage more staff or save money, you should ensure each small change moves towards that goal.
Having the business objectives in mind will help when deciding which changes to make on the micro level. All of these ideas will allow you to offer more effective training in some way, but think about which ones meet your specific needs before implementing them.
If you would like to talk about your next online learning course, get in touch so we can talk you through the options and make sure it’s the best choice for you.
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