Is your training program effective? If not, it may be costing you – upwards of $13,500 per employee! Learn how to make yours more effective.
How to create an effective training program
Why is it important to have an effective training program? This may seem like a silly question, but it’s a good one to answer because it reveals the importance of effective training programs.
Ineffective training programs result in wasted time, money, and effort for both administrators and learners. In fact, it’s estimated that ineffective training costs companies $13.5 million per 1000 employees annually or $13,500 per employee!
Conversely, an effective training program generates money for a business by delivering programs that increase learner engagement, knowledge retention, and business ROI. And they save admin labor by making things efficient. Here’s how you can create an effective training program.
Identify goals and learning objectives
When creating a training program, goals are a must. This may seem a little basic, but it’s surprising how many people begin creating training programs without considering the goals they want to achieve first.
Having goals will guide you through your training and help you evaluate your progress along the way. It also creates a time frame to see what is reasonable and should be prioritized or completed before moving on to the next goal.
By determining goals first, you not only increase training effectiveness but also make it incredibly easy to build your entire training program. When you start by determining your goals beforehand, you, in essence, create a framework from which to build materials. And you have a roadmap you can use to resituate yourself later if you begin to drift.
It will keep your training program lean but strong, so learners get only the necessary information they need and you don’t lose their interest. Creating training programs can be overwhelming and adding a lot of materials can be tempting but clear goals will help you determine if something is worth it or unnecessary.
When it comes to goal-setting, you don’t want to pick just any goals. For maximum impact, you’ll want to have a mix of both short- and long-term goals. That usually looks like daily, weekly, and overall program training objectives. And ideally, these goals would build on one another in a layered approach.
For instance, day two’s goals would build on day one’s goals. And week two’s goals would build on week one, and so on. Layered learning, where training is delivered in increasing complexity, building off the previous step, boosts training impact – and it all starts with goal setting first.
Identifying the goals and learning objectives of your training program has a twofold impact. It makes creating training programs efficient for administrators and effective for learners. By determining these things first, you’ll create an organized program that maximizes training impact and be able to clearly communicate takeaways to your learners.
Design engaging materials and courses
At the heart of an effective training program are effective courses and training materials. There really are no two ways about it. You can have the greatest goals and objectives, but if your materials are dull, boring, or for the wrong audience, they’ll fall on deaf ears and be ineffectual.
But, of course, that’s easier said than done. Creating courses that resonate with your audience and engage them is difficult. This guide to creating impactful courses can help you build the foundation of solid courses, but to maximize effectiveness, you’ll also need to think of ways to enhance audience engagement.
Gamification is one easy and excellent way to increase audience engagement, getting them from a passive learning state into an active one. Active learning actively engages users in learning either mentally or physically and has been proven to increase knowledge retention and training effectiveness.
Interactive games like quizzes, image hot spots, leaderboards, and awards, engage learners significantly more than traditional methods. Other interactive methods such as social learning and blended learning also increase learner engagement and memory retention by making training more collaborative and interactive with peers and instructors.
To make training materials even more effective, consider incorporating real-life examples, case studies, and practical exercises to make the content relevant and applicable to a specific learner or group of learners. The more relevant content is to a learner, the more they’ll understand it, and the more likely it is to have an impact on them.
And aim to make your courses and materials visually interesting. Use multimedia elements such as images, infographics, videos, and animations and rotate them often throughout the training course. This will keep things interesting for your learners, help hold their attention, and incite them to get more out of materials.
All of these methods – making content engaging, interactive, visually engaging, and applicable to specific learners – can have a big impact on how effective your courses are. And by dialing each one up, you might be surprised to find your training programs follows suit.
Organize and reassess your course structure
Picture this: it’s your first day as a sales rep, and you’re told to start making calls straight away. No introductions, no one-pagers to walk through, no touch base with your manager – just left to figure things out.
Just as this onboarding scenario is disorienting for the sales rep, ongoing training can be just as stressful and unproductive for current employees. Training must be organized sequentially for it to make sense and apply to employees.
Going back to the sales example, here’s a more sensible way of organizing this rep’s first day:
Introduce them to your company
Teach them about your target customers
Onboard them on your platforms and phone systems
Practice making cold calls via role-plays
Start dialing and selling
Likewise, you should structure your courses and training materials in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and builds in complexity on the previous day or training session. This will prevent learners from becoming overwhelmed or lost.
One of the best ways you can test your course structure effectiveness is by actually taking your own courses. This will reveal weaknesses and strengths and help you adjust accordingly. If you’re using an LMS, things like course mapping and learning path tools make this easy and more accurate.
The big thing is to remember to run through your course structure as you’re building it and after you complete a course. This will help put you in the shoes of your learners. And if you take your courses while building it, evaluating structure and organization as you go along, you’ll save a lot of time and energy because you won’t have to redo a course at the end.
Reevaluating your course structure is a simple yet great way to increase the effectiveness of your training program. It often gets overlooked, but a few tweaks can really make a difference to your learners.
Evaluate training programs regularly
Employees should have a way to give feedback on the training they’re receiving – otherwise, how can you know that it’s working? Course evaluation and learner feedback are vital to determining the effectiveness of your training program.
It helps you create a baseline of effectiveness and is the golden key to knowing exactly what your learners are thinking and how you can improve. Essentially, you get the unfiltered, inside scoop on how effective your training program truly is. And if you don’t know that, then you’re just shooting in the dark.
There are a variety of ways you can evaluate your training program. You can conduct surveys after training, host brainstorming sessions, create ratings and feedback options on your courses, and analyze data results if you use software for your training program.
However, the most important thing is that you’re consistent with your feedback and evaluations. Evaluating every training session after it’s done keeps your overall program relevant and fresh, and, most importantly, effective.
A learning management system helps you make effective training programs without the hassle
A learning management system streamlines and centralizes learning programs, making them manageable, trackable, and more effective. By leveraging an LMS for online learning, organizations can reduce admin burden and associated costs and create a learning experience that’s fun and engaging, increasing learner engagement and knowledge retention.
With Tovuti’s LMS, administrators can host live events, foster engaging social learning experiences with virtual classrooms, distribute multimedia learning materials, provide learner feedback, use granular data insights to improve their program effectiveness, and more – all from one platform.
And with the most robust gamified and interactive tools on the market, including over 40 plug-and-play gamified features, learners are sure to remember training and have fun doing it!