3 Ways To Fit Training Into Tight Schedules

3 Ways To Fit Training Into Tight Schedules
Summary: If your workforce faces high demands but has low availability for their training program, there are 3 things you can do to help them fit their training into tight schedules.

How To Fit Training Into Tight Schedules

The struggle to offer training support without interrupting operations is felt across all industries. Professionals in nearly all occupations could claim that performance demands are high but their availability for training is low. To address this conflict, learning professionals have modified their designs over the years, first migrating from traditional Instructor-Led Training to web-based training so learners can complete training asynchronously but the seat times were still too long. Most learners, especially those in customer-facing roles, simply don’t have one or two hours to complete a full course.

Unfortunately, those expensive-to-build instructionally-sound eLearning courses either continued to interrupt operations or they simply became shelfware, left untouched by the professionals who could benefit from that information most. More recently, the microlearning wave has taken over the training industry, allowing learners to complete bits and pieces of learning as they find the time.

Some organizations are developing vast libraries of content that their employees can access at will. My concern is that without the proper structure, learners may not be able to piece those interesting facts and figures together in a way that impacts their performance. The learning assets might be “nice to know” but may not be designed in a way that triggers performance improvement. So, what can you do?

1. Build Competency-Based Microlearning Assets

First, conduct performance analysis to identify the specific skills, knowledge, and abilities your professionals need to develop to move your organization forward. Flesh those out into competencies and build microlearning assets, such as 5-6-minute eLearning modules, simulations, job aids, coaching sessions, podcasts, action plans, or videos for each competency. If the competency requires robust instruction and practice, develop a series of microlearning assets that build on each other. Vary the formats you use to offer differentiated instruction for learners who need or prefer certain delivery methods to master the concepts.

2. Create Learner Profiles In Your LMS

Does your LMS allow users to complete profiles that identify their roles, responsibilities, geographic locations, language preferences, and so on? If so, take advantage of this feature and use it to automatically push competency-based microlearning assets to the specific professionals who need to complete them. At the very least, LMS learner profiles should include the employees' or the volunteers':

  • Name and ID
  • Title/Role
  • Geographic location
  • Competencies that need to be developed to boost performance

To learn how the Arizona Humane Society created learner profiles in their LMS, read 3 Reasons To Build LMS Learner Profiles.

3. Analyze Learning Data To Drive Learner Engagement

Once training assets have been launched, mine your learning data to identify trends and gaps that will help you make decisions to drive learner engagement. Data is available via your LMS, Google Analytics, and (if applicable) Vimeo. You might find that certain types of learning assets are resonating well with your learning audience, while others could be cut from future development projects. To learn how Choice Hotels International uses a business analyst to mine their learning data (leading to their recent Bronze Brandon Hall award), read 3 Major Benefits Of Using Learning Data.

The User Experience Of These 3 Changes

If you apply the 3 tips above, your learners will be able to log into the LMS, find a list of hand-picked training assets specifically designed to boost their performance, and complete those assets in the brief increments of time they have available.

For instance, consider a receptionist who has only 15 minutes each morning before clients enter the office. If she dedicated those 15 minutes to training most days, she could complete at least an hour of training per week and over 50 hours of training per year. Imagine how much her performance could improve if those learning assets were designed to build the specific competencies she needed and that the type of assets being delivered was continually improved to drive her engagement with training.

In short, if we want to help learners maximize their limited time for training, we need to change the way we design, launch, and evaluate it. By building competency-based microlearning assets, creating learner profiles in the LMS, and mining learning data to drive engagement, the struggle between operations and training may simply become a thing of the past.