Corporate training program
Corporate training is a corporate education practice that aims to develop employees’ specific skills, related to their tasks within the corporation and its strategic objectives. In this article we will explain you the corporate training program.
Provided by the organization itself or by specialized professionals, business training is focused on developing the professional side of the employee and making him/her able to remain more committed, motivated, and, with that, gain in productivity and, consequently, also bring improvements to the company.
The training can be directed to any type of employee , from those in lower positions to those in leadership positions , and, if given correctly, can bring benefits of different types, such as the ones you will see below.
Benefits of investing in corporate training.
More than just an operational level, investing in employee training is extremely relevant to their motivation, engagement and retention. Good training:
- Improves the organizational climate: investing in training for your employees makes them feel more important and valued within the company and, in this way, they become more motivated with their work and with the organization itself.
- Increases productivity: an employee who knows exactly how to perform his work and receives instructions to improve it, will take less time to do it, will be able to avoid errors and reworks and, consequently, will produce more.
- It encourages innovation: employees who master their activities, understand the current context of their work and their area of expertise and work with the latest technology, will be more able to critically analyze processes, propose improvements and bring innovation to the company .
- Creates more confident employees: good training, insofar as it creates a feeling of belonging to the company, also makes them feel more confident to give their opinions, make decisions and propose improvements for the organization.
- Decreases employee turnover: when the employee is trained, performs his tasks easily, is able to think about innovation and feels like an important part of the company, the chances that he wants to leave the company are much smaller and you avoid the losses of turnover.
7 Tips to Optimize Your Company’s Corporate Training Program
Tip #1: Use Blended Learning in the Corporate Training Program
Blended Learning is an excellent way of teaching when it comes to educating professionals in a face-to- face and virtual way , not least because some skills and competences need to be put into practice to be fixed.
There is an article published by the Times Higher Education World University Ranking where it shows that blended education has become the “new normal” for the population during the COVID pandemic .
Tip #2: Measure Employee Learning
In addition to analyzing the weaknesses of employees to know what is the best training for them, it is also necessary to measure learning during and after training.
You can do this through the Training and Development Control Worksheet and use the Teaching Assessment Worksheet after professionals have completed training.
Measuring is a fundamental attitude to:
- Track the progress of each employee during the corporate training program;
- Identify knowledge gaps on an individual basis and thus come up with customized solutions;
- Recognize the efforts of your employees and reward them for their victories.
Tip #3: Plan Learning Paths
In many cases, your employees need more than one training to fill the knowledge gaps. Then prepare a program with several different learnings designed to evolve professionals.
It is even possible to think of learning paths along with career plans .
Also talk to employees to hear their difficulties and add courses to fill these gaps in the training program.
Be aware that each professional has their own level of knowledge and, therefore, it is not because they are on the same team that they will necessarily need to follow the same learning path.
Tip #4: Prepare the Company’s Mission Statement
The company’s mission statement is a document where the company describes its purpose, such as the actions of the business, its general objective and guidelines for decision-making.
Therefore, to write the statement, you need to understand what the purpose of the training is and what are the goals that your company must achieve with capable employees.
With this document done, you will feel confident in implementing the training program among professionals and carrying out learning assessments.
Remember to be flexible and adaptable , new challenges may come your way and you must get around them!
Tip #5: Invest in Soft Skills
Soft skills are equally important hard skills and should receive attention during training as well.
While hard skills address skills acquired over a lifetime , such as in technical or university courses, soft skills are behavioral skills that people usually develop throughout life , such as leadership and interpersonal communication.
However, despite being natural skills, it is possible to awaken and improve them with personalized corporate training for soft skills .
Tip #6: Ask Employees What They Need
Despite the survey of training needs , consider collecting feedback from employees to know what their difficulties are in the company’s day to day .
Also find out if there are any employees who want to grow within the company and what skills they would like to be acquiring.
It is important to know how to listen to your employees and this also encourages them to participate in training when they are implemented in the business.
Tip #7: Adopt Gamification in the Corporate Training Program
Gamification has been widely used in corporate training to engage and motivate employees through common game strategies, such as a scoring system, ranking and awards.
10 steps to implementing a corporate training program
Follow our step by step to ensure all the benefits of this practice!
1. Create a learning culture
One of the main difficulties of the T&D team is to keep the professionals in training and qualifications offered. This happens due to a number of factors, such as the use of inappropriate methods, the lack of publicity about events and a mindset that trainings end up disrupting the work routine. By adopting a learning culture, in which training is not seen from the perspective of this mindset, but rather as an important part of the development of professionals’ skills, the results of the program become significantly more effective. To create this culture, it is necessary to understand and include some points in your corporate training program. Check them all out from now on!
Encouragement starts with leaders
Regardless of the size or field of activity of the company, leaders and managers must serve as an example for the team. When leaders do not believe in corporate education and in the importance of internal development, they hardly support their employees in this process, harming their participation and support. First of all, therefore, it is necessary to show these people the importance of culture, using them as an incentive for other employees.
Disclosure is essential
Training and qualifications need to be disclosed correctly and in advance so that employees can adjust their routines. Use channels like corporate TV, email, newsletter, bulletin board and even leaders. It is also worth remembering that participation is encouraged when the content is attractive and interesting.
Planning helps to evolve
When the corporate training program is not well planned, it is difficult to keep it running for a long time or to be able to offer interesting options to the employees. Therefore, try to outline clear objectives for each action, as well as draw up (and follow) an execution schedule. Include incentives that keep employees engaged, such as course completion certificates and bonuses.
Feedback is always welcome.
Another important point for creating a learning culture is collecting feedback from participants. This practice shows that the program is really designed with them in mind, that their opinion is important. It also helps to improve decisions, receiving insights from new content and formats that can be more efficient, as well as points that can be improved within what is already done.
You need focus and consistency
The ideal is to establish consistency in the development of professionals through the program. For this, it is necessary to closely monitor the results, understand the feedbacks and update courses, processes and strategies.
2. Update your Training Needs Survey (LNT)
Another factor responsible for creating a good learning culture is the planning of the corporate training program, which should start with a Training Needs Assessment (LNT) process of the organization. The LNT consists of carrying out a detailed diagnosis of the company’s current situation, bringing up gaps in development, skills and competences. It also identifies the best methods and practices to bring about a change of scenery. For this, the T&D team starts with understanding the mission, vision and values of the organization, as well as its short, medium and long term objectives.
With this in mind, the team evaluates each area and employee of the business, understanding its processes and the points that can be improved with the corporate training program. In practice, the T& D should conduct interviews with leaders to understand the problems and needs in each area. Questionnaires and discussion groups can also be used with other collaborators, gathering information to make the content centered on employees and their demands.
The indicators affected by T&D must also be defined, such as productivity, technological innovation, quality of life, satisfaction with the environment and return on investment, among others. These values must be measured and closely monitored in order to understand the results of the program. The indicators affected by T&D must also be defined, such as productivity, technological innovation, quality of life, satisfaction with the environment and return on investment, among others.
These values must be measured and closely monitored in order to understand the results of the program. The indicators affected by T&D must also be defined, such as productivity, technological innovation, quality of life, satisfaction with the environment and return on investment, among others. These values must be measured and closely monitored in order to understand the results of the program.
3. Consider the profile of the collaborators
One of the biggest mistakes in training it is not considering that each professional has different development needs. Ideally, therefore, the content presented takes into account all existing profiles within the company to achieve the desired efficiency and be attractive to employees. With this in mind, when carrying out the LNT, it is necessary to include questions that raise the profile of the employees in the questionnaire.
After all, as learning styles are also diverse, it is necessary to identify which are effectively present in the company and must be included in the planning. For this, it is worth evaluating the existing generational differences in the workforce. Have you ever stopped to think that the new generations, such as the famous Millennials and Generation Z, people born between 1983 and 1994 and 1995 and 1999, respectively, Are you already the majority in the job market?
The detail is that these professionals have different needs in terms of learning and career plans. According to the study Meet the modern learner , made by Bersin, these employees are increasingly impatient, distracted and overwhelmed. That’s why it’s critical to look for new types of training that fit your needs and make the learning process easier! Considering these characteristics, it is necessary to adapt the formats and teaching methodologies used for the corporate education project. Variables related to the work routine should also be considered, such as the type of function, performance hours and activities outside the organization.
4. Assess market trends
In addition to the profile of the employees, the T&D team must understand and know the main trends in corporate education to create an efficient and modern training program. Check out some examples of types of training that have stood out in the market below!
Starting with the main market trend, digital education consists of using platforms, applications and online environments to promote training for employees. With this support, they can access the content when they see fit, adapting learning to their needs. There are many advantages of digital education in the business environment . For starters, it eliminates the need for a location for training, as well as all the infrastructure involved there, which reduces costs. In addition, it is more attractive to current professionals, who are increasingly connected and accustomed to the digital environment.
Virtual reality and augmented reality
On the rise in the corporate education market, virtual reality allows the creation of simulators for 360º environments, in which employees can interact and absorb learning stimuli. Augmented reality, on the other hand, uses 3D technology to produce materials that show virtual elements in the real environment — as in the game Pokémon Go. In this way, employees can visualize processes in a more dynamic way, getting closer to their reality, which increases the absorption of knowledge.
Edutainment is a methodology that uses elements of entertainment in educational processes, with the aim of increasing participants’ engagement, interest, motivation and learning. The practice is already widely used in schools and has gained prominence in the corporate environment. Some practical examples are the use of films, series, workshops, game creation and interactive printed materials. Technological options are also interesting, such as chatbots, digital platforms, web series and mobile applications.
Another important trend that can be used in a corporate training program is microlearning or so-called learning pills. This method divides content into small teaching components, allowing learning to be done quickly, in just a few minutes. The practice is important for companies to adapt to the reality of employees. The Meet the modern learner study , developed by Bersin, indicates that each employee has only 24 minutes a week to dedicate to their studies. Taking this into account, it is much easier to understand why long training sessions are not as efficient as microlearning.
Finally, we have gamification, the most known and used trend today. In this model, elements of games and recreational projects are adopted to increase the efficiency and attractiveness of training. The practice can be done on digital platforms, apps, responsive pages and even in person.
5. Structure your program strategy
Now that you have all the information on your LNT, know the profile of your employees and are familiar with the main trends in teaching methods, it’s time to make decisions to effectively structure your corporate training program. The T&D team must establish, for example:
• the needs to be prioritized;
• the contents that will be presented;
• the order of training and capacity building events;
• the types and methods of training that will be used;
• the employees who will participate in each event;
• result monitoring indicators ;
• the program implementation schedule;
• the people responsible for each activity;
• the period of the evaluation cycle ;
• the timing of program optimization. Some of the items needed in your strategy will be discussed below, making this decision process easier. Remembering that all choices must take into account the organization’s objectives and the area‘s budget, maximizing the results of the program.
6. Set results and learning goals
Every efficient corporate training program has results and learning goals, monitored by means of indicators of the work environment and assessments made by the employees themselves.
The program results can be monitored through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or, in Portuguese, key performance indicators. Their selection is made according to the objectives established in the program. The most used are:
• level of development;
• satisfaction with the work environment;
• percentage of trained professionals;
• training effectiveness;
• return on investment. Indicators help to understand whether the program is achieving the expected results or whether changes in strategy are needed.
Assessments have the same macro objective as indicators, but they help to understand how training methods and types used are being seen by employees and whether the expected development results are actually being achieved. For this, knowledge tests are used, either written or multiple choice. These assessments must be applied at the end of the training or at the end of each content module. They can also be used to determine if the employee is qualified or needs to resume study by going through the process again. In addition, the use of feedback forms, applied after training, either in paper or in digital format, is indicated. This initiative allows employees to indicate positive and negative points about the content, the method used, the infrastructure, the evaluation and any other elements of the program.
7. Understand the infrastructure issue
T&D must also handle all technical and bureaucratic issues related to project execution. The tasks vary according to the training models used, whether they will be done in person or digitally.
When the company opts for a program with only face-to-face training, the main activities to be carried out are:
• selection of speakers and professors;
• production of support material;
• choice of location;
• survey of all necessary equipment — microphone, extensions, sockets, computers and whatever else is needed;
• team needed to carry out the training;
• production of publicity material;
• execution of the disclosure;
Companies that opt for digital education for their corporate training program need to worry about other infrastructure items. Among them, we can mention: • definition of the teaching system model — digital platform, mobile application or responsive page, for example;
• choice of development, whether internal or external;
• production of content for the digital environment;
• development and implementation schedule of the chosen system;
• production of publicity material;
• execution of the disclosure;
• team needed to maintain and manage the system;
In-person and digital activities
Finally, many organizations choose to combine the 2 formats, creating a program that involves both face-to-face training and the use of a digital environment for the development of their employees. This is considered the best model, as it facilitates the creation of a complete program that meets the needs and preferences of all employees. In addition, the digital format also facilitates the creation of a culture of continuous learning in the organization. In this case, it will be necessary to be concerned with the entire process of development and implementation of the platform, as well as with the activities necessary to make face-to-face events viable. Therefore, it is essential to have a competent team!
8. Implement your corporate training program
Now that the T&D team has a well-defined strategy and understands all the activities that must be done to put the plan into practice, it’s time to get started! The implementation of the corporate training program must follow the established schedule. It is important to make sure that the entire team is aligned and understands their responsibilities as well as their deadlines. Meetings are always welcome at this time. Monitoring can be done weekly or fortnightly, depending on the amount of activities planned for the period. In the beginning, it is recommended to organize more meetings to avoid unforeseen events and mistakes that compromise the program. A well-structured and properly monitored implementation process makes it possible to know if the planning was adequate or if it is necessary to make changes to deadlines and activities.
9. Optimize the program
One of the program’s steps should include optimizing your strategy by evaluating your results, whether partial or final. Ideally, choices should be optimized based on data. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the indicators established in the planning, as well as the training evaluations, the feedbacks and a new update of the LNT.
The use of indicators is the first step, following the evolution of the numbers and comparing each one of them with the forecast made in the planning. This analysis makes it possible to identify whether the predicted values have been achieved or whether changes to the program will be necessary.
Assessments should also be used at this time, as they directly impact the indicators. After all, when training is not well absorbed, productivity and knowledge levels tend to be the same, right? It is possible, again, to compare reality with what was foreseen to promote the necessary adjustments.
The information given in the feedbacks is crucial for the decision optimization process. With them, it is possible to reach several conclusions, such as:
• the content is shallow and can be improved;
• the training location is not pleasant for everyone;
• the platform used is not dynamic, needing adjustments;
• assessments are very complex and can be updated;
• the quality of support material is poor;
• running times are compromising participation. Collected, all feedback must be analyzed. From there, a classification process makes it possible to identify which ones are more recurrent and need more attention. With this, it is possible to prioritize improvements and investments in the area.
Finally, at the end of the corporate training program, it is recommended to update the LNT again. At this point, new levels of development will be identified, filling in the previous gaps and, probably, new gaps that need to be eliminated. As the idea is to create a culture of continuous learning, this update should be done periodically. The new information helps streamline the initial program and create new objectives, methods, and strategy updates, ensuring the best return on the new investment.
10. Invest in a successful partnership
At this point, it is more than evident that structuring, implementing and maintaining a quality corporate training program is not a simple task, is it? As you have seen, a lot of knowledge is needed to avoid mistakes that may compromise the results. For these and other reasons, many organizations choose to use a partner specializing in corporate education. to develop and maintain your project.
These companies can be responsible for taking care of infrastructure issues, developing digital solutions and producing educational content, as well as providing complete consultancy on all stages of program implementation. The ideal is to choose partners with proven experience of success, thus ensuring that the partnership will, in fact, maximize the returns on the investment. It is also interesting to look for companies that have different technological solutions, preferably with the possibility of personalization.
This allows, even with a partner, the program to be exclusive to the company. Regardless of whether your L&D team chooses to use a specialized company or not, it is necessary to create and maintain a good corporate training program in the business. This process guarantees better internal and external results, increasing employee productivity and satisfaction, as well as the organization’s competitiveness in the market. Now that you know how to structure and monitor a corporate training program, what do you think about starting yours right away? How about using a partner to streamline the process?