Training Resolutions For The New Year
It’s the time of year when everyone is focused on making changes, but resolutions are difficult to keep.
The same is true for training and development teams. At the beginning of the New Year, we hold brainstorming sessions. Strategies and goals are set, and deliverables are assigned. Teams set out with a sense of purpose to create and deliver the best training throughout the year. But then... the daily grind sets in. Goals shift. Projects slide. New training content doesn’t get created as quickly as we’d like, and existing content risks becoming stale.
But 2016 can be different; sometimes even small routine changes can set bigger successes into motion.
Looking for ideas? Here are 5 resolutions that our team at Versal came up with to make 2016 the best training year ever.
- Make training interactive.
Static content doesn’t hold people’s attention, or result in high levels of retention. Luckily, long gone are the days of needing to rely on a flat PowerPoint presentation or slideshow to deliver training. To engage today’s learners, provide opportunities for them to interact with training content. New training platforms such as Versal empower anyone to create and deliver interactive educational content rich with simulations, assessments, diagrams, flash cards, timelines, and more – without requiring any coding or IT support.
- Resolution: Bring interactivity into your online training program to ensure a high level of engagement and retention.
- Blend online and in-person training.
Blended learning leverages online and in-person courses to meet learning objectives. In a blended learning environment, online courses are often available as pre-work or as follow-up after attending an in-person workshop. Online self-directed courses help learners prepare for face-to-face discussions, and provide a way to review key points afterwards, at their own pace. When learners take an active role before, during, and after training, their level of engagement reaches a deeper level. This year find ways to utilize the benefits of both online and in-person courses to deliver the best learning experience.
- Resolution: Leverage online training to supplement and expand in-person training experiences. It’s the best of both worlds.
- Establish relationships with internal Subject Matter Experts.
There’s a treasure trove of knowledge spread throughout your organization. What if you could tap that to relieve the burden of being solely responsible for creating training content? Partnering with internal experts is much easier if you already have an existing working relationship. Put time on your monthly calendar to invite at least one internal expert to join you for a lunch or coffee break. By December you’ll have 12 (or more!) new connections that will help you create and deliver quality training content. Also, many training platforms allow for collaborative course creation. Don’t be shy about giving internal experts direct access and asking them to “own” content. As long as you have a good internal review cycle, this will relieve a lot of the burden of content development.
- Resolution: Distribute responsibility for training content by establishing collaborative partnerships with internal experts.
- Develop with the future in mind.
Although these resolutions are for the coming year, challenge yourself to think beyond the next 365 days. How will the training you create today scale to meet business needs two years from now? How will training be delivered when your learner audience grows by 25 or 50 percent? By embracing a future-focused approach, you’ll be prepared to deliver on the learning strategy you’ve worked so hard to create.
- Resolution: Don’t let the day-to-day mundanities keep you from looking forward.
- Plan for updates in advance (even if they’re unknown).
Whether it’s a stock image from 2006, a reference to a policy that’s been modified or mention of an obsolete product, outdated content undermines your training and causes confusion. It’s not always easy to predict what changes will need to be made, but we know they’re coming. Keep training materials in a format that is easy to update, with no coding or IT support needed if possible. This way you or your internal experts can make updates on the fly. Set aside time to frequently evaluate the tools and services you’re using to create training: Are they easy to use? Can you clone content, and implement changes quickly? Is there an option to have multiple authors? Make sure your training platform ensures your content is timely, relevant, and accurate.
- Resolution: Accept that content fire drills are inevitable, and give yourself every advantage to handle them with ease.
Any or all of these 5 simple resolutions are sure to help start your training programs off on the right foot in 2016, and remain successful throughout the year.