Proper training is key to business success for both the present and the future. It does require some real investment, but it more than pays for itself if you make the right decisions. With the plethora of options out there for training, you might be tempted to just dive in and create a nifty high-tech training program for your team. However, before you do, make sure you take some time and set out a smart plan to make sure your learners are getting the most out of what you give them. To aid in the planning process, we have a few essential tips that can really make the difference in high-quality results. Avoid these training mistakes below, and get your learners the in-depth, quality training you want, instead of having the information go in one ear and out the other.
Lack of Concrete Goals
If you don’t know exactly what the goal of the training is, how can you expect great results? Step one to any good training is defining a couple concrete goals, both long term and short term. Once you have your goals, sit down and evaluate what training materials and content you currently have and what additional materials you might need to achieve your goals. You may be surprised to find that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or hire a consultant to get the results you want. Finally, don’t be hesitant to take advantage of the skills your team already has to bridge gaps. Maybe you want to ask around and get feedback on the quality and needs of the training. Keep it open, but always with your concrete goals in mind
It isn’t hard to throw too much at someone new. You want them to get on board as fast as possible, and with all your specific business processes and practices, there are usually quite a few documents to go over. But showing a little restraint at the beginning can actually make things faster in the long run, as people will be able to steadily retain information and not get overwhelmed. One technique is to break your content down into smaller courses, rather than tackling the whole thing at once. This allows people to digest the whole thing over the course of a few sessions and enables them to better retain everything they have learned.
Lack of Hands-On Training
Technology-based training is the primary vehicle for all businesses these days. While LMS’s and other training options are very effective, don’t forget that the hands-on variations are, generally speaking, the most effective form of training for most people. Short, practical, relevant courses will give your learners the best results, and wherever possible, look to give your learners an avenue to ask questions and get quick answers from a qualified trainer.
Do keep in mind though that different people learn differently, and consider making all of the information available in different formats, such as written or pre-recorded in a demo. When training content is all kept to the same style, learners who happen to match well with that kind of content will significantly outperform those who have different learning styles. If you can deliver content using a variety of methods including visual, auditory, written, and activity-based elements, and make them as hands-on and active as possible, you will improve the overall success in all of your training.
Don’t be Boring
Believe it or not, this is one of those things that most companies just don’t think about. They focus on getting the bare bones content into some form of video or document, and then just hand it over to the learner, regardless of how interesting or well presented it is. But think back to those classes we have all have had during our schooling: where a boring, monotone teacher is droning on and on and putting half the class to sleep. Is that what your content is like? If so, can you really expect your team to get focused and learn what they need to learn?
Recent learning trends have been combating this and spicing up that dull old business training process. Gamification is one of the more popular and fun methods, making training interactive and adding a little bit of lighthearted competition. Newer applications and programs are also making it super easy to add videos, images and interactive widgets or icons, to keep variety and break up the content.
Training that Doesn’t Grow and Evolve
Your company isn’t static, so why should your training be? As your company grows and times change, so will your needs, practices and goals. As all of this natural growth occurs, so should your company training. Whether it is training for current employees on a new technology or business strategy or updating your basic content to correctly reflect your current business practices, evolving your training along with your business is an essential component. It doesn’t make much sense to train your employees on outdated practices. Not only will it be confusing, but it will also be demotivating to ask people to learn something that isn’t entirely relevant.
Whether you have a brand new Salesforce system or have just recently upgraded and updated a number of your processes, you will need to train your team. If you can keep in mind these common training mistakes, you should have a solid foundation for creating a better and more effective training, and ultimately get the most out of your investment!
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team