Top Training Company Topics: Keeping Your Training Up To Date￼
In 2018 and 2019, two Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets crashed, due in part to a malfunctioning airspeed control system. If an airflow sensor failed, the system could cause the plane to pick up excess speed—and if handled incorrectly by the pilot, enter a fatal dive.
Boeing knew that, as long as pilots were able to recognize the excess speed situation, they could override the system before things got out of hand. Since this outcome was so unlikely, they didn’t cover it in the training pilots took when learning to fly this type of plane.
Unfortunately, two pilots didn’t respond correctly to this situation. Incomplete training wasn’t the root cause of these crashes, but many analysts consider it a strong contributing factor. Afterward, the FAA issued a mandate to update the training so it would include a description of this issue; and soon after, aviation authorities around the world followed suit.
In the business world, incomplete or outdated training can have serious consequences—not as dramatic as a plane crash, but serious nonetheless:
- New hires who are greeted with outdated onboarding might do their jobs incompletely and inefficiently—and are likely to experience frustration and low morale.
- Employees who depend on fast-changing information, like those in marketing or finance, might make poor decisions and lose money for the company if their training is stale.
- People in highly regulated environments, like the medical and pharmaceutical industries, will expose the company to fines and might put customer lives at risk if they aren’t trained with the latest information.
Keeping your training current is a big job, and it pays to devote plenty of energy toward it. But it can be straightforward if you consider these tips:
Use a training platform that’s easy to update. Ideally, the task of updating training is handled by instructional designers and subject-matter experts (SMEs), not the IT department. Some great ways to make your training easy to update are:
- Use off-the-shelf learning tools like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate. If your designers are competent with these tools, they can take care of things simply, without spending time on back-and-forth dialogue and bug fixes.
- Give your curriculum a simple structure. Break subjects into small modules or brief videos, and save them in a searchable database. Then, when you have some new content to add, it’s quick.
Reach out to a training company for a custom eLearning solution. Even if your company has a good training department, it can make sense to reach out to an external contractor for a custom eLearning solution. Your in-house designers might be overloaded at the time an update is needed, or they might just benefit from an outsider’s approach.
Even if no new content is added, updating the training by improving the design can catalyze learning when the old training was stuck in a rut and not producing the expected results. Experienced developers like Allencomm are experts at applying state-of-the-art updates to stale training.
Constantly evaluate your training needs. Your business needs change from one year to the next, due to market forces, growth, and other factors. To keep up with this, your training needs to constantly adapt. There are a few ways to do that, including:
- Survey your employees. This can be as simple as polling employees to see what they need help with. You can also hold brainstorming sessions with managers to see which performance indicators they are looking to improve—and then modify your training to address them.
- Conduct a formal needs analysis. Sometimes you know you need to update training, but it’s not clear exactly what to do. An outside specialist can conduct a training needs analysis that includes employee interviews, focus groups, industry analysis, and finally, a recommendation for strategic and tactical training upgrades.
If you want your business to be competitive, you need a foundation of state-of-the-art training. It’s the catalyst that builds success from the ground up: when you train employees well, they do better work. Better work yields a superior product, and a superior product leads to business success, which attracts better talent in the future. Stay on top of your training needs, and you’ll stay on top of the competition.