In Part 1, we discussed the “what” and “why” behind a strategic L&D plan – what roles L&D leaders play, and the steps needed to put a plan in place. We talked about the importance of creating goals for training and how you need content and a way to deliver that content to accomplish those goals. And lastly we discussed how to get the most out of a training program – by focusing on alignment, skill gaps, and employees.
It’s time to put your strategy into action, but now the question now is “how?” That’s what we’re going to discuss here in Part 2 – how to put all of it together to be successful and achieve goals.
Content is King
You can’t really have a training program if there’s nothing to train learners on. Having training content conveys the knowledge and skills employees need to succeed in their roles and in the organization. Be creating content that learners find engaging, can recall, and use on the job is critical in achieving high performance.
There are multiple parts to content more than just knowing it’s needed.
While an LMS can house many things (which we will dive into after this), the biggest star is the content library. Having a robust library is a great advantage when it comes to employee growth as long as the content is relevant to learners. That’s why it’s key to have content that is modern, curated, expert-led, and updated. The offerings should align with the skills needed today.
Curated Learning Paths
Within the content library, L&D leaders are able to further hone an L&D strategy by offering learners curated learning paths. These paths are targeted groups of content selected by a team of experts to help learners quickly and easily find content related to certain subjects. These paths should contain three to five hours of training content that is highly utilized and should be assignable to the learners. For example, communications skills would be a useful curated learning path as it’s fairly broad and can contain the right amount of time and cover topics such as active listening, giving feedback, email etiquette, and more.
Learning Management System
To provide learning to employees, there needs to be a delivery method. That’s where a learning management system (LMS) comes in. Having an LMS allows for both prescriptive learning as well as exploratory learning. Both are needed in a strong L&D program to make sure employees are meeting the compliance requirements of the organization, but also so employees feel like they have a hand in their career path.
Within an LMS, leaders and managers can assign training that aligns with their organizational and team-specific goals. These trainings can include the content, activities such as worksheets, discussions among teammates, and more, that help express timelines and skills employees need to succeed.
A great LMS shouldn’t just stop at delivering content but allow for activities like worksheets and discussion opportunities about learning. They also have timelines set up for learners and the skills mapped out.
On top of that, an LMS should:
- Be able to recommend courses based on previous watched videos by use of an AI
- Provide lesson ratings that showcase the popularity and usefulness of any lesson
- Comment/feedback section for viewers to leave their thoughts
- Topic ratings, so viewers can see what their peers enjoyed
Upskilling and Reskilling
Upskilling is providing employees with access to new skills and tasks within their same job, for example, technical skills (like software or IT) as well as soft skills (communication, agility, leadership, resilience, etc.) Knowing that the working landscape is changing presents a unique opportunity to invest in upskilling employees now.
Reskilling is the act of providing training that helps employees gain new skills so they can move into new jobs and roles. With new technologies emerging, skills needed change quickly, so it’s imperative to have a clear strategy for matching skill gaps with training.
Another valuable asset you have that shouldn’t be overlooked is on-the-job training. Many employees will learn best by doing, so providing on-the-job training, including job shadowing, is a great way to help learn new skills.
BizLibrary has developed BizSkills to help with both of these by matching the job roles available to the skills employees have or need to the content we have available. Employees can find the skills they need to move roles in an organization or move up on their current career track.
This allows for personalized skills development – a must-have in today’s competitive talent landscape. Organizations must realize that a “one-size-fits-all” approach reduces employee engagement and productivity and doesn’t help an employee feel like the organization is invested or interested in their future at the company.
A personalized approach is optimized for the needs of each learner and can be a great differentiator as this type of training program creates meaning for employees and thus boosts retention. In addition to providing personalized learning at the individual level, we also allow personalizing on the organization-level, too. Administrators can change the content descriptions, course title, and even the flow of the video by adding interactions such as review questions, supplemental materials, and links to best tailor the content with your own industry or organization-specific standards.
Other Valuable Tools
There are other important parts to include for a successful training strategy.
You need a way to deliver and track training whether it’s in person, virtual or a mix of both. We recently launched Virtual Classroom – a new feature of our LMS that helps to centralize training across a dispersed workforce. Not only can dispersed employees can gather here for instructor-led training, the classrooms allow for human connection, larger numbers, lower costs, but can also use videos, PowerPoints, and more.
How to Accomplish It All
Now the question is, “How can I accomplish all of this?”
Launching an online employee training program can be a challenge for any organization, but it’s imperative to get your program off the ground. Here are three factors to consider:
Goals and How to Measure Success – It’s vital to define goals and success metrics before the program starts, so make sure you have set benchmarks set benchmarks for every phase of their program.
Communications and Marketing – Being able to communicate about and market your program to employees is crucial to its success. We offer a library full of communications ideas, templates, and tips on what language to use for each level of worker.
Administrative Training – Administrators will also need to know how to best utilize the system to get the metrics they need. Make sure to dive in, play around, and ask any questions so you can get the best results from your program.
So, you have all of the pieces, but where do you document all of your plans, objectives, content, and competencies? Recently we developed 10 playbooks on top training topics, so leaders can see how to make the best programs on diversity, onboarding, safety, and more. These in-depth pieces are a step-by-step guide for launching a training program and include skills for each level (just starting out, already established, and fully robust), content suggestions, pre- and post-assessments, and more.
Clients of ours also have access to a portal of information to help them market their program and engage with their learners.
There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to developing a comprehensive L& strategy, so it’s important to break it down into manageable steps.