Does your company have a love/hate relationship with training? You’re not alone! But we’ll get to that later. In this article, we’ll look at some of the issues that concern everybody who is getting started with corporate training and wants to achieve perfect results from it.
What types of corporate training are available? Why do you need to start training online and how do you do it? What software do you need? How to manage the cost of online learning? Here you will find the answers to these and other burning questions. But first, let’s find out – is workplace training really so important?
Advantages of Corporate Training
Corporate training can unite a large and diverse organization by becoming a “centerpiece” of the employee experience. Here are at least four reasons why you should care about this.
Well-designed training that meets employees’ needs makes your workforce more productive and efficient. Over time, these improvements will make your company more profitable.
Training programs help show how individuals, teams, and departments unite together as a single organizational structure. Employees who know how their job role supports the overall mission and goals of their company can draw a line between “my work” and “my company’s success.”
Surveys have shown that today’s young professionals want more than just a paycheck. Millennials (aged 22-37 years old) particularly value employers that offer flexibility, professional development opportunities, and a sense of purpose. They are likely to change jobs if they are unhappy with their current role.
The tendency to job hop can be expensive for employers. A recent Gallup study found that the cost of replacing workers is at least one-half of an employee’s annual salary. Turnover is preventable, so corporations have a financial incentive to keep workers engaged and productive.
Building corporate culture
High-quality training aligns corporate values and strategy. Going beyond the basics shows that an organization is willing to invest in its staff for the long run. For employees, robust learning sends the message that, “You matter to us.”
How to Organize Corporate Training
So, how can an employer create a high-quality learning program that works for all of its employees? The best corporate training meets the learner at their point of need. Corporate learning should be available on demand and delivered in a variety of ways.
Here are four common types of corporate training you can use in your company. Let’s look at how they differ and what benefits and drawbacks they each have.
1. Instructor-led classroom training
Traditional classroom-based training is the very definition of “old school” learning. And it’s not going away any time soon. A 2018 survey by Training magazine found that 32% of organizations use it for almost one-third of their overall training.
2. Virtual instructor-led classroom training (VILT)
VILT puts a 21st-century spin on traditional learning by moving the classroom online. VILT software allows instructors to deliver lectures, show videos, conduct break-out sessions, lead discussions, and observe learner performance. Virtual sessions can be recorded and accessed for review at a later date.
3. Online learning
Online learning has become the “new norm” for corporate training. Between 2002-2018, corporate use of online learning grew by 900%. The term “online learning” can include any number of learning products, including eLearning or microlearning modules, games, assessments, learning activities, videos, and discussion boards
Supporting materials, such as job aids and learning documents, can be saved in a .pdf format to create content that is both digital and accessible to learners.
4. Blended learning
A blended learning approach combines classroom-based training and online learning into one curriculum. Bringing these two methods together can create a learning experience that captures the best of each method.
Assess your existing training to see if you are using the best training methods for your organization. To get a better understanding of which method is best, read our article about workplace training methods.
Why Pick Online Training
If all your classes are still instructor-led or you’re just looking in the direction of corporate training, it’s time to make the move to online learning. We have already covered some of the advantages of eLearning above. But the biggest reason to opt for it is that online learning is simply more effective. Here is some evidence for you:
How to Start Training Online
The first thing you need to do is define your overall learning needs and expectations, set up training goals, and identify your audience. In this case, a smart idea is to ask some questions that will be the basis of what’s called a training needs analysis. To get a shortlist of questions, read our post on how to develop a successful training program.
Once you identify your big-picture needs and set objectives, you can focus on the curriculum and course details. Incorporate your findings into a corporate training roadmap that details your overall vision, wants, and needs for learning.
It’s also important to consult with your IT department to see what software you need to get started with eLearning (we’ll discuss how to select training tools a little bit further on).
If you’re ready to move forward and need more information about how to start training online, read our guide on launching a new eLearning project.
How to Choose Online Training Software
You’ll need a new set of digital tools to design, develop, and manage your online training. Let’s look at the basic software that will get you started.
Learning management system
A learning management system (LMS) is your platform for managing training. An LMS is a well-organized system that will:
- manage and store courses;
- provide learner access to content;
- assign, deliver, and track results.
Think of your LMS as “mission control” for all of your company’s training. A corporate LMS should allow you to quickly and easily update courses, while also providing robust tracking and reporting functions.
Automate corporate training and improve employee performance.
Let’s say you have an LMS to manage your corporate training. But what about the learning content? If you’re going to create online courses in-house, you’ll also need an authoring tool.
Authoring tools are typically offered as a package or “suite” of tools to create a variety of eLearning content types, from simple courses to interactions, assessments, videos, and games. They can vary in complexity and ease of use, so be sure to try out the software before you buy it. To delve deeper into the process of software selection, download our guide on choosing an authoring tool.
If you’re new to online training, you’re likely to opt for an authoring tool with a simple design and user-friendly interface.
For example, with iSpring Suite, anyone can start building e-courses right away – no prior experience necessary. And, with this authoring toolkit, you can create different kinds of eLearning content, including slide courses, quizzes, video tutorials, conversation simulations, and interactions.
See how an eLearning course created with iSpring Suite looks:
Check out eLearning demos to see what else you can do with iSpring Suite.
How to Take Online Corporate Training to the Next Level
We’d like to offer some tips to help make your corporate training even more effective using iSpring Learn LMS and the iSpring Suite authoring toolkit.
Tip 1: Add personalized learning paths
Use baseline testing to measure the skills each new hire has already mastered. If an employee can successfully prove their knowledge, you can “pass” that learner out of a training class. This will allow your employees to use their training time to develop new skills, instead of just repeating what they already know.
With iSpring Learn, you can also create customized learning paths by mixing and matching multiple content items. You can combine various courses, quizzes, video tutorials, and other materials into one compound course and specify if the order of chapters is strict or flexible, set the completion date and the completion conditions for chapters and courses.
Tip 2: Conduct webinars
Are you ready to make your classroom virtual? An LMS that allows you to host webinars makes it easy to schedule live training sessions, invite learners and track their attendance.
As for iSpring Learn LMS, this is integrated with Zoom web meetings. Webinars can be conducted from almost any internet-connected computer or tablet, right from your iSpring account. During a broadcast, you can share your PowerPoint presentations, video, screen and even take polls and get instant feedback from your employees.
Tip 3: Offer learning certification
Learning certification programs are a great way to recognize personal achievement. They can also become an important differentiator for career advancement.
With iSpring Learn, you can set the parameters for any kind of certification program. Once a learner successfully completes all program activities, the LMS will automatically issue a certificate in the learner’s name. You can even customize a certificate with your proprietary branding and upload your template onto iSpring Learn.
Tip 4: Build a blend of different learning experiences
Today’s learners expect their training to be more than lectures and tests. When building your curriculum maps, consider how you can use different content types to engage your learners. Use iSpring Suite to include elements such as:
- A short video to welcome your learners;
- Job aids and manuals in the form of e-books;
- An interactive game to assess learners’ baseline competency level;
- An eLearning module or lecture;
- A tutorial with a step-by-step demonstration of a process or procedure;
- A hands-on activity, game or skills demonstration;
- A final assessment.
Tip 5: Make learning a game
The idea of “gamifying” learning has been a hot topic among instructional designers for some time now. A well-crafted gamified learning experience challenges learners through engagement and interactions.
The iSpring Suite can turn your existing PowerPoint presentations into games with customized questions and interactions.
Tip 6: Practice your team’s communication skills
This is especially critical if you’re going to train customer service and sales staff. With iSpring Suite, you can create realistic conversation simulations with branching, assessments, real-life characters and locations.
This is how a dialogue simulation looks:
Managing the Cost of Online Learning
Implementing an online learning strategy will require some hard dollar expenditures. Research conducted by Brandon Hall Group found that LMS costs account for about 38% of the average learning technology budget. That translates to an average annual corporate LMS spend of $70,614.
What’s the pricing model for LMS services?
LMS providers typically price their product in one of five ways:
- Pay-per-learner: a fixed price for a fixed number of learners
- Pay-per-active-learner: a fixed price for the number of learners who used the LMS during the billing cycle
- Pay-as-you-go: pay only for the features you use
- Subscription: a set price, based on the number of features selected
- Open source: free access to the LMS program; you are responsible for setting up, customizing, and hosting.
Work with your business partners to determine the best pricing strategy for your organization. The chart below provides some general guidelines for pricing.
|The size of your learning audience is fairly stable||A pay-per-learner plan could make sense.|
|Your learning audience is smaller than your total employee headcount||Consider a pay-per-active-learner approach.|
|You do not expect to use a lot of advanced LMS features||Try a pay-as-you-go cost model.|
|Your organization has strong IT capabilitie||You may be able to customize free open source software, such as Moodle.|
For a detailed analysis on how to choose the best LMS pricing for your organization, read our LMS Pricing Guide.
How to save money on LMS costs
LMS providers offer an almost endless array of capabilities and options. A new LMS customer can usually save money by purchasing only the services they know they will use in their first year, and by closely monitoring the size of their learning audience.
Have a plan (or at least an outline of ideas) for how you will roll out online learning to your audience of learners. Decide which pricing model makes the best financial sense for your organization, then approach LMS providers to discuss how their products can serve your needs. Ask each provider:
- When (or how often) can you change your pricing plan?
- What are the baseline costs for your pricing model?
- Do they charge set-up fees for new customers?
- What kind of training or customer support do they offer?
- Will they meet or beat a competitor’s price?
Focus on your essential needs first. Avoid paying for extras that will not add value to the learning experience, or that are out of step with your corporate learning strategy.
The Bottom Line
We hope this article has answered most of your questions about corporate training. If you still have any questions, please add them in the comments section below and we’ll be happy to help you find an answer.