The Training Matchmaker: Developing an Effective Training Plan & Future Training Programs.

One thing I love about my job is helping my clients reach their training goals by creating effective career development plans & training programs. While the initial phone call can take 15-30 minutes and cover important subjects like topics of interest, budget, audience and challenges, we start with the basics.

When developing your  upcoming training program, take the time to define what you want your learners to know or do when they have completed the training. This will help you choose the most effective type of training for your learners and for the organization as a whole. You don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself or your budget, and you want to make sure that the training is effective, well-received and includes plenty of follow-up activity.

This post will help get you started on choosing the right type of training for you and your staff by providing basic information on the most popular forms of staff training:

  • One-on-one Training Program
  • Group Training Program
  • Online Courses
  • Webinars

If you have additional questions about your training plan, just contact us. Reference this email, and we’ll be happy to provide a free consultation.

One-on-one Training Program 

One-on-one training allows you to get to know your staff better, one at a time. One-on-one provides a smaller, intimate setting for discussing your employees’ goals and providing constructive feedback. These sessions can also be used if you have had existing issues with your staff or want to dig deeper than you could  in a group. This is also great for managers who may have trouble reaching out to all of their staff at once because of location or scheduling conflicts. One-on-one sessions are easy to schedule, since they only depend on two people’s availability. You and your employee can even spread out the sessions among already existing one-on-one weekly meetings. Training and Development may help you get this process started, but managers may handle this type of training on their own.

Benefits:

  • Personal
  • Customizable
  • Tackle difficult issues
  • Get to know your staff better
  • Great for manager/staff relationship
  • Reach staff that may not speak up in a group setting
  • Easy to schedule

Downsides:

  • Lack of energy commonly found in a group training
  • Will require work and time from the manager
  • Hard to stick with them – make sure you don’t skip meetings!

Often Used for:

  • Coaching sessions
  • Setting employee goals
  • Building individual skills

Group Training Program

A group training program is a very useful tool, and can turn out to be a lot of fun. It’s a great way for staff to network and share tips and tricks with one another. You may even end up with a large group, as employees will recommend their friends to attend. A lot of our training materials include activities, group discussions and projects which can help the audience get the most out of their training. Larger companies often have internal trainers that can present the material. Often, even companies with internal trainers like to bring in external facilitators because they can bring a fresh voice and perspective. Either way, group training can be a very effective way to build employee skills.

Benefits:

  • Many customizable, off-the-shelf resources available
  • Reach a larger audience at one time
  • Can be conducted by internal or external facilitator
  • Can build employee relations
  • Interactive!

Downsides:

  • Cannot get TOO detailed
  • Requires more planning and scheduling than a one-on-one
  • Some participants may not be open in a group

Often used for:

  • Introducing new company products and initiatives
  • Team-building, interpersonal skills
  • Sales and customer service training programs

Online Courses

Online courses are another great way to train your staff. Once you’ve determined  what skills or knowledge your employees need, ask whether the courses will let you track your employees  progress. Even if you don’t have a learning management system, many online courses offer administrator access to your participants’ course information.

Many companies and employees like the convenience of online courses. They’re great for small companies with one or two employees as well as organizations with offices nation-wide. Employees will still be able to undergo the same training as their peers, but location and scheduling conflicts won’t be an issue.

For professionals with continuing education requirements, many online courses offer continuing education units (CEUs) and credits specific to professions, e.g. Project Management and Human Resources. Employees can develop their skills and earn credit at the same time.

Benefits:

  • Flexible timing, round-the-click access
  • Less expensive than traditional training programs
  • Less work; more convenience!
  • Great for companies of any size and location
  • Earn continuing education credit

Downsides:

  • No employee interaction
  • May require follow-up to ensure course completion

Often used for:

  • New hire orientation
  • Mandatory regulation training
  • Building individual knowledge

Webinars

Webinars are a great way to reach a large audience across several locations without losing the personal touch of an instructor-led training program. One of our clients just had a fantastic turn-out to a webinar that she put on in February; over 200 people from all across the country attended. She assigned one of our online profiles to the attendees as pre-work and then guided employees through their results online. It was a lot of work, but employees had very good things to say about the work she had done.

Benefits:

  • Reach a lot of people, regardless of location
  • Customizable
  • Convenient – Can enjoy a personalized training from their desk
  • Great for companies of any size and location

Downsides:

  • Online training takes a lot of up front planning
  • It’s hard work to create and organize this event
  • May be difficult to manage pre-work completion
  • Less employee interaction than an in-person training

Often used for:

  • Reaching a wide-spread audience
  • New product introductions
  • Orientation sessions

Your training program can be extremely successful, as long as you organize your goals and audience. Training plans can be very effective, as long as you follow that key word… PLAN!

Planning your training programs can be hard work but it’s essential to make sure you don’t waste you or your employees’ time. Whether you’re providing one training event, a series of training programs or continuous opportunities for growth through online, self-paced courses, think of your audience. What’s the best way to get through to them?

We understand that selecting your course delivery method is just the beginning. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have and provide a free consultation. Email me at jburns@corexcel.com or call us at 1-888-658-6641 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 5:30pm Eastern Time). Please mention this blog post so we know where you came from!

**Have a success story you want to share? Want to weigh in on your favorite type of training to offer?  Comments are welcomed!