Training Contract Basics And 5 Benefits For Corporate Learners
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The Basics Of Training Contracts And 5 Benefits For Corporate Learners

Learning contracts are frequently used in colleges and high schools, but they can also be an invaluable tool in corporate eLearning programs, as training contracts. In essence, a training contract is an agreement between an employer, such as a manager or supervisor, and an employee. It outlines all of the key skills or knowledge employees must acquire, how they will acquire it, and how the outcome will be assessed. In addition to making the online training process more effective for the corporate learner, it can also significantly increase on-the-job productivity and improve online training ROI. Here are the basics and 5 benefits of using a training contract in your corporate eLearning strategy.

How To Format A Training Contract

There is no exact science for creating effective training contracts, as each contract varies based on the needs of the employee and the organization's training goals. However, there is a basic format that you can follow and modify as you see fit:

  1. Name of the online training course and its prerequisites
  2. The task, skill, of information that must be learned
  3. Online training activities, modules, and strategies that are necessary to fill the gap
  4. Resources and tools that can be used to master the skill or task
  5. Evaluation methods that will be applied to determine progress and proficiency
  6. How the evaluation methods will be assessed, criteria, and who will assess them
  7. Important deadlines or milestones for all activities and assessments
  8. Signatures of both the employee and the employer, or manager

Before you create the training contract, it's important to discuss the basic parameters with the employee, such as who will be in charge of developing the rough draft and which goals should be included. If they will be writing the first draft, make them aware of any guidelines that they should follow, and make suggestions that will help them to identify the right online training activities, assessments, and evaluation methods for the task. Give them a deadline by which they must deliver the rough draft, and then arrange to meet them in order to discuss the details. Address any questions or concerns they might have and add your own input before finalizing the training contract.

5 Training Contract Benefits For Corporate Learners

  1. Puts employees in control of their online training path.
    Training contracts gives employees control over what skills or knowledge they acquire, the online training activities they use, and how they are evaluated. Though the manager or supervisor gives the final sign-off, it's the employee's responsibility to draft the initial contract and offer their input before it is finalized. Therefore, it's a powerful tool for corporate learners who may lack mental focus or time management skills, as it encourages them to take charge of their personal training path and pursue success on their own terms.
  2. Increases corporate learners' motivation.
    Employees are given the chance to create a detailed training outline that works best for them and targets their specific goals. Thus, they are more motivated to learn and engage in the online training process. Instead of being forced to participate in online training activities, online assessments, or online training modules that do not interest them, or may not align with their objectives, training contracts make online training personal and relatable. It also includes clear and succinct steps that they must take in order to achieve their goals. Therefore, they can track their progress as they go along and give themselves a pat on the back when they reach important milestones.
  3. Improves knowledge retention.
    Corporate learners get to pick and choose how they want to train and what their personalized online training path entails. This results in increased knowledge retention, due to the fact that they are voluntary participants in the process. Unlike mandatory or compliance online training courses, training contracts are geared toward the individual's needs, preferences, and interests. As a result, it creates a more enjoyable corporate eLearning environment that is linked to favorable emotions. Positive emotions, such as excitement and happiness help your corporate learners to remember and recall the information more effectively.
  4. Focuses on personal performance gaps.
    Every corporate learner has specific strengths and weaknesses. While one might excel in sales negotiations, another might struggle with that aspect of their job. A training contract targets performance gaps and gives employees all of the resources and tools they need to fill the gap in a timely manner. They don’t need to waste a moment of time on learning new skills or information that will not help them on-the-job. That allows them to focus all of their time, efforts, and motivation on their personal areas of improvement.
  5. Allows for ongoing feedback.
    Training contracts are ideal for ongoing online training programs, thanks to the fact that they give employees the opportunity to measure their goals and keep track of their progress. In some cases, it may even involve continuous feedback from the trainer or manager, such as weekly evaluation meetings or a monthly progress report. Just make sure that the employee is aware of how the feedback sessions will be conducted and how frequently, so that there aren't any surprises down the line. Corporate learners can also self-assess their progress in order to make the necessary adjustments and determine if additional resources or guidance are required.

Keep in mind that training contracts are a mutual agreement between yourself and your employee. This means that they should play an active role in creating the training contract, and be able share their thoughts and opinions before they sign on the dotted line. Otherwise, they simply won't be motivated to follow through on their end of the bargain.

Training contracts are beneficial for every member of your staff, from new hires to experienced team members. Read the article Online Training Needs Analysis For Each Of The 5 Stages Of Employment to discover how to address specific online training needs for all the stages of employment.

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