Corporate Training Handbook: The ultimate guide to improving Employee Productivity

employee productivity

The success of any business depends on how productive and engaged employees are at the workplace. However, employee engagement and training often gets pushed onto the backburner when there is a ‘business as usual’ approach towards everyday operations.

Often, there is no attempt to induce learning and innovation at the workplace until profit margins start suffering and the workforce needs to be reskilled to meet changing customer demand.

How do you prevent this ‘inertia’ from costing your company? You need to have a framework in place for employee development, skilling and training throughout the year instead of making it a ‘once in a blue moon’ event.

The Relation between Training and Productivity

If an organisation continuously makes efforts to train their employees so that they are educated, experienced, knowledgeable, and well-versed with their jobs, it will directly affect their productivity levels and engagement at the workplace. However, if the employee has no clue about their daily tasks and their long term career path they tend to get demotivated. When an employee knows that mentorship and a career path is charted out for them, their productivity can skyrocket and it also enhances their self-confidence levels.

Employee productivity can improve with the help of different training tools and techniques, which have evolved over the years. There have been vast improvements in the techniques, technology, and tools used to train employees. This has helped companies adapt to the unique needs of tech savvy learners while breaking free from the restraints of the classroom–oriented training programs.

Here are a few ways in which Corporate Training has fundamentally changed in the past decade.

Corporate training LMS

How has Corporate Training Changed in 2019?

  • Rise of Online Learning

  • In the 70s and 80s, corporate training was identical to classroom-type learning. This included slide projectors and laminated slides being used to initiate employees into the company. These sessions were rigid, one way, and very often quite ineffective.

    It was only during the 1990s that the internet changed the course of Corporate training substantially. The internet helped trainers leverage and outsource their work to content developers, learning management systems, and other kinds of online tools.

    The biggest change that is seen now in 2019 with online training is that it occurs seamlessly within the flow of work. For instance, companies are beginning to phase out compartmentalised training, and they're introducing on-the-job training to encourage immediate application; this is useful as it saves up valuable hours of productive work of trainers and employees that would otherwise be taken up by classroom training.

  • Rise of Experiential Learning

  • The best way you can learn something is by experiencing it firsthand. When you engage all your senses to learn something new, it's called experiential learning also known as ‘learning by doing’. These kinds of learning experiences take place outside a traditional classroom or academic setting.

    It attempts to shift from the standard education methods to an experience-based approach. It tries to change the way a teacher interacts with their students and makes it a more interactive session. Well planned experiential learning programs are the kind that stimulate a sense of curiosity, interdisciplinary learning, career development as well as social and leadership skills.

    Experiential learning training methods have the following benefits:

    • Adapting to the real world:

      Employees find it easy to learn facts through experience. For instance, if you train the employees using current affairs as an example, then they will have a better understanding of the concepts and come up with new ideas as well.
    • Engagement levels are high:

      This puts emphasis on the practice and experience part of the training process, and employees get to participate in practical real world settings where actions have consequences.
    • Increases the motivation to learn:

      When the employees are immersed in the learning experience, they begin to see the relevance of training and learning new things. They are also likely to acquire new skills in the process. Experiential learning is a fun and engaging process and it tends to instil a personal conviction on the value of changed behaviours along with shared employee experiences.
    • Increases transfer of knowledge or skills in the workplace:

      Many times, when a training session is not implemented properly, it means that the learners have failed to retain any knowledge and there is no connection between the training experience and the application. This is a gap which experiential training can help bridge because it allows the learner to apply the theoretical concepts in the real world, which will allow them to enhance their skills in various settings.
    • Produce meaningful results:

      The main element of experiential learning is that it helps employees to transfer their previous learnings into a new context, master new skills, and excel at their current job responsibilities, as well. This will result in an immediate positive ROI for learners, which is something that will keep them motivated.
    • Increased prioritisation of 'Learning' by C Suite:

      C-level employees, also known as C-suite, is a term that is used to define the executive titles of a company; the letter "C" stands for chief. The employees who hold C-level positions are usually considered to be the most influential and powerful members of a business organisation. They are responsible for setting the company's strategy, make important decisions that can affect the business's long term goals, and ensure that the daily business operations are going well.

    C-level executives should demonstrate leadership qualities, as opposed to other positions where the skills are technical or functional in nature. They have to possess team-building abilities and proper decision-making skills that will allow them to groom their employees for success within the organization.

    C-level executives need to understand that every project has a clear hierarchy of importance, and although it seems easy in theory it can be challenging in reality. They need to create the right kind of environment and facilitate training sessions and tools to help increase productivity, information retention and elevate job satisfaction rates too.

    Let's have a look at how C-suite executives can improve learning culture in organizations.

  • Align Decision Making

  • One of the essential qualities that C-level executives need to have is firm decision-making skills. Decision making involves a sense of identity and a set of values. The right decision will help you define your organisational process, and what it values in employees. The decision-making process will be different in every company; for some, it will be based on revenue, while others will make decisions based on objectives or the overall mission of the organisation. Nowadays, C suite employees are increasingly basing their decision making on the long term impact on organizations growth potential rather than short term revenue. They are increasingly receptive to tools, effective training procedures and techniques that will help achieve and track your organization's learning goals.

  • Track Progress:

  • As C-level executives, it's vital that you track progress within your company, which can be done when prioritising knowledge work. During a training session, you can assign a task that will help the employees learn new skills or refine their existing ones, assign points to each task; this will help them complete the task, reach their goals, and learn new skills as well. Once the team completes a task, reward and incentivize them, this will ensure that the employees are motivated to attend more training sessions.

  • Facilitate Access Anytime, Anywhere

  • Most modern training methods encourage mobile learning because it has become a vital approach to training. Having access to training anywhere and at any time is really important because it allows participants can gain access to information through their smartphones, desktops, laptops, or tablets and learn at their own pace on their preferred device.

The key benefits of mobile training are as follows:

  • Increased learner engagement
  • Better completion rates
  • High information rates
  • Higher collaborative and social learning
  • Formal training with performance support

Here are some of the major advantages that come with mobile learning:

  • Usage of microlearning

  • This method makes use of learning journeys and paths that provide nugget based formal training and performance support tools that help employees while working.

  • Video-based learning improves retention

  • When it comes to training for employees, you can make use of video-learning concepts to set up an online learning course. These microlearning videos will help create a learning path that can be used to explain a context, create a learning summary, and solve various problems.

  • Encourages social learning

  • When a company provides access to training sessions anywhere and anytime, employees tend to have better completion rates, engage in social learning, and also have collaborative knowledge sessions in the company.

Corporate Training Tools

How to Choose Effective Workplace Training Tools and Methods?

Here are some points to consider before deciding on one:

What is the Purpose of the Training Program?

This is the first question that has to be asked because, as management, you need to keep the company's end goals in mind. You need to make sure that the training methods that are adopted help employees achieve their KPIs and help your organization achieve the specific goals. If the learning program does not have a concrete goal setting, it is bound to fail.

Who is the Audience?

A training session is deemed fruitful only when the learner of the training session understands the information and retains it. Here you will have to consider factors like the nature of the job, demographics, seniority levels, and if the learning will be one on one or group-wise. For eg, a blue-collar workforce may prefer more visual and video content while a white-collar workforce may be happy to read text content.

What are the Constraints?

Mostly, training is not free (there is a monetary or time cost involved). For instance in a program such as a buddy system, coaching can take up valuable time away from an experienced employee just to get a new employee up to speed. As an employer, it is preferable if training methods use minimal timeshare of experienced employees.

Techniques that include a combination of online coaching, job rotation, in-person training, assignments, and webinars can be cost-effective than using a dedicated trainer for the exercise. New employees could also lookup company resources such as existing videos, articles, and infographics to understand their roles and responsibilities in detail.

Surveys have also shown that employees prefer a blended approach when it comes to training. So, it's advised that the management try to deliver online and offline training methods with the help of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) which help them optimize and track a curated learning path for each employee.

Demographic of the Audience

In the corporate scenario, demographics mean the defining characteristics of the workforce are they generally older or younger, mostly female or mostly male, are they from a technical background or not tech-savvy, these are important considerations while selecting a training program. For instance, employees who are older may be more comfortable with the traditional forms of corporate training sessions like classroom-type training. Millennial employees will retain information better if you take up modern training courses like online learning or social learning; they will also be more interested in learning about new skills if it occurs through mobile devices that they use in their daily routines, constantly. Social learning training measures would be effective for employee groups who like community learning and share similar values. Online training is great if the employees are geographically scattered.

Nature of the Job

There are various types of employee training that suit different types of jobs, and management should look at the job style before deciding on any training session. Employees with jobs that need constant travel will definitely benefit from online training because it will be more convenient for them. If the jobs need a quick acquisition of knowledge will benefit from a Learning Management System that organizes the content to make it instantly accessible. For instance, employees that work for customer service may need quick training on handling a technical issue while they are on call with a customer. While employees may find their job simple, they will require occasional training to polish their skills and take on new knowledge as well. The best way to train an employee, especially if they have a complex technical job, is to gain active participation with interactive training sessions.

Seniority

Employees who work at senior positions tend to share similar characteristics; they will need to have excellent soft skills that include traits like leadership and emotional intelligence. They are also extremely busy, and they have unique development/learning goals. Hence, senior-level employees will need a different training style, one that will meet their learning objectives and also contribute towards the company's productivity.

Online training is a great tool that will provide convenience and access to training, and it will also enable them to select content modules that are most relevant to their skill set. Companies can also organise seminars along with leadership conferences, which will help provide excellent opportunities that will enhance social learning. Seminars are great for acquiring new knowledge, especially information related to industry trends.

Corporate Training methods

Types of Corporate Training Methods

Classroom-based Training Methods

This type of training is basically led by a qualified moderator. The training place can take place onsite or offsite, and the employees will go through training sessions that include activities, slides, and presentations; it will also include case study assessments and information on company policy issues as well.

Pros - Employees gain access to large amounts of information at one time Cons - It can be expensive due to costs incurred on hired venues, catering, travel, and so on. Employees may find this method a bit boring, as well.

Interactive Training

This is one of the most effective methods of training in a corporate setting because it includes learning from one's own experience. This training takes place as simulations, role-plays, games, quizzes, and scenarios. This helps them practice with new skills and also apply them in real work scenarios.

Social Learning

This training style was originated in the 1970s, and this style focuses on learning methods that are implemented by observing, imitating, and tweaking current employee behaviour. Social learning is not a common training method because it lacks easy and structural measures, but it can be quite effective, and employees are pushed out of their comfort zones and are forced to look at things from a new perspective while implementing problem-solving skills.

Online Training

Online training has become an essential part of increasing employee productivity. There are several online training programs that involve e-learning courses, webinars, videos, and so on.

Common Corporate Training Techniques

  • E-Learning / Learning Management Systems (LMS)

  • A Learning Management System (LMS) is an application that can regulate, track, administer, and deliver online training sessions. LMS comes with fully equipped features that deliver automated online training, and they also support hybrid training models. Companies use Learning Management System for training because it's a one-stop solution that will deliver training sessions to learners, create and assign tests, keep track of the student's progress, and offer consistent support.

    Following are the benefits of the LMS training technique -

    • Tracking the learning progress:

      Every company has two main objectives, and they are to continuously develop the employee's skills and enhance their productivity in focus areas. LMS helps achieve these objectives by tracking the employees' training progress and also measuring their performance levels.
    • Retraining and prompting:

      LMS will send the employer notifications on the last training and when it was held. This will help management understand that a new training session is required in order to ensure that the employees' knowledge base is up to date.
    • Easy accessibility:

      LMS provides the user with 24/7 access to training information; this allows employees to visit the information they want to learn whenever they want.
    • Mobility:

      LMS also enables mobile learning, and it will help employees who are always on the move to take up training sessions through portable devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
    • Boosting employee performance:

      LMS includes online training courses that meet any immediate needs, quickly and efficiently — thereby motivating employees for better performance and productivity.
  • Microlearning

  • The main objective of any type of training session is to ensure that the employees understand and retain the information provided, and also that they're able to apply it in their daily work routines. Microlearning is the delivery of content that does not span longer than 10 minutes to address specific learning objective.

    Microlearning can facilitate the following benefits:

    • Improving engagement levels:
      New age learners tend to have short attention spans and this is where microlearning comes in; bite-sized information and quick training becomes a necessity. Since microlearning has short durations, it allows learners to focus on the important parts of the content in an effective and easy manner. This usually results in high-quality performance and retaining of information.
    • Mobile friendly:
      Many companies have begun to adopt mobile applications to enhance the microlearning experience. The nuggets of information can be accessed through smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
  • Face-to-face Training

  • Sometimes physical interaction is the best way to learn new things. Developing and communication through personal interaction is one of the main reasons face-to-face learning is still a commonly used training methodology. Employees will gain in-depth information and experience from skilled trainers, and they will be able to clarify any doubts from the employees too. The personal component will allow you to ask your questions and receive immediate answers in a style that the learners are familiar with, this will also help the employees to avoid any misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

    Face-to-face trainers help employees develop knowledge and skills that are gained through e-learning platforms. They also add real-life examples, especially the ones that are gained through personal experience. The trainer also introduces new information that can be implemented by the business in a productive way. During the face-to-face training process, the trainer will gain information from the employee and employer so that they can assess the success rate of the learning solution for each employee. This learning method is a great way to make the company self-sufficient and create a result-oriented workforce.

  • Workshops

  • When it comes to training employees, a workshop training session can go a long way. As an employer, you offer the chance for professional development training programs and workshops that will help your company attract the best client and top-level employee candidates who possess a long term goal that will also boost their career and achievements.

    The company can choose the type of workshops based on the skills they want the employees to develop, and this will help the company to plan and implement goals that are based on long term objectives.

    The new skill sets that are acquired through the training workshops allow learners to upgrade to a better salary within the current company or in a new company as well. Workshops make the employees feel that the organisation cares about their career goals.

  • Webinars

  • Webinars are another popular method of training because they enable the team members to connect directly, regardless of the geographical location. Webinars are a great option for infrequent occasions, wherein you will have to give off short amounts of information in a quick and effective manner. Webinars are effective training sessions if the employees have to learn small amounts of information; they are also considered as passive information segments.

    To conduct effective webinars, the prerequisites are:

    • Fast and high capacity internet
      - Streaming an efficient webinar can take up much bandwidth, and for this, it's essential that corporates make use of high capacity broadband internet.
    • High-quality webcam
      - This will allow the audience to see the host clearly
    • Microphone
      - It's a smart decision to invest in a good microphone, you can go for an invisible headset or lavalier microphone to enhance the clarity of content delivery.
  • Case Studies

  • Case studies is one of the most effective types of training for employees as they tend to provide a story about what happened in the past within the industry. A case study can represent one situation, or it can also reflect on an industry trend that has taken place over time. Case study training sessions tend to highlight problems and describe solutions as well. They rely on the problem-solving approach, which is why they can be an excellent training apparatus.

  • On-the-Job Training

  • This is a hands-on training approach that teaches knowledge, skills, and competencies that an employee can use to perform a specific job in the workplace. This training makes use of existing tools within the workplace, machines, documents, knowledge, and equipment. This teaches the employee on how they can get their job done in an effective manner. The training sessions take place during the normal working hours, and the trainer will make use of dedicated training rooms, workstations, and equipment.

  • Simulations

  • Of the different methods of corporate training, simulations happen to be one of the most effective tools to date. They are popular for corporate training because employees are allowed to practically apply their skills in a real life context. Simulated training includes using a medley of graphics, images, and sounds that create a game-like environment for the employees. Corporate training involves business simulations, which will allow employees to gain relevant skills without facing any risks. Simulations can also enhance knowledge retention because of the entertaining experience. If the experience is enjoyable, then learners will retain the information. Simulations bring about an emotional response with the learner, which allows them to recall concepts and apply them to their jobs.

  • Gamification

  • Gamification refers to the amalgamation of gaming components in e-learning to create effective and engaging learning experiences. When this training method is used in an effective manner, then learners will learn to apply the training knowledge to their job.

    This will be helpful when employees are faced with challenging situations that are based in a controlled environment.

    Gamification learning experiences have a storyline, challenges, rewards, and defined analytics. The elements that are typically used in online training are as follows:

    • Challenges that are mapped towards learning objectives
    • Learning path levels
    • Instant feedback can help with progress
    • Point system
    • Badges can act as rewards for major achievements
    • Analytical leaderboards
    • Competitive analysis to understand where an employee stands amongst his peers
    • Collaboration between multiple teams

    Gamification is an efficient learning strategy, and it can be used to enhance the learning experience because:

    It gives rise to friendly competition Provides a sense of achievement amongst learners Achieves a behavioural change among employees Motivates the participants to go through the course while taking proper action and influencing their behaviour as well.

    The expected impact of gamification is as follows:

    • Since the learning environment is quite responsive, and it results in the motivation of employees.
    • Therefore it adds to the existing knowledge base of the company too.
    • It boosts learner engagement levels while ensuring knowledge retention.
    • The result of the gamification process is that the employee performance is improved and they are able to apply their knowledge practically while meeting company expectations. This is also an indication that the organisation's goals are being met successfully.

Why LMS is the Future of Workplace Training?

Learning is an essential component that can lead to growth and change within any organisation, and today an organization needs to stay upgraded and updated to continue operating a skilled workforce.

A good LMS system can help the company eliminate any weak points in the training process and centralise most of the workplace operations as well. If the LMS application is executed in the right way, it can massively improve productivity from all their employees.

This can help establish you as a thought leader in the industry while increasing employee motivation, engagement, and productivity.

How does an LMS transform workplace training?

Facilitates Multichannel learning

This type of training is currently on the rise, and it really helps with millennial target audiences. Millennials are used to constantly switch amongst their multiple digital devices such as their phone, tablet, work system and more devices. An LMS helps them access the content anywhere and from any place in a secure and user-friendly manner.

Provides Personalised learning experience

This is an essential benefit that comes from LMS applications because it provides operational value to the business, especially with micro reporting and deep analytics. They help organizations create personalized learning path based on data and insights.

Employee Engagement

A workforce that is constantly learning and working towards bettering themselves tends to be More confident, motivated, and satisfied. A learning management system helps keep them engaged and in always learning mode which will help nurture budding talent within the company and prevent brain drain due to monotonous work environment and lack of career progression.