Having an award-winning learning program is a strong proof that your employees and organization are reaping great benefits from your L&D efforts. Find out how you can ensure that your L&D program is worthy of an award:
Aside from administering training programs for employees, L&D and HR leaders can also maximize these programs especially if employees and the organization are reaping great results and benefits from it.
But how can you ensure that your training program is worthy of awards? How can you prepare and make this happen?
A core thing that can guide you is to make sure that your employees are able to apply their knowledge and skills gained from L&D programs to their everyday work and beyond the confines of your offices.
So here are some questions you should ask yourself to determine whether or not your training program is worthy of an award:
1. Do we have specific business needs and goals?
One great tip — think from the outside in.
Before knowing what outside in is, you should know what inside out is. This thinking means that you’re focusing on the “inside” issues of your department or the skill set of your employees instead of prioritizing issues affecting your organization and business as a whole.
On the other hand, outside in thinking enables you to consider the needs of the business on the “outside” and then proceed to determining how this can be achieved from the inside.
For example, think of this statement — Our employees need to achieve certain skills and knowledge to deliver the business plan, corporate values, etc.
This way, your organization should be put first then you can slowly work towards explaining how it will all be delivered by the members of your organization. In fact, it’s easier to sell this strategy than just starting from a smaller and specific picture.
The key here is to always look at the big picture.
After this, setting more specific goals is important. Here, you should always remember SMART goals:
- Specific (well-defined and clear)
- Measurable (with specific criteria and limitations)
- Attainable (not impossible to achieve)
- Relevant (realistic and stays true to your the big picture)
- Time-bound (with a clearly defined timeline)
Some goals you can set are increased sales within a period of time, boost in employee engagement, lower turnover rate, more closed deals, etc.
2. Have we targeted measurable KPIs?
A great factor in the success of your training program is to set key performance indicators (KPIs) and other eLearning metrics. These will serve as your guide to determine whether or not you’re achieving great results.
This is why it’s better to set business and learning goals first and tie the KPIs you’re about to target with these objectives. Also, setting KPIs for workplace learning means looking at the goals and progress of individual learners.
Remember — the success of your organization depends on every individual or member’s collective successes. One step to do this is to leverage your program’s learning analytics which can help you personalize your training program based on your learners’ needs and goals.
To measure the success of your L&D program, consider these KPIs:
- Overall utilization rates – how often and well your eLearning portal is used
- Course completion rates – what courses and modules are often being finished
- Pass/fail rates – how many of your learners pass in a specific training course or module
- Assessment and exam scores – how great your learners do in quizzes and exams
- Learner satisfaction rate – how satisfied your learners are with the training program and their instructors
In the future, these are also important details to include in your awards entry to clearly present how you measure the performance of your learners and the overall success of your L&D program.
3. How do we deliver training courses and content?
Always think of innovation and uniqueness.
While your training program has clear goals and metrics to be measured, you should also think about how you’ll deliver, present, and execute a workplace learning program that’s not generic.
You can do this by customizing training courses and tools based on the specific needs and goals of your learners while also considering the current and emerging demands of your organization and industry.
This is why it’s also important to have a learner-centered approach to corporate training. Here, experiences, own knowledge, and unique ideas of the learners are put into consideration in the learning and teaching process.
For example, when your employee is learning a new language, the difficulties she/he encountered before should be used as a guide on how learning (and teaching) should be approached. Also, in this framework, learners are seen as active agents in creating a conducive learning environment wherein their ideas and points of views are considered in the learning process.
Compared with the traditional learning approach that views the instructor as the only active driver of knowledge, a learner-centered approach puts the learners herself/himself in the equation.
Another thing — design learning experiences, not training courses.
This means that more than providing your learners with business and industry-specific learning content, it’s still important to determine how your learners will use and interact with these content and learning tools. Make sure that learning (through the use of different eLearning tools) will be an enjoyable yet insightful experience for your employees.
4. How do we communicate with our learners and stakeholders?
One essential element in an award-winning L&D program is the smooth communication plan incorporated in it. Having a great communication strategy can also help you boost learner engagement.
It’s very crucial for training programs to be communicated properly for your learners to stay updated and engaged in every step of the learning process. This way, they can also see their options on how they can learn and train and better explore the different training and courses they can take depending on their current need.
In doing this, here are some communication channels you can maximize:
- Email communication
- Blog articles
- Social media
- Competitions and rewards
More than the communication channels you can use to launch your training program and constantly update your learners, it’s also important to always set expectations and make your employees understand the goals and specifics of the program.
By doing this, all stakeholders are aligned with the business needs and objectives your organization is trying to achieve, and better apply the outside in approach.
5. Do we have enough feedback to support ROI?
Getting the feedback of your learners is a very important factor in creating a strong L&D program that can give you awards in the future.
Knowing where your L&D program succeeds (and fails) can help you in making adjustments and knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the workplace learning initiative. You can then use the feedback from your learners to improve how you design your training, the delivery, and how it’s communicated.
More importantly, you can see whether or not your company is getting benefits for it based on your goals, KPIs, and other metrics.
More so, making sure that your training program is fit to the needs of your learners and aligned with the business objectives of your organization also helps you justify your training and later on, join in awards programs that can boost the morale of all the stakeholders in your company.
6. How can we turn this into a business case study?
If your time permits, you can prepare and create a business case study for your training program together with your training solutions provider to somehow have a preliminary look on what your awards entry will look like.
Here, you can also see whether or not the training program has helped your organization achieve ROI and make an impact among your learners.
The usual format for business case studies is:
This way, you’ll be able to see the full picture of how your L&D program works. Another great thing about this is you can easily turn your business case study into an awards application and vice versa to better showcase the impact of your training program.
While there’s no certainty that your L&D program can get the gold because of various factors (judges, categories, award-giving bodies, etc.), the important thing here is you’re able to build a training program that has a strong foundation and reap great results for your organization.