The recruitment and hiring process is pretty harrowing for almost any business. Whether you’re hiring an accounting team for your new retail location or a half dozen programmers for your software corporation, the search is often the hardest part of the experience. Posting the position, assessing applications, holding interviews, and deciding between several qualified candidates is time-consuming at the very least and often surprisingly stressful. Of course, once you actually get your new hires selected and through the door, an entirely new challenge begins: training. How do you take these professionals, each with their own individual collection of skills and experiences, and transform them into well-trained employees who understand your processes and fit well into the company culture?
Needless to say, there are a lot of theories as to how this question should be answered and how to take on training. You can sit everyone in a little classroom and go over packets, you can hire an outside trainer to work with your new hire or hires, or you can invest in a learning management system for a more universal approach. How ever you manage those first few days, it’s also important to keep your techniques up to date with the latest trends based on what you think will work best for your new hires and your company. Let’s take a look at a few of the corporate training trends that will transform the way you work.
1. Personalized Training Paths
Not everyone learns the same way, at the same pace, or with the same subject focus. One of the biggest challenges in corporate training is figuring out how to build a truly efficient one-size-fits-all system that you can drop any new hire into and have them come out the other side as an effectively trained member of the team. One thing that is being explored in corporate training trends is the idea that the best one-size-fits-all solution is one in which each learner can personalize their own training path. With a platform that allows your learners to choose the courses they take, the way they take quizzes, and even where they train, you can have a single system that can effectively personalize the learning experience to the needs and preferences of every trainee.
There are a variety of ways to approach personalized training paths but the key is to give your trainees choices. This allows them to play to their own strengths and compensate for their own weaknesses independently without worrying about tripping over a rigid system that’s only prepared for so much human variance. The more you make it possible for your trainees to customize their training experience, the training will not only be more effective, but your trainees will be more engaged because they’re actively involved rather than just quietly listening to a speaker or filling out worksheets.
2. Adaptive Learning Styles
Of course, letting your trainees choose their own path through the training material and the way they’d like to quiz themselves isn’t the only form of personalization. It’s a well-known discovery of educational studies that people learn differently in terms of how they are best at absorbing information. Some people can always remember something they’ve read but will completely space on information they’ve heard spoken. Others need to write down a fact before they remember it or say it aloud. Some people will make up a musical song to remember things and some people remember topics more when they’re discussed in a group. These are different styles of learning and if you want your corporate training efforts to really make an impact, you’ll want to consider the fact that one team of new hires could consist of a visual learner, an auditory learner, and a social learner.
Most professional trainers try to compensate for this difference in learning styles by covering several style types per point. They’ll say something out loud, write it on a board, use a gesture, and schedule time for discussion. However, if you’re using a more self-directed approach, make sure that your digital training tools can provide for a variety of learning styles.
3. Online Training Platforms for At-Home and Remote Access
Corporate training has traditionally happened on-site and on a strict schedule but times are changing and they’re changing fast. More and more companies are offering completely remote or semi-remote positions and employees are starting to think about work less in terms of 9-5 and more in terms of what they can achieve in a week or a months’ time. This means it may well be in your best interests to get your training plan out of the classroom and onto the web.
An online training platform is much more flexible than a classroom solution because it can be accessed and engaged in from anywhere. If you do have classroom training, an online platform is still perfectly accessible from both personal and company computers but it also gives you the freedom to train remote employees and even allow employees to train themselves at home. You might be surprised just how many people are eager to complete their training material at home early, often because they’re so excited about the new job that they’re not really sleeping anyway.
4. Microlearning: On-Demand Training Libraries
Speaking of online training, who said that training has to stop when the onboarding process is complete? After those first few weeks where you do your best to pour every useful piece of information available into the heads of your new hires, they get to join the rest of your active employees in doing their best to meet and exceed deadlines, quota, and the needs of the customers. During this time, your employees may need to look up something about a procedure, reference corporate policy for customer service, or check on how they’re supposed to handle a slightly unusual situation. With the right training platform, you can make it easy for your employees to quickly retrain themselves as-needed.
This is known as Microlearning or on-demand training, in which all or most of the company’s training and informational material is available to every employee whenever they need it. The best way to accomplish a great microlearning solution is through accessible training libraries made up of videos, articles, handbooks, regulation requirements, and so on. This will not only allow your employees to find any answer they need quickly and efficiently, they can also brush up on the training needed for a higher position independently when an employee is gunning for a much-desired promotion.
If you don’t already have an enormous library of training material, one of the most effective ways to start a very useful collection is to invite your employees to make training material for each other, sharing their expertise and understanding of company inner-workings, often in a language that is easier to understand than formally-written training material.
5. “Just in Case” Training Material
Another rising training trend that goes hand-in-hand with microlearning is the idea of ‘just in case’ training material. There are things in every company and industry that, for the most part, your employees don’t need to be trained on. What to do if there’s a major cybersecurity breach if all the local data is destroyed by ransomware or an actual security breach with a stranger in the building. What to do if none of the executives answer their phone, how to handle an evacuation if there’s a major natural disaster on its way, or what to do if the company is called on to help with a national disaster. While these situations (and many more) may seem far-fetched but anything within the realms of possibility could be something your employees may need to know in the future.
‘Just in Case’ training material is essentially like having one of those little red folders in case of alien attack or nuclear war, only for things that can happen to real businesses. From your data recovery plans to your disaster evacuation plans, you can make sure that whoever the highest authority in the building is at the time, they can access the emergency information and keep everyone organized just in case.
6. Motivation Through Social Media
The final trend we’ll be covering today is the increasing connection between corporate training and social media. Social media has been used in an astounding variety of ways in the business world considering that it grew on the idea of a corporate-free place for people to meet and chat casually. While it has been incredible for marketing campaigns, some of the best uses of social media have been for the purpose of motivation instead. Just as wearable smart fitness products have found that you can motivate people to keep up with their workout routine by posting their heart rate and best running times for friends and family to see, you can use a similar kind of motivation for your corporate training programs.
Look for a learning platform that allows your trainees to socialize in a way that promotes learning. Post achievements for completing segments or getting high scores on the built-in tests, use social media to coordinate group projects, or even create a hashtag for your trainees to discuss their topics together. Who knows, you might just become the source of the first popular corporate training hashtag discussion.
Just like the technological developments exploding around us, corporate training is going in a lot of different directions, and almost all of them digital. If you’re still using paper worksheets and a lecture style for your onboarding and in-line training, it’s time to think out of the box and find a software solution that can move your business back to the cutting-edge of corporate training. For more information about how to upgrade your approach to training, collaboration, and resource libraries, contact us today!