18 Sep 2019
1:00 pm ET 60 min

The spotlight on organizations’ employee development continues to grow. When they feel the pressure, organizations look toward L&D and HR to create the perfect employee training program. But employee training is not effective in a one-size-fits-all approach. Organizations have unique challenges that they must address for their program to be successful.

There may not be one simple answer to building the perfect employee training program, but after working with training managers in a variety of industries and situations, we’ve found nine characteristics that are consistently present in the best ones.

Join us for this complimentary Training Industry webinar, sponsored by BizLibrary. Employee Development Analyst Katie Miller will explain how to build the nine predictive elements of a top program into your employee development strategy, creating a program that will help solve the unique challenges at your organization.

This interactive webinar will provide easy-to-understand insights on:

  • How to find or become a champion for learning at your organization.
  • Building a training program that reaches learners at the right time and place, to increase use.
  • A step-by-step plan designed to master the nine elements and build a top training program.

 

The transcript for this webinar follows:
Sarah Gallo:
Hello, and welcome to today’s training industry webinar nine characteristics of top employee training programs sponsored by BizLibrary I’m Sarah Gallo, associate editor at training industry. And I’m so happy you could join us today. Before we get started, I would like to quickly go over a few housekeeping items just to help you all interact with our speaker and get the most out of today’s program throughout today’s event. Feel free to chat any comments you have into your chat panel and any questions you may have in your Q and a window. Of course, we’ll address all these comments and questions either throughout the event or at the end of our program during the Q and a session. We also encourage you to share the information you receive today with your network on social media. So go ahead and follow. The Twitter handle is library and the hashtag T I webinars. So we can track your contribution to the conversation. And after today’s event, you will be receiving a short evaluation survey, and we would greatly welcome any feedback you have about today’s content speaker or anything else that you’d like to share. And as always today’s webinar will be recorded and archived on training industry.com and you will receive a followup email from us that will include a link to the on demand program for you to share with your team.

If this is your first webinar with us, a special welcome goes out to you here at training industry, we offer dozens of webinars each year on subjects from content development to leadership, to learning technology. We cover just about every topic relevant to the leaders of training organizations around the globe. And if you have attended one of our programs in the past, thank you so much for joining us again today. Alright. To get started. Let me go ahead and introduce you to today’s speaker from BizLibrary Katie Miller. As the employee development analyst at BizLibrary, Katie helps facilitate and create educational and engaging webinars geared toward human resources and learning and development professionals. She conducts research and works with subject matter experts to ensure the BizLibrary audience is receiving the most relevant and up to date content possible today. Katie will be discussing nine characteristics of top employee training programs. And with that, Katie, the floor is yours. All right. Thank you so much, Sarah. Can everyone hear me? Okay. Do you want to just type it in the chat before we begin? I just kinda wanted to, um, share with you a little bit about what this library is and how we help the training world. So this library is dedicated HR and learning professionals. We’re focused on providing the best

Katie Miller:
And most complete online training solutions. Our training content engages employees of all levels and our learning technology as a dependable and progressive catalyst for achievements are with our expert client success and technical support teams. Clients are empowered to solve business challenges and impact change within your organizations. We make working with us easy and aspire to be your online learning partner. To learn more about us. You can visit us at bizlibrary.com. So now that you have some background on who we are, let’s go ahead and get started with the webinar today. So I am so excited to be here and speaking with you because now is a great time for L and D and I have some exciting news, L and D and learning are finally being viewed as important to an organization. So in fact, according to Deloitte, 2019 global human capital trends report, the number one trend for 2019 is the need for organizations to change the way people learn.

86% of respondents to Deloitte survey, cited, changing the way their people learn as an important or very important topic and their organization. And now this resolution is excellent. This is what we as learning development professionals and HR professionals have been waiting for. We finally are getting that seat at the table, but that seat also comes with a huge spotlight that is being placed on L and D. And I’m sure many of you are feeling this spotlight, the spotlight on wanting employee and development opportunities. And the more that spotlight grows, the more our C suites are feeling the pressure. And when our C-suites feel the pressure, they look to us as learning and development HR professionals to build this perfect employee training program.

But employee training is not effective. And a one size fits all approach organizations have unique challenges that must be addressed for their programs to be successful. So there may not be one simple answer to building the perfect employee training program, but after working with training managers in various industries and situations, we at this library have find nine characteristics that are consistently present in all the best ones. So before we get to the nine characteristics, I want to know a little bit about you, our audience. So what does your current employee training program look like? And Sarah, whenever you’re ready, please launch the poll. We’ll give you a few seconds and then we’ll see the results. So is your current program looking like just a few required person, trainings annually, maybe you have more of a blended approach of in person and online trainings. Maybe you’re entirely online when it comes to your training. Maybe there’s some of you out there that don’t have a program yet, or if it’s something else, please type it in the chat. So we can share with everyone that is on the webinar today.

All right, Sarah, how we look in? All right, everyone, go ahead and take a few more seconds to put in your answer to that poll five, four, three, two, and one, Katie. Thank you. Alright. So it looks like the majority of us at 67% have a blended approach that is fantastic using in person and online trainings. We do have a few of you out there that have not started their program yet. So welcome. This is an exciting opportunity. I hope this webinar is very beneficial for you to have a nice starting point and nine great tips that can help you build a really strong program. And for those that are entirely online and do a few annual trainings, I hope that this webinar gives you some ideas to incorporate so that you can get a little bit more diverse in your training. So thank you for sharing those with us.

So let’s keep going. I’m sure you’re dying to know what these nine characteristics are, so let’s get right to it. So remember this library has worked very closely with training managers for years from various companies and situations. And throughout the years, we found that these specific nine characteristics are predictive of a successful training program. So they are effective program management. You must have a needs assessment and learn how to close your skills gaps. Successful training programs have alignment. They have goals and metrics. They know what they’re trying to reach for. They also have leadership buy in relevancy and creativity is so important in successful training programs. And they all have a strong marketing and communication strategy. And finally they believe in post-training reinforcements. So today we’re going to learn how to build these elements into your own learning and development and training program. Because remember that one size fits all approach is not effective. And even though these steps are predictive of a strong program, you will need to alter these steps to fit the unique needs of your organization. So let’s start off with step one effective program management.

So every great employee learning and development program needs a champion. They need a champion of learning. And this champion is not someone that just manages all the trainings, but someone who truly believes in the program and can see the benefits for the entire organization. So we’re going to call this champion of learning today, a program manager. So regardless of the person’s true title, the program manager is the person or persons. It could be more than one who is responsible for planning and executing all training initiatives within the organization. Now, I know what you may be thinking. This seems like a really daunting task. So what can make a successful program manager with that? I’d like to introduce you to Bob. So we’re going to have a little fun here, and we’re going to pretend that Bob is the learning and development manager at our company.

And we have seen that Bob is really passionate about learning. He’s great at leadership. And we think he would be the perfect champion of learning or the program manager at our organization. So what can we do as learning and development professionals and HR professionals to become that perfect champion of learning? Well, there are 10 skills that Bob has that help him align his program with his organization’s needs and helps produce results. So those 10 things are he is invested. So the employee training program manager is the driving force for engagement and real change through learning throughout the organization. So remember, if you are this champion, you are carrying the banner for this initiative, showing everyone remember at every level, which is important that the company training work and you’re dedicated to building a program that improve employees work not only in the office, but you’re improving their lives overall.

So if engagement or leadership buy in are areas that you’re struggling simply showing your leadership or your C suite that you have someone to champion. This program is a great step forward to success. Bob is really great with communicating with the right people and now to build a training program, you need to compete, communicate with a bunch of people. So you’re probably wondering who is the right person. And my answer to you is that everyone is the right person, whether that’s getting leadership buy in or showing the employees the benefit that they can gain from actually utilizing the training that you’ve worked so hard to offer them alignment really is your goal. So get your people to unite behind your dedication and your vision. And you’ll have a strong foundation for your employee training program. Step three is that you really should know your company as the program manager, you need to have a pulse on your company.

You need to know its history, its current affairs understanding of business schools and your current company challenges is really essential in determining how a training program can support your company. Currently you’ll also want to say up to date on what news is going on in your company. If you’re having any kind of mergers or acquisitions, if there’s any change in that particular department, you as the training program manager and as a champion of learning needs to have a pulse check on that step four is that you need to be curious. Curiosity may be one of the most difficult of these skills to learn if it isn’t already innate to you, but the more invested you are in the program, the more curiosity you’ll likely develop. So asking questions is key to seeing where improvement and changes need to be made in your program. You can use your people skills to network and ask other training program managers about their experiences too.

And this brings me to number five, along with having a pulse on your company, you, as the champion of learning should also know the training industry. You’ll need to follow association groups and publications to keep an eye on what is going on in this current industry. This is really important to ensure you’re providing the most up to date, information and resources and tools to your employees. Because if you’re not doing that, you could be neglecting them and watching out for those changes can have a big impact on your employee engagement. Because if your employees are not convinced that they’re getting the training, that’s truly keeping up with their skills and giving them the support that they’re need. They’re going to look for something else to get their learning and development opportunities. Leaving your program, just kind of sitting in the dust and very underutilized six is communicate.

So communication is a skill that everyone can always approve upon. But the, for sake of managing this employee training program, there are specific areas that I would focus on to improve your communication, to be a strong champion of learning. And those would be your relationships with coworkers. You need to be able to read people well, you have a proactive composure. You have objective listening skills written and verbal skills is very important for someone that’s championing learning and finally creativity. This brings me to step seven and that is problem solving. So solving problems should be at the core of employee training. So the program manager will need to develop skills in seeking solutions to not only business needs and challenges, but to know their audience, to know who they’re requiring training from. And this requires the after mentioned skills of curiosity and knowledge of the training industry.

Finding a solution typically starts with asking a question and then doing research to sign the answer to that question. Number eight is knowing your vendors. So how much do you truly know about the vendors who provide you technology and content for your training programs? Have they given you a thorough understanding of not only the technology, but also the features and benefits of using this product? If not, I would take the time to research and figure out what seems to be, why things are under utilized. It could end up preventing some big headaches and the future. And then along the same vein of knowledge of your vendors, how is your relationship with them? Truthfully, your vendors should be as dedicated to your training program as you are. This is about developing a relationship where you trust each other to be committed. Vendors are there to help you succeed.

So if you’re willing to see them as a partner, then your training program should be a success. And finally, to be an excellent program manager, you need to have leadership. And whether you’re on the leadership team or managing a department or specifically just in this training manager role, the title really is an important here. We’re actually talking about the skills of leadership. And so making sure that you’re developing those so that you can empower others to want to improve their abilities at work is so important. Having a high emotional intelligence is very important to understanding and how to lead others towards their fulfill fulfilling potential. So don’t worry if you haven’t mastered all these skills, what you want to do here is focus on the ones that maybe need a little bit more help. And then you can go back to the other ones that you feel stronger in.

So let’s move on to step two. After you found your champion, the program manager must be able to identify the needs of your organization. So the program manager must understand the past, the present and the future direction of your organization. So how can they do that? Well, a simple way to do this is with a training needs assessments. So needs assessments should be offered at various times throughout the employee life cycle, but most are often done after hiring. When performance is needed. Career development plans are in place during succession planning or whenever there is a change in employees, jobs such as a promotion. What I really want you to understand is that needs assessments do not always need to be given at times of the negative opportunities. Like if you’re a company or your organization, or there’s a department that’s not meeting their goals or maybe someone’s shoveling, um, you know, learning some skills.

That’s not always the time that you need to give needs assessment. You can also give them during positive times, like when a group or a department is over exceeding their goals and they need to be challenged more. Or as an employee has just gotten a promotion, maybe doing a needs assessment will help them understand where their skills may be stronger and where they may need some work. So the purpose of a needs assessment is to uncover the areas that need more focus. These areas of potential spots and employees need more assistance in to do their jobs successfully. So how can you conduct a needs assessment when conducting a needs assessment? I encourage you to kind of attack at three different levels. And what I mean by that is you should be reaching out to your direct employees. You should be reaching out to the organization as a whole, and you should be reaching out for customer feedback through external surveys.

So to understand the needs of your direct employees, you can conduct interviews, nothing beats hearing the story straight from the people that are in office or on the floor experiencing where their needs may lie. If you’re not already doing this, I suggest start scheduling one-on-ones with employees because receiving constant feedback, not only helps build trust and recognize successes, but it also helps find those areas of improvement quicker. And so at the end of the year, you’re not stuck with an awkward annual review where the employee could have progressed more, but you didn’t catch things soon enough. So if it’s not viable to interview every single employee, you can also turn this into more of a focus group style, another great option. When we’re moving on to step two, looking at interviewing the entire organization, sometimes you’re not able to interview the whole organization, cause that would just take too much time.

So option two internal surveys are a really great choice when you’re trying to reach your entire organization. The surveys are really beneficial for receiving information because they are generally created and a specific formats. And so when you’re creating surveys, it’s very important that no, not only are they easy to understand, but they’re all in a format that’s easily to comprehend. So doing a one to five scale or a Likert scale or something where everything is very continuous and on the same level, it makes it very easy to point out where those needs may lie. And then finally, we’re going to talk about how you can target your customers and that can be through external surveys. So it’s very important. Understand where the area is. Do your employees feel that there should be more focused on, but really depending on the situation, it can be even more important to know what your customers are thinking.

So for example, if you were trying to do a customer service training needs assessment, you could survey your employees to figure out what they can do to provide better customer service, but it would also be really beneficial to reach out to your customers and figure out where they think your customer services lies currently and what areas you need to improve upon. So once you’ve conducted your assessment from all three of these angles, so direct to employee, you’re talking to the whole organization internally and you’re reaching out to your customers. Then you can quantify the areas of focus. And this is where you want to start to uncover your skills gaps. So by looking at the analyze current performance of your employees divided by your established ideal performance, this can show where your needs may lie. And this is where training should take place first. So once your needs have been identified, they must be aligned with your organization’s initiative and not going to lie. I think this is the most important step alignment.

Okay.

In this step, you, as the program manager will need to build a training curriculum that addresses the problems in the organization and supports the business goals. So a recent study by training industry found that an overwhelming number of corporate training professionals perceived strategic alignment as the single most important process capability that enables training organizations to Excel. So creating alignment does involve many stakeholders, especially your C-suites. So to get your C suite on board, you need to not only understand the needs of the business like we talked about earlier, but you also need to be able to kind of talk their language, just show them stats that will impress them. Whether that be how much money they’re saving by having 50% less incidents in the warehouse, or seeing a 0.5 increase on the customer surveys for sales calls, your C suite really wants to see that the money that is being put into training is being used effectively.

And according to training industry.com, there are five critical practices that separate great training organizations from others. And those are adapting training to an organization’s unique business culture to customizing training, to meet the organization’s needs. Number three of establishing agreed business objectives for is defining performance success metrics, which we’ll get to. And our next step and five is developing consultative partnerships with clients. So now that you know, these five critical practices that make great training programs, I have two questions for you. What are you doing right now to incorporate these five practices at your organization? And which ones do you think are the hardest to accomplish and why? So I love for you to take some time and if you feel like sharing and the group chat, which ones would be the most difficult for you to accomplish now, and what are you currently doing in your training program to establish these critical practices?

And I’ll give you a few seconds and I’m just going to share with the audience, some of those that I find industring through the chat. So if you want to go ahead and type in chat, maybe out of these five, what you might find the hardest to accomplish right now, and what are you doing at your organization now that you can help you master these five critical practices? So if you guys want to tape in your chat, I’ll be on the lookout for some of your answers. I’ll give you a few seconds here to type in.

So one thing that we see a lot at, Oh, thank you. Yes, Sharon. So she says definitely realistic performance measures. And that is very challenging. We’re actually going to get to step four with goals and metrics and kind of understand what your C suite is looking for. And all of that chanting says alignment is the hardest right now, due to missing skills, gaps, analysis. Good. So she says, they’re going back. That’s awesome. It’s always, you know, sometimes you build this program and you understand that you might’ve missed a couple of steps building it, so it’s all ways okay. To backtrack and make your program stronger. Yes. I will go back to the selections. Sorry, the via. Yes. So Debbie also says performance metrics is the most challenging. So thanks guys. That’s really helpful to understand kind of where our challenges lie as an industry and for L and D professionals. So let’s jump right into maybe the most tough challenge and that is going to be goals and metrics. So training can be really difficult to quantify, but however, when the training program manager is able to determine organizational needs, they are aligned with the business. Quantifying training can become much easier. So let’s talk about that.

So it’s really important to display metrics that show the whole picture. They can tell you what is the quantity, the quality, the time, the cost and the effectiveness. So you’ll also want to develop a benchmark strategy in order to cover all of those metrics. So this is kind of what we mentioned in step four, which we found the most challenging is really creating those metrics. So how can you leverage this benchmark strategy to reach your goals? Well, a benchmark strategy is used for evaluating your progress towards your goals and ensure that data and reports are easily available to provide to you the information that you need to build a successful benchmark strategy. You need to understand the difference between goals and milestones

Goals and milestones. They compliment each other kind of like bread and butter. I love this analogy. So a goal acts as a source of inspiration and a sense of objective that is shared by the whole team. Well, a milestone is an action or achievement necessary to show progress towards a goal. So if you think of a goal like your bread and a milestone, like your butter, you keep adding on those milestones to your goal. So as soon as those milestones are reached, those tacks with achieving a goal can help see progress, assess new complications or opportunities that emerged and address plans and procedures before moving forward and by tracking and analyzing milestones on a consistent basis, even daily or weekly, you’ll keep the targets visible and in front of you. And this allows for agility so that you can quickly change your strategy if you’ve fallen off course with having, without having to backtrack too much.

So tracking progress towards goals, answers, questions, like what are you doing daily? That’s helping you move closer to your goals, or maybe what are you doing? That’s moving you further away from your goals. So sharing goals with others and keeping it visible is really important when it comes to measurement, because that is when you’re held most accountable sharing goals helps create connections and also can grow your inner circle, both deeper and wider. It’s also really important that you’re discussing those goals during those one-on-one times that we talked about earlier, or any opportunity that you have with those stakeholders, because discussing those goals, make sure that everyone is on the same page and that they can be clarified. You’ll also need to measure how long you have until you reach those goals and peers can help you with this progressive measurements.

So with the spotlight, growing on learning and leaders and leaders are finally recognizing the importance of having and development opportunities at their organization. It’s really important that not only leaders are recognizing that are taking action, because this is two completely different things. So according to delayed, 2019 global human capital trends reports over 80% of survey respondents, believe that organizations actually have a new leadership ideals and the 21st century. So they say topics such as inclusion, fairness, social responsibility, understanding the role of automation and leading in a network. We’re not part of the manifesto a decade ago. So how can we obtain buy in from these new leaders and their new ideals,

One of the keys to successful training and development program, which I’m sure we all know is leadership buy-in, but we need to have leadership buy in from a top down approach, which we know that can get tricky. So instead of just having our leader say, Oh yeah, training a great, I support you. It’s really important that your organization’s Cesar leaders using the program or not only using the program, but helping them build up themselves as a leader. So what can you do for this? So to get leadership, buy in and to get those active promoters, it’s more easily obtained. When the program manager has been able to complete the steps two, three, and four that we talked about before. So the program manager, in order to get leadership buy in, you guys will want to be able to identify the needs of your organization. So just as we talked about before, sometimes going back and creating that skills gap analysis is a great step to get leadership buy in and not only leadership buy in, but I really want to stress that it’s not just buy in, but it’s active promotion.

That’s so important. And then once you get those needs establish, then you’re going to align those needs to your business goals. And finally, you’re going to help develop those goals and metrics and consistently go back to those goals, making sure you’re on track to meeting those, be held accountable for those goals. And that will help you get that leadership promotion that we’re all striving for. So one other challenge that we’ve certainly heard about is poor employee engagements, and probably many of us are maybe facing that as an issue in our company today. So we found that providing relevant training content is a great way to ensure that your learners are engaged and they’re continuing to come back for more. So what makes relevant content, many of you probably heard or use, you know, micro learning. We understand that learners are more distracted, overwhelmed, and have little time to spare it than ever before.

So offering content that is relevant is not only important, but it’s crucial. So we, the biz library really love to promote micro learning. So this is providing content in small bite size chunks. We’re maybe it’s a 30 minute program, but you’re breaking up that program. And to small five minute videos that learners could digest quickly and they don’t have to spend a whole 30 minutes learning something. It’s also really important when it comes to relevancy that the learner sees themselves in the training content. And yes, I am talking about diversity as far as race and gender, but I’m also talking about the environment that you’re training contents is provided in. So maybe if you work in a warehouse to make your content more relevant, your training content should show someone working in a warehouse instead of an office environment and vice versa,

You might not think of. It’s just providing entertaining content, make it more relevant. We often have biz library. We use humor to build and grow engagement for our learners. We also want to make sure that it’s current contents. We don’t believe in eighties, you know, blue eye shadow and videos that are poor quality because we know that really highly decreased engagement and that brings down relevancy. And finally, to make sure that your content is relevant. You want to have quick takeaways that can be applied immediately. So at the end of your training program, whether that be in person or online, you want to have takeaways. So maybe that’s a survey that they fill out afterwards or a CTA. So if they attended a lunch and learn, maybe one of their, you kind of give them some homework and say, you know, jot down three things that you’ve learned at this lunch and learn that you can use in your daily tasks and send them to me by the end of the day, make them understand that those quick takeaways are going to help them learn and digest this content better.

And this brings me to step seven and this is creativity. So we found over the years that really successful programs use some type of creative hook and that makes their organization see their training program as more valuable and a fun thing to be involved in. So for this, I’m going to actually use a BizLibrary client example. So this is from Les smelt hospitality group, and they’ve actually created some slag to give away during their relaunch to focus on their customer service training. So Westmount created an acronym called home, which stands for hosting outrageous memorable experiences. And this has helped them create branding and stickiness to their customer service training program. So you’ll see their employees carrying around these notes, that pens and paper, and that reminds them to imply their training when they’re interacting with customers. So I’m curious if you guys have any cure creative things that you’re doing currently to, um, entice people to join your training program. If you want to type those in the chat, I would love to see some of your responses. I’m sure the people that are attending today could get some great ideas too, from what you’re doing, um, doing with your training program currently too.

So I’ll keep moving forward. But if you guys have some great examples, we’d love to see them. We’re all about helping each other here. So go ahead and throw those creativity ideas in the chat. And with that, I’m actually going to move on to step eight. So this is where creativity needs to come to the forefront. And this is your marketing and communication strategy. So having the creativity ideas is so excellent, but we all know to see real success. We need to incorporate those ideas into a strong marketing strategy for your training program.

So having a marketing strategy is an integral part of your implementation and essential component of a successful learning and development program. A successful marketing plan includes not only initial launch activities, but also strong ongoing efforts throughout the program. Now I understand that most of us here are probably not professional marketers and that is totally okay. So I want you to take your marketing training program, marketing strategy, and think of it like we’re trying to plan a party. So we’re going to break it down into four simple steps. We’re going to talk about the invite of the party. We’re going to talk about the agenda of the party. We’re going to talk about the entertainment. And finally, we’re going to talk about food and prizes. So if you are building a marketing and communication strategy for say, you’re going to launch a program within the next month and you want to get your employees excited about it.

So think of it like planning a party. What would you do first? You got to start with the invite, right? So you can invite people via email. You can create banners post in your intranet, or even Hank literal signs around your office to get people excited about this new employee training program. So next we’re planning the party, right? So we sent the invites. Now it’s time to get to the agenda, make sure everything is scheduled. So we want to look at timing here. We want to make sure everything is an appropriate time for those that are going to receive the straining. And we want to make sure that we’re planning ahead of time to make sure that we’ve gone through and tested the program that everything’s working correctly. Just like we did, would do for a big party that we’re throwing. And then finally, we get to the fun stuff.

We want to include entertainment in our party, like fireworks or a big show. So to correlate that with a training program, you could start a game. We all know that gamification is a great way to increase engagement for training programs. Make sure that you’re introducing people. If this program is going out to your whole organization, maybe come up with a fun way to include that unification and make sure that people understand that other employees are taking the same training. You could even host like a watch party. We’ve had clients that have done this and have had such great success. So you pick a program, maybe it’s something that’s a little bit less engaging, like compliance, and you have the department go into a conference room and throw a big watch party for their complaints training for that day. I’m just coming up with creative ways to bring it to more of an entertaining environment and less of, um, I have to do this because I need to check a bunch of boxes for my compliance training.

And then finally we all love food and prizes. So just like a perfect party, your training, marketing and communications strategy can involve food and prizes that always helps entice people to be more engaged. So this little box here is actually a client example of how they created a little cookouts for, to communicate and connect, um, lunch and learns is actually a great example of how you can connect food with your training program. And those always seem to have really, really strong results as far as people attending the learning and cause food’s involved. Um, and you can also win prizes too. So make sure that when you’re thinking of your marketing and communication strategy, don’t think of it as an overwhelming thing. If you’re not a professional marketer, that’s okay. We’ve all planned parties and I’m sure we’ve had some smashing parties. So think of building your marketing strategy for your training program, just like a party and make sure that it’s consistent. Remember we’re not just promoting the initial launch. We want to continue to promote our program all throughout the party. So throughout the whole time that the program is in existence.

Great kickstart to making a really strong marketing strategy for your training programs going forward. And, uh, finally we are at our step nine, which is post-training reinforcements. So many organizations have spent palaces dollars per year on employee training. And unfortunately they’re only finding that employees are actually not applying these new concepts that they learned in their training. So this is where post-training reinforcement is a crucial part of that strong employee training program.

So without being given the opportunity to remember, we stand that employees will forget nearly all training and less than a week, and this is called the forgetting curve. So training reinforcement is a series of small lessons or learning activities that can support a core concept or skill by continuing to teach what was learned at a seminar from the video. Employees will not only remember more, but they will also be likely to apply it to their everyday work. So how does reinforcement training, how does that happen? So when you are reinforcing training, what you’re going to do is have your employees take the training either in person or you’re going to have them take it online. And as soon as they’ve taken the initial training, that’s where the reinforcement kicks in. So you’re going to send them a variety of questions to reinforce what they’ve learned from the initial learning.

So those questions can come in the format of true and false multiple choice fill in the blank. What’s really important that you understand is that the farther that you’ve gotten from the initial training, the harder that your questions should get. So, you know, maybe a day after the initial training, you send them an email saying, answer this true or false question. And then maybe a month after the initial training, you ask them, please give them the example of how you use this training in your daily work life. So making sure that that reinforcement is there is so important. And we’ve also found that if someone got a question wrong, they’re actually still learning from that question versus they’ve never gotten that post reinforcement before. So think of it kind of like the flashcard method that is so popular and learning nowadays. So making sure that they’re just getting questions that they’re getting that reinforcement is so important rather than just having them do the training and then that’s it that’s it goes on the wayside.

So I know I’ve talked a lot within this 45 minutes, so I just want to give a short overview of the nine characteristics that we’ve gone through and just remember and highlight the important parts. So step one was to get effective program management. And this is to find your champion to find that champion of learning and to get your program manager and step two needs and assessments and skill gaps. We talked about attacking those three angles. So we talked about talking directly to your employees, talking directly to your organization and finally getting customer feedback. And with that, you should be able to build a skills gap analysis that can help you identify those needs. Three, I believe is the most important. This is where you take the training needs that you have and align those to your business needs four. We talked about goals and metrics.

So it’s really important that you’re establishing those goals and metrics when you’re doing your alignment as well, and being consistent with your goals and metrics, keeping on top of them, making sure that they don’t fall by the wayside. All of these that we’ve talked about now will help ensure that leadership buy in and remember leadership buy in is not just support. We want our leaders to be active promoters for our training programs and how we can do that is through relevancy and creativity that we add to our training program. So relevancy is microlearning making sure you see diversity as far as race and gender in your videos or the formats that you offer through training, but also in the environments, making sure that the content is entertaining. And then that brings us to creativity. Remember the example that I use from Westmount it’s any way you can find creativity to add to your training programs, the more you’re going to increase engagement, and then we’re going to throw a party, right? We’re going to talk about our marketing and communication strategy. And we’re going to use that strategy throughout all of our training program initiatives. It’s not just the first launch. We’re going to keep it strong and keep those efforts strong throughout the program. And finally, nine, we’re going to talk about post-training reinforcement. We do not want our money to go to waste. So we’re going to learn how to reinforce the materials that our employees learn with quizzes that increase with difficulty, the farther that they get away from that initial learning.

So to end today, I just want to give you some key takeaways. Like I said, I know we’ve talked a lot, so these would be my three key takeaways. If you’re going to take anything away from this webinar first, it’s so important that you find or become a champion of learning at your organization. Remember be like Bob. And then finally a successful training program reaches learners at the right time and place to increase utilization. And remember using these nine steps will help build a top employee training program that your competitors will rival.

So with that, I’d like to get to some questions. And while we’re giving questions, if you are interested in learning more about this library and how our training program can help you build this top train program, that all employees are seeking, please, um, reach out to us. I’m going to go ahead and throw a link in the chat. You guys can go ahead and click on that link. We’d love to talk more about how this library can help you and your organization create an amazing training program. So with that, uh, Sarah, if you’re ready, I think we can open it up to questions.

All right. That sounds great. Thanks so much, Katie. Let’s move on to some questions. Now, if anyone has questions, take a minute to go ahead and put those in your Q and a window. All right. Your first question is from Leah and she wants to know, can you talk more about the creativity aspect? Yeah, of course. So Leah, I think this is great. Um, the reason why it was kind of short and sweet as because creativity, um, has to come from your organization, you know, you know exactly what is going to engage your employees. I just gave that example for our clients to see what they’re doing to increase creativity and engagement in their training. So this could be anything from being creative on how you name your training program. We have clients that instead of, you know, using those library and the title, they’ve created universities with their organizations name incorporated to it, or we’ve even had clients that utilize, um, some marketing programs that we’ve created.

So there’s March madness calendars that have been sent out that is involved with training. We have training for every season. So maybe in the summer, you’re focused more on this kind of training versus that. So creativity is really making sure that you as the training program manager or the champion of learning is always just thinking one step ahead that you’re trying to understand your employee’s needs, which I know can be tough. And a lot of times, um, L and D professionals and HR professionals are wearing many hats, but that actually opens you to greater success because you’re with the employees, you know, what’s going on. So creativity is kind of why we kept it short is because I want to encourage you guys to become more creative in your training programs. And if you need more examples of, um, any kind of creative programs, I would be happy to offer those up to you.

Alright, perfect. And next off we have a question from Bruce who wants to know if you have any ideas for a company that is scattered all over the nation to create an entertainment format. I love that question, Bruce. And I think it is super relevant because now the remote workforce is coming, you know, um, to the forefront. There are a lot of employees that are working all over the place. So one thing that we are really passionate about at this library is, um, you know, to create unity throughout a training program is making sure that you have access to, um, an online platform that can allow for the remote employees to join in on conversation. So whether that be Skype or zoom, um, you want to make sure that those remote employees are just as involved us at this library. We do have several remote employees and how we keep them, um, involved with everybody else that’s going on. We use our company’s internet. So, um, it’s kind of like a Facebook where we post our successes, anything that’s going along and our organization, our also our learning and development manager posts any kind of, um, training that’s going to be coming up. So that’s the way that we keep everyone on the same page.

Great. And next, we have a question from Alicia who wants to know how do you hold leaders accountable for not being an active promoter, but supporting a training program? Yes, Alicia, I love this question. And to be honest, I think we now are coming to the point that leaders are recognizing the importance of learning and development. So it doesn’t shock me that many of us are still struggling with getting, you know, the active promoter stage, instead of that, just supporting stage. I think for leaders to understand the importance of training, we need to be able to communicate to them in ways that they find enticing. So, like I said before, offering statistics for your training program that lets them know that it’s being effective. We’ve also included programs that are specifically for leadership. So maybe that’s something that you can offer. Um, also just having them be engaged.

Uh, if you have company meetings, just having them talk about the program at a company meeting sometimes coming from, you know, that top down approach will really get people excited to see that their leaders are also involved in this and they want them to do well by doing this learning an initiative. And we know that actually providing these professional development opportunities through learning and development is becoming a huge benefit, um, to many organizations and, um, future employees are seeing this as a huge benefit. So just keep that in mind for your leaders. I think we will definitely start to see a nice wave and a turnaround from leaders, um, instead of just supporting, becoming more of that active promoter, but they might need a little push to get there. All right. Great. And Christopher wants to know if you have any thoughts on the role of supervisors before, during and after the training.

Yes, Christopher, excellent question. So supervisors managers, all those kind of mid level to your employees are very important when it comes to creating a really strong employee program. Because like we talked about with Alicia, many companies do struggle with having your top, like your C suite involved in the training. So that’s where the managers can step in. So not only are the managers doing their own training for their own personal development, but they’re also going to be the ones that are motivating their employees to create, you know, programs and playlists and things that, because they’re working with their employees on an individual level, they know their strengths, they know their weaknesses. So they’re able to create individualized programs that will help their employees. And that is the most important part of a manager or supervisor. Great. And next, we have a question from Kate that said, I thought the forgetting curve was a very helpful graphic and she wants to know if that was based on an industry study or if that was from data you collected. Yes, Kate. So the forgetting curve is something that we up as library strongly believe in. It was provided by one of our partners that we work with. And we’ve actually have, um, a product called booster learn where the forgetting curve, we help us, you know, create, help diminish the forgetting curve. So that’s our booster product. And those post-training reinforcements that we talked about.

And next, we have a question from Amy who wants to know how should you select your champion of learning? Yeah, Amy, great question. So this can be kind of a tricky thing. I’m sure. Going back through those 10 skills that we talked about is kind of a great way to weed out people and to find a great champion of learning. Uh, it can be someone that’s already in learning development, but it does not have to, you also should keep in mind that this person should be individually sound in their learning and development, meaning that they truly believe that this is beneficial for the organization because just having that initial motivation internally will help make them a great training program manager.

And lastly, we have a question from Ashley who wants to know my C-suite only wants to focus on compliance training for our organization, but how can I convince them that learning should be a part of a culture and accessible all year round? Ashley Love that question. Um, like I said, I think we are seeing a turn to where organizations are less dependent on learning and development for compliance, but there’s certainly more out there than we know of. Um, and so building a culture around learning is very important, but it does take time. So what you want to think about is establishing your company culture and your values and your mission around the training and the learning that you’re giving as an organization. So we at this library have several values that fall right into the importance that we place on learning and development. So we have a value that says smarter every day. So we, as employees are valued to become smarter every day. And that goes into how much importance we place on learning and development also, um, you know, to build a culture it’s really important that we have established all these nine characteristics of an top employee training program, and that will make our culture stronger as well.

Sarah Gallo:
That sounds great. Well, Katie, I’d like to thank you so much for your time and some great content today. Thank you so much. Thanks everyone for joining us. And I would like to invite all of you attendees to join us for some upcoming training industry webinars. This month, you can register for any of these programs and watch past webinars now@trainingindustry.com and all training industry webinars are also prequalified for a credit hour by both Sherm and CBTM certifications. What is CBTM the certified professional and training management program assists you in developing the core competencies and skills needed to manage the feature training needs of your organization. You can participate in a number of programs held across the nation or joining us, join us from anywhere around the world for one of our virtual practicums, learn more about the program@trainingindustry.com slash CPT, and to make sure to register for this year’s Tice for tool conference, developing an L and D blueprint happening tomorrow from 12 to 4:00 PM Eastern time. All right. And again, Katie, thank you so much for some great content today and thank you to our sponsor is library. Of course a thank you goes out to all of you for joining us for today’s event. We’ll see you next time.

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