In order to maximize training ROI, companies must be able to perform blended learning best practices, which are closely linked to training processes.

 

In every step of the training process, organizations are tasked to adhere to several guidelines and best practices to ensure training success. But where must one begin? Here are five training best practices aligned with the major steps in any training deployment process that companies must keep in mind to ensure optimal results and ROI.

Identify your training objectives. Determining training objectives is a vital process that requires human resource managers to take a good look at the current skill levels of a company’s workforce and objectively assess them. In doing so, they are able to compare this with industry benchmarks and find out how to meet the skill gap (often by training). If the company opts to go with a blended learning approach to training, it’s always best to be able to have a defined set of training objectives as a guide throughout the training process. According to the Association for Talent Development, identifying the main cause of performance issues and addressing them, helps clarify what kind of role each job function plays in maximizing the company’s human resources. By doing so, companies are able to better analyze the problem and decide whether blended learning is the right solution.

Conduct training needs analysis. Simply put, training needs analysis is the process of determining gap between employee training and its corresponding training needs. The success or failure of an entire training program often depends on how well this process is executed on an organizational scale. Training needs analysis helps learning functions—often led by training managers and HR executives—to establish what the particular skill gaps are and how to address such needs. From the learning content down to the method of deployment, a training needs analysis will outline the path towards training success.

Determine the right combination of blended learning solutions. As with training needs analysis, it’s best to take a closer look at how learning occurs among one’s employees. Most if not all of modern day training occurs online and via a mobile application. The reason behind this is the need for training that’s delivered right to the learner. Gone are the days that learners are limited to classrooms, where learning isn’t all that optimal. Blended learning also recognizes that not all learners are the same. Personalized and customized learning solutions are now at the forefront of corporate training, where training providers are keen on deciphering what works on individual learners versus an entire group. Through these methods, training providers are able to better address each learner’s needs, regardless of skill level.

Establish performance metrics and evaluation methods. According to Growth Engineering, as much as 84% of training managers neglect to evaluate training, and here are some main reasons why. First is the fact that the third and fourth stages of the Kirkpatrick model of learning evaluation are challenging to measure. The third stage requires a measurement of a learner’s changed behavior, while the fourth goes beyond behavior and into checking for effects in profit, quality of work, productivity, etc. Other reasons for the neglect include the priorities of the company’s leaders, who would prefer that training managers would spend more time in actual training than evaluation. Another reason is that training managers may at times launch training without evaluation in their objectives from the get go. Once again going back to training needs analysis, it’s important to have training evaluation in the overall plan. Lastly, some LMS are merely not equipped to handle evaluation and the delivery of such data. Instead, companies must take a closer look at the benefits of various LMS to their training.

Perform constant evaluation and training adjustment. To ensure that training programs are deployed efficiently and effectively, it’s important that training functions assess learner’s performance throughout the training period. This can be supported by periodic surveys at the end of each training module, or correspondences with learners themselves. This way, training managers and learning consultants are able to monitor of learners are still falling well within the challenge zone of their training. If training becomes too easy, difficulty meters must be adjusted to further challenge the learner. Adversely, challenge meters must be adjusted if a learner is having difficulty with a particular module, as it may discourage him from pursuing his training. Training evaluation is not a one time deal and must be performed throughout a training period to ensure that the program continues to be effective.

 

Ensuring better training outcomes lies heavily on planned preparation for proper deployment. In every step of the training process, it’s also important to keep an evaluative mindset to make sure that ROI is consistently achieved.

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