This was originally posted on Training Zone on July 18,2017.
What you’ll read:
- Effective training solutions align with business objectives
- Thoughtfully consider who participates are in your learning solution
- Customized training solutions drive results
More often than not, business leaders looking to invest in training solutions for their company are hoping that the training will pay off in the form of measurable results. Or, from another perspective, that the employee onboarding can give their employees the tools, skills, motivation, and confidence to drive these results. And so, many training solutions target specific behaviors and learning objectives aimed at making these results happen.
While this may sound like a feasible solution in theory, many work environments are simply too complex to rely on “from the ground up” changes to drive business results. Managers play the role of ensuring that the employees they work with are engaged in achieving what the business needs, and as part of that, ensuring that what the employees are trained on sticks to their daily routines.
But what can be gained from including managers in the training curriculum? A custom training solution, which both targets the soft skills needed to manage, and which is aligned with the same training goals established for the manager’s employees, may be the answer.
Aligning Training with the Business as a Whole
The most important aspect of corporate training, regardless of what form it takes, is that it is in alignment with the goals, vision, and strategies of the business. While this may seem obvious, this often takes a narrow view of trying to achieve a specific business goal (such as increased revenue or outreach). It’s also this narrow view that often leads to trainings becoming a “one-and-done” session, rather than an ongoing solution.
This kind of alignment is critical in that it makes the learning experience more holistic for your employees, managerial or otherwise. That’s why it’s important that training solutions are aligned with the business as a whole. This, of course, includes the employees within the business.
In her article about aligning training with business objectives, Elaine Biech discusses the importance of designing training that creates a holistic experience:
“To meet business requirements, the [training’s] design doesn’t begin when your participants walk in the door, and it doesn’t end when they leave. It begins as soon as you identify who the participants will be, and it continues until you are sure that the participants are contributing to the intended organizational goals.”
As part of identifying your participants, it only makes sense to include managers in this list. But what may not be obvious is that, as part of making the experience holistic for all learners, companies can employ a singular custom training solution for both managerial training and other employee training.
Building Custom Training for Managers and Employees Alike
When determining which training solution will be best for achieving this holistic learning environment, an out-of-the-box solution will most likely come up short, no matter how robust it may be. While they may seem more costly up-front, custom solutions can add value to your learning solutions by making training more flexible, more personalized for the learner, and provides L&D leaders more control over what and how employees learn.
Additionally, as Christopher Pappas points out in his article about the benefits of customized eLearning, these custom solutions allow trainings to be more focused on specific skills and content, and can often be built so that employees have information at hand whenever they need it.
What this means for training managers is that, after identifying and gathering the content necessary, a custom solution in which the managers are gaining the soft skills needed to become better managers (and, in turn, help employees achieve their business goals) can be made in alignment with a training that teaches employees how to achieve those same goals.
Such a solution might have managers and employees learning side-by-side in instructor-led sessions, and then allow each group of learners to continue on their own with web-based mobile training. We recently worked with a convenience store client and, taking into consideration how their shift managers and store employees were aimed at achieving the same business goals, we created a custom solution where both groups of employees worked together on the floor during the day, and could complete online portions of their training as their time allowed.
As a result, the managers were learning in an environment built on immediate application of the soft skills they were learning, and their growth took place in parallel with the employees they managed.
If your employees have managers, both the managers and employees ultimately work towards the same business goals. By incorporating a customized training solution that works across the board for all employees, you can empower your managers to drive results for their employees and the company as a whole.
We’d love to talk to you about your strategy for engaging your employees through a custom training solution. Reach out to us. We’d love to help you design a corporate training solution that gets results.