We’ve recently talked about Employee Training and Development and, among other things, why it’s important to the organization. At the risk of getting into semantics, “employee training and development” and “organizational training” are very much related. You can think of employee training and development as the larger sphere that organizational training resides in. So…
What is Organizational Training?
Organizational training is the process of transferring practical knowledge within an organization that boosts employee performance and on-the-job capabilities. Organizational training is a tactical approach to help employees learn skills that directly impacts their job performance and compliance obligations. It focuses on hard skills training such as how to use a specific tool or software.
The Importance and Benefits of Organizational Training
Because organizational training is more practical and less aspirational than employee development, it’s easier to articulate its importance and benefits. They are quantifiable such as increased production and improved performance that deliver better business outcomes. They are certifiable such as the acquisition of continuing professional education (CPE) credits or legal necessities like required compliance training.
Organizations need their employees to be the best at what they do. As such, organizations must invest in helping their employees do their jobs better by introducing new technologies or processes that increase productivity or even just improving proficiency in the functions that employees perform. Such changes require training to ensure that employees can meet the company’s objectives.
Companies will often look at the cost of implementing training as a reason not to invest in it. However, there are significant costs associated with failing to train employees such as lower rates of production, diminishing competitiveness, increased business expenses, ineffective management, and unsafe work environments.
Organization Training Best Practices
Now that we understand what organizational training is and why it’s important, let’s get into some practical best practices.
We all learn differently. Though we can’t cater to everyone, we should add variety to our training activities. Some training may require classic instructor-led or virtual instructor-led training while others can be delivered through on-demand video training. The important part is to consider what training needs to be done and how to get the best results. By deploying different training methods, we can be more confident in the success of our training.
Hybrid and Remote
It’s always been hard to get employees away from their immediate tasks for training activities. It’s even harder today where many employees are working from home or have flexible work environments. Hybrid learning is another way to be flexible as well as increase the chance of employees participating in your training. The added benefit here is that we can run more training at scale at fractions of the cost and effort of in-person training.
Keep it Engaging
Are you recognizing a pattern? Flexible delivery, hybrid and remote, and now engaging. These are learner-centric experiences. Employees are our audience. We are competing for their attention. We are up against high-pressure timelines, mountains of tasks, and endless streams of chat notifications and calendar reminders and calls from this video conferencing platform and that. We need our employees focused on their training. To do this, we cannot have them passively watching us lecture them. Utilize tools like virtual classrooms that have assessment tools, polling, and breakout rooms or make videos interactive. Find ways to open discussions and encourage participation.
How to Adopt Organizational Training the Right Way
Once we consider the best practices, we can get started in developing our organizational training program. Let’s look at some of the steps needed to get started specifically looking at the 3M’s – meaning, management, and measurement.
1. Meaning – Identify Knowledge and Skills Gaps
This is straightforward enough. Before we develop technical training programs, we need to understand what knowledge or skills our employees are lacking. There’s no point in wasting employee hours with redundant or unnecessary training. Of course, if new tools are being introduced, then we can understand that we need to build a training program that will help employees reach proficiency with that tool. We can run skills gaps analysis or simple surveys to help us identify areas for improvement. It is important though that we consider how training will help employees do their jobs better and that we are fully aligned with management.
2. Management – Align with Company Objectives
Remember, the purpose of organizational training is to improve employee performance so that employees are better equipped to help the company meet its defined objectives. It is common today for organizations to have objectives and key results (OKRs) which are measurable goals to be achieved. Understanding the company’s or a department’s OKRs is a good way to understand what the company is trying to do and ensure that organizational training is properly aligned.
For example, when reviewing organizational OKRs or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), we may find that employees have underperformed or failed to reach set goals. Perhaps the customer success team had a goal to keep the customer churn rate below 4%. However, management has identified in their quarterly review that the CCR was 4.4%. There is a myriad of factors that can contribute to that figure, but we can develop a program to help our CSMs build better relationships with their customers such as using a specific tool more effectively or tracking business intelligence data more closely.
3. Measurement – Make it Measurable
Just as management sets their OKRs and KPIs, our training programs must also define their success criteria. After all, one of management’s favorite albeit questionable adages is, “If we can’t measure it, then we can’t manage it.” Bogus or not, there is validity in the need to measure outcomes.
Learning leaders must set goals for their training programs to understand if the training was a success or if it requires some iterations. If the training is certificate-based, then an easy measurement is how many employees successfully gained the required certificate. However, measuring performance improvements as a result of training can be quite challenging. It is important to figure out what we’ll be measuring before we run our training.
Top 5 Organizational Training Techniques & Methods
Now let’s review some of the most popular organizational training techniques and methods.
Coaching and Mentoring
Mentorship is incredibly important for employee training. Having coaches and mentors helps establish a learning culture, creates personal connections that help retain employees in hybrid work environments, and provides clarity on where employees can go for assistance when they have questions on how to do their job more effectively.
Instructor-Led Training (ILT) and Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)
Instructor-led training be it in-person or virtual is the classic go-to for most training. As technology has improved and other methods developed, organizations are relying less and less on this method. It can be expensive and requires time. However, there are a lot of benefits to this method of training. Learners can engage with their instructor to get real-time answers and feedback and are typically given opportunities to engage with their peers. This will continue to be an important training method though it will be deployed more carefully for those types of training that benefit from real-time interactions.
Role-playing is especially important when training employees on how to engage with customers or each other when considering proper workplace behavior. In a sales role-play example, we might have one employee take on the role of a salesperson while another an upset customer. This can help us workshop conflict resolution or deploy different strategies when dealing with objections.
Video is an awesome medium for training. Employees use video for just about everything outside of work such as entertainment and learning. We can leverage that comfort to improve training outcomes. Video is flexible is also flexible. Employees can access videos at the point of need such as how to complete a process or submit an invoice. It’s scalable and provides those answers and training when others aren’t available to help.
On-the-job training is as practical and effective as training comes. Training is most effective when learners can participate and apply their training in the context of their work. When employees need to be in the field or working with different hardware, then training should also mirror that. Get training experts and learners together where the work happens. This is especially helpful when onboarding new hires. Training should be as practical as possible to help employees immediately apply their new skills.
Kaltura Organizational Training Solutions
Kaltura organizational training solutions are built to address the needs of learning organizations. Today’s learners require flexibility in how they learn be that in the way training is delivered or the method of training the instructor deploys. As more and more companies develop their hybrid workplace, learning and development teams will need to further develop their methods of delivery from virtual instructor-led training via engaging virtual classrooms to interactive on-demand video. Kaltura’s unique 360-degree approach to learning enables organizations to deliver flexible learning solutions that help deliver better business outcomes.
The Future of Organizational Training in the Post-Covid Era
I’ve been hinting at the future of organizational training throughout this article. Sure, we could talk about VR and AR and AI and machine learning, but the future doesn’t have to feel so future-like. Those technologies will have their seat at the table. However, the movements today are more around adjusting to the post-COVID era which comes down to engaging learners anyway we can wherever they are. They aren’t in the office well, many of them are not, and many will never be. Organizations are investing more and more in organizational training as a tool to sharpen competitive edges as well as to prove to employees that they are invested in them. Expect more remote, more hybrid, and more video.
Employees doing their best means companies are doing their best as well. Specifically, continuous organizational training is an investment in both employees and the company. It is important to help employees develop and grow, but it’s also important to help them take practical steps to perform their day-to-day jobs better. By deploying a well-considered organizational training program, learning leaders can help ensure that employees are better equipped to handle the challenges of the day efficiently and are fully aligned with company objectives.
Ready to level up your organizational training? Try Kaltura Virtual Classroom for free!