Training often plays a critical role in an organization’s success. However, the increasing demand for training, global expansion, the entry of new age learners, and many other factors present eLearning managers and organizations with huge training challenges. In this article, we’ll take a look at some common frustrations of training organizations and provide suggestions on how to fix them.
Organizations and businesses train or develop their employees with specific goals in mind. These include gaining a competitive edge, obtaining better outcomes, and optimizing their human resources by sharpening the skills of their workforce.
Since training is a huge responsibility, the necessity of solid, targeted training is too important to leave to untested training specialists. To avoid confusion and clashing ideas due to the involvement of too many untested trainers, a company should use certain criteria to identify the ultimate specialists for the job as well as clearly define their primary roles and duties. In addition to qualifications, when too many training specialists touch the same eLearning course, it becomes difficult to produce a high quality product.
Organizations are often spread across different locations and thrive in different cultures. As a result, there is no guarantee that training delivered in various parts of these organizations will be consistent, which is a frustrating reality for many companies and their managers, who end up with a confused workforce. Varying levels of trainers’ knowledge, and different learning styles and preferences are just a few of the factors that affect training consistency.
To fix this problem, training managers need to maintain strict control over training content while making sure that all trainers are using the same presentations to develop the workforce. In addition to routine strategy sessions that would help trainers coordinate their actions, managers can put a qualified person in charge of developing training content to ensure consistency and create clear, unambiguous and standardized training solutions.
Companies devote massive resources for employee education with the assumption that enhancing their skills is beneficial for both the organization and the individual. The corporate investment in employee development, including acquiring a Learning Management System (LMS), is based on the company’s expectation that better skills translate into increased productivity and improved relationships at the workplace.
However, training the workforce comes with certain undesired consequences. One of the major problems is lack of enthusiasm and negativity towards participating in training because of a general perception that there is little personal gain from the training experience.
Top LMS Software Challenges
To fix low user adoption of new skills, training managers should conduct a needs analysis to find out the reasons learners take their course. They should listen to the objections and concerns raised by their learners, and explain the benefits of training in terms of overall career progression, which requires ongoing learning and education. Additionally, they can talk about the risks and consequences of getting left behind if learners choose to ignore the opportunity to acquire new skills.
It is important, however, to always keep in mind that unless learners truly understand why they are taking the course, they will not be motivated to change their attitude towards training.
Gamification can act as an additional incentive to complete training and make the process more fun and competitive. Leaderboards, rewards, and contests are available in most LMSs and are easy enough to attach to training. However, if most of your learners are baby boomers, gamification techniques may not work so well. This is another reason why a needs analysis should be done prior to course development.
Training managers may not always have all the technical know-how and skills required in the industry. Most of the time, there is a temptation to do all the training in-house. However, unless the company has a fully-fledged training team, including experts in course design and eLearning, your program can actually suffer from trying to do it all.
To solve the problem, a manager can establish links with seasoned training specialists to help with the development of the materials, or undergo trying him/herself to develop the new, necessary skillset.
When in doubt, don’t try to do everything yourself if it won’t result in a positive outcome. Instead, consider the next frustration and its solution…
A good training program comes with many benefits to a company, such as decreased need for supervision, increased employee retention and engagement as well as productivity. However, not all companies have the means to have a full, in-house training staff that can handle all the nuances of creating, building and administering an effective training program.
In these instances, there are a number of options available. The first is to hire part-time freelance workers to fill gaps in personnel resources. These could be instructional designers (read our previous post on how to find great instructional designer talent), subject matter experts, LMS administrators, and more.
Secondly, while an LMS is the main vehicle of distributing and reporting on training programs, you’ll probably need other tools to help make the process easier such as an authoring tool to create content, maybe a project management tool to keep everyone on track, or even just a collaboration tool.
Lastly, for those who plan on including both eLearning and instructor-led training (ILT), there may be a need for an off-site facility to host the ILT sessions. Companies may be able to find a nearby business to sponsor the training for little to no cost.
A lack of internal resources doesn’t need to stop a training program in its tracks.
Training managers are often bogged down by recurring training activities. To solve this problem, they can enlist the help of some of the automated processes within an LMS.
By automating recurring activities, training managers will have more time for more valuable and time-consuming activities. A good LMS can automate complex tasks such as enrolling users into a learning path and also designating what users do within that particular learning path based on certain criteria and rules configured in the system. This is in addition to much easier automated tasks such as auto-enrolling users into the system (maybe through an integration with an HRIS system), assigning them to particular user groups and associated training, etc.
Producing the same learning outcomes, especially in a large corporate environment, is a real challenge. If you rely on external trainers, it is usually hard to maintain a consistent, universal teaching style and content.
To fix the problem of inconsistent processes, you need to take into account your audiences and develop resources that are not only multicultural but also multilingual. It is also important to consider the delivery method, since some cultures prefer group training sessions while others thrive on the individual approach.
Companies often have a hard time establishing and justifying training budgets. However, tying training directly to a quantifiable factor, such as improved processes or enhanced productivity, can help a company come up with a specific financial figure that matches the value of the training to the company’s bottom line.
Choosing the right things to measure both before and after the training will make it possible to evaluate how acquiring the new skills has benefited both employees and the company. The standard formula for calculating the return on investment for training is “ROI % = monetary benefits – the cost of training x 100.” You can also measure ROI in terms of decreased per-item product or time.
One of the greatest challenges that managers face when implementing training activities is establishing a credible evaluation system. Determining whether learners have successfully internalized the lessons learned in training sessions and whether they can now apply the skills acquired during the training to their work positions is critical. Unless the managers can give empirical evidence to show that investing in training was worth the effort, training benefits would be very limited.
To fix the problem, the organization needs to establish a system that can measure the impact of learning without incorporating a conventional exam or test. One way to do this is by the using Kirkpatrick Model’s Levels 3 and 4 Evaluation techniques.
Clearly, there are many frustrations that training organizations experience. However, skilled training professionals should be able to quickly determine and carefully analyze the real problem behind each frustration, and mitigate the risks associated with each issue.