By Theresa Damato
In yesterday’s Advisor, guest columnist Theresa Damato began her explanation of why one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to training. Today Damato elaborates on the topic, including some best practices and learning technologies.
To maximize the success of a training program, it is important that learning and development teams take all of these factors into consideration. Here are some best practices to keep in mind.
First, take the time to understand each employee’s learning style, in addition to strengths that must be developed and weaknesses that must be addressed. Visual learners, for example, can benefit from mind maps, acronyms, and diagrams to understand sequential processes. Experiential learning can help tactile learners get more hands-on with the subject matter and can allow learning leaders to glean more specific information from the results beyond just course completions and grades.
Then, explore and test various methods of training to determine which best fit each learning style. You may find that role-playing certain scenarios that can occur in the workplace best serves your kinesthetic learners, as they are the “doers” of the organization. Group discussions may work best for auditory learners as they provide these employees an avenue where they can brainstorm, explain, and talk through the material.
From there, incorporate the bespoke model into the way you work with managers and their teams in terms of defining their career goals and charting career paths. Use information from training to determine what you and managers can do to create the plans that will get them there.
Evaluate Learning Technologies
Once you determine the training methods that you believe will best fit your different types of learners, consider what technologies you need to support this plan. Modern learning management systems (LMSs) offer important features, such as social collaboration, support for “bring your own” learning, video, and microlearning capabilities, and they of course are mobile-friendly and allow employees to access learning anytime they want in a format that suits their needs.
In addition, some LMS technologies offer simple pulse survey, feedback, and engagement tools that are user-friendly, and they help talent leaders get immediate “in the field” evaluation of programs and courses, so you can quickly identify problem areas and make improvements on the fly.
Beyond the user benefits of an LMS, these platforms improve efficiencies in administration, documentation, delivery, tracking, and audit of training programs. In addition, LMSs can deliver robust analytics and reporting that can help you evaluate program effectiveness, improve results, and prove the impact your training is having on skill development, career growth, and the business.
Some platforms support formal, experiential, and informal “bring your own” training; enable robust content aggregation and curation capabilities; support collaborative, video, micro, and gamified learning; deliver predictive and prescriptive analytics and multilanguage support; and can connect and/or integrate with a broad ecosystem of HR and business applications.
With so many employee variables, there is simply not a one-size-fits-all solution. When developing a training program for your employees, be open to exploring options and tuning them as needed. With a little research and experimentation, you should be able to find the right formula that works for your team as well as your organization.
Theresa Damato is the vice president of worldwide marketing at Saba, where she leads the global marketing team and directs brand, messaging, integrated marketing programs, product marketing, and demand creation strategies. Her organization is responsible for positioning Saba’s growth strategy, cultivating opportunities in new and existing customer markets, aligning marketing with revenue and sales growth strategies, and growing demand for Saba solutions globally.