Training Tools, Tips & Resources

Training resources blog by Corexcel. Your connection to everything related to training.

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!

How to Research, What to Look For and When to Ask for Help!

Whether you’re looking for college credits, contact hours, a certificate program or another type of continuing education, you may be able to find the courses you are looking for online. However, there are risks involved if you don’t do the right amount of research.

Learn KeyboardIt’s amazing that the Internet allows us to connect with people, information and news from around the world. With all of this information readily available, it makes sense that e-Learning has become increasingly popular. Let’s face it: online courses are very convenient. You can go to school on your own time in the convenience of your home. Online courses can certainly save you money compared to community college and university courses. And, they are always there. Many of our students come to us stressed out that their prerequisite courses at school filled up before they could register. Most online courses are open enrollment, meaning that you can enroll when it is convenient for you.

With all of the benefits of e-Learning, does come some risks. While the information online is plentiful, no one monitors the web to confirm every piece of information is accurate. It’s up to you to sift through the websites in order to find what you need.

With my help, you’ll learn what questions to ask and what information to look for during your search for online courses, ensuring that your e-Learning experience is a good one! I’ve even included a Cheat Sheet to help you ask the right questions.

Ask for help

If you’re looking for a course to fulfill a requirement for a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree, certificate program or certification, the best place to start is with your school or organization. Ask your advisor or contact the registrar office for recommendations. They may have a list of approved online courses that they can recommend to you.

If your school or organization does not have a course they can recommend to you, that’s okay. Don’t get overwhelmed. You’ll just need to do some research on your end. Ask your school what their requirements are for the course, and you can move on to the next step.

Conduct a Search

If you’re looking for an online course that can help you make a career change then talk to people you know in the field or search the web for associations that represent professionals in your field. Often they can recommend the courses that will help you reach your goal. Although you may not have specific requirements to fill, you should still follow the steps below to ensure you are receiving the best training for your money.

Start with the Internet and use a search engine like Google. Try different key words in your search, as well. For example, if you are looking for an online course, you can search for the topic and include terms such as online course, online class, or self-study. The results may show different courses, which can help you find more options, faster. Once you’ve got a few options in mind, make note of the following items.

Company Info

Review the company’s website to find out more about them as a company. Don’t forget to check the company’s FAQ’s page. You may find that a lot of your questions can be answered there.

Conduct a search at the Better Business Bureau to find out if they are a member, and if so, what kind of rating they have. You can also see if anyone has issued a complaint against the company and if there are any outstanding issues.

Certificate vs. Certification

We at Corexcel are asked about certifications and certificates quite often. One thing to be aware of is that there is a difference between receiving a certificate and being certified. Most online courses will offer you a certificate of completion once you have successfully completed a course or a series or courses. A certification is usually granted by a professional association and often requires work in the profession for a minimum number of hours plus an exam. You must be wary because some organizations will claim that they have a certification available, but the certification isn’t recognized anywhere. Do your research and ask other professionals you know for their guidance.

Course Length

You can tell a lot about the course by its length (or lack thereof). Ask the school or company how long you can access the course for and how long it typically takes students to complete. Typically, it is a warning sign if it takes you an extended amount of time to complete a certificate program or a very short amount of time to receive a large number of credits.

Cost

Another thing you may notice is if the course length and cost don’t match up, or comparableMan on Computer courses in length and quality are priced very differently. Ask them for a course outline, objectives or required assignments, if any. Then, find other courses similar in price and topic and see how they match up to each other.

Customer Support

Although the course is online, don’t restrict your research to visiting the web. After viewing the website, make a call to their Customer Service Department. Use the cheat sheet to make sure you have asked the appropriate questions. See if the customer service staff are friendly, knowledgeable and can help you. You can tell a lot about a company by their level of customer service.

Accreditation

We get a lot of questions about accreditation, so hopefully I can shed some light on this issue. To become accredited, the company’s courses must be reviewed by the appropriate accrediting body to make sure that it is upholding the standards set forth by that agency. For example, Corexcel is accredited by the International Association of Continuing Education & Training (IACET). This means that IACET has reviewed our educational standards and course development policies and procedures, and has made us an Authorized Provider of Continuing Education Units (CEU’s). This means that we can offer CEU’s for our courses.

If an organization is fully accredited, they should make that information very clear and easy to find on their website. There are many accrediting agencies out there for various types of credit. If you’d like to dig further, visit the accreditation agencies’ websites to find out more on their standards.

The important thing here is to find out if the courses are accredited, by whom and what you receive (certificate, college credits, etc.) upon completing the course.

Double-check with your School or Organization

Although you may think you found a course that matches all of your requirements, we always recommend that you check with your school or organization to ensure they will accept the course prior to registering. Other companies and schools should do the same. While the courses may be fully accredited and offer college credits or CEU’s, it is still up to your school to make the final decision if they will accept the course and for what particular requirement.

Ask for help… again!

If you find yourself confused or overwhelmed (or just need some reassurance), contact your school or organization. You can even ask a friend or fellow student who has recently fulfilled the requirement for their recommendation.

As promised, use this cheat sheet as a guide when speaking with your current school or organization and the potential organization you may be working with. Don’t feel bad or embarrassed about asking questions.

If you have any questions about this topic or any of our online courses, please contact us via email at learn@corexcel.com or 1-888-658-6641 (Mon – Fri 9am – 5:30pm Eastern Time).

 Register for our NEW Project Management Simulation Course Today!

HealthMax Software Project Management Simulation lets you test your project management skills and see the impact of your decisions on the project’s success. You’ll assume the role of Project Manager at HealthMax Software: a small software company launching a brand new medical records product. To launch your product you’ll:

  • Meet and work with your project team
  • Face a series of challenging situations
  • Make decisions and get video commentary from experienced project managers
  • See the impact of each decision on the Adaptive Scoreboard
  • Discover how each decision impacts each key area and the overall project.

HealthMax Simulation is an online, self-paced simulation course that le you develop your project management skills in a risk-free environment. The choices you make and the feedback you receive are based on the nine knowledge areas of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide®).

You’ll sharpen your skills in:

  • Leading a project team.
  • Balancing competing interests, such as project scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources, risk, communications, and procurement considerations.
  • Dealing with controversial decisions and the potential for negative team or customer outcomes.
  • Analyzing schedule, budget, and quality data and using that information to make educated decisions.
  • Addressing issues related to project procurement.
  • Facing challenges related to project planning, project execution, and project monitoring and control.

Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion for 10 PDU’s and 1 CEU. This course is a part of the Project Management courses available for PDUs, and can be taken individually or as part of the suite for a discounted price.

For a limited time, receive 20% off your order of any of our Online Business Skill Courses now through March 18th. Visit our promotions page for more information.

Try our PMP Exam Prep Demo!

If you have any questions about this or any other course, please contact us via email at learn@corexcel.com or 1-888-658-6641 (Mon-Fri, 9am – 5:30pm Eastern Time).