As e-learning grows more popular as a training tool, it is important for training providers to realize that although the platform they are using to do the training has changed, the principles of good training have not.
For training to be good and useful, it needs scope. Rather than delivering a canned seminar, collecting some feedback forms, and calling it a day; a training provider should be working to provide the best service by getting involved before and after training.
When contracting with a training provider, there should be provisions for at least one pre-training assessment. A consultation with a manager to determine the whos and whats of training.
Learning is never one-size-fits-all. But to have specific training fit most, the trainer should know the experience level of the trainees, what the training is supposed to accomplish, what issues it should aim to change, and how the training fits in with company goals generally. For a business to get real value out of training, that training should be aimed at their particular needs.
Finding out what trainees are likely to already know means that the training will be pitched to the right level. A trainer may be working with complete beginners and novices. Or they might be working with managers who are familiar with the subject but need specific training on it to be able to provide their own training to junior staff.
Materials may need to be varied depending on the level, and the company. A big company might want company specific scenarios where a startup is happy to get generic examples.
Beyond just getting reviews from those who attended the training, a provider should commit to conducting follow-up assessments that measure actual training outcomes. After a period of time to allow the training to be implemented, a trainer should look at things like adoption levels and performance results.
For instance, if the training centered around a new sales process for a retail company, how many of the trainees are using the new sales process, and are they doing so effectively? Training is a waste of time if no one uses what they’ve been taught. And if they are using the new system, how is it performing? Is that retail company making more sales? This is particularly important if the trainer made promises of an increase in productivity or revenue as a result of the training – has the training lived up to those promises? While this is important for businesses, training providers should also be interested in performance outcomes – having a great outcome for one business is a good way of attracting others.
If the training hasn’t had the results which were promised or hoped for, a provider should seek to understand why. Was the training a poor fit, or not comprehensive enough? If more training is required, what changes will be made to the content and materials to make it more useful for those trainees?
By broadening their scope, training providers make their training more useful and create the potential for more profits. For a business, by insisting on a broad scope in any agreement with a training provider it ensures commitment and gives the greatest potential for a successful learning outcome.
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