Common Corporate Training Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Modern LMS platforms have made creating, managing, and deploying your corporate training program an easy and cost-effective process. Crafting an effective employee training program, however, will always be a little challenging, especially for those that are new to the game. And poor training in the workplace remains the norm.
In this article, we'll go through 8 types of corporate training mistakes and give you tips and suggestions on how to avoid them.

1. Ignoring The Business Goals
Not knowing what you should teach is a pervasive corporate training mistake.
It affects the choice of courses and the way that they are laid out within the training program. It also manifests within individual courses themselves, in the form of incoherent structure and omission of important information.

How To Do It Right?
To serve your companys business goals, you first need to identify them. Consult with management and employee representatives, and come up with specific business goals for your training program.
Dont improvise based on assumptions, and dont start creating your training program without a plan (and a general outline).

2. Writing Boring Content

Wasting several paragraphs to say something that could be said in one, is a typical corporate training mistake. Writing pages upon pages is, counterintuitively, faster than condensing things to their essence (or, as Mark Twain once quipped: "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead").
Its also easy to use a dry language, with few examples and an overly academic tone thats excellent as a remedy for insomnia but awful for learner engagement.

How To Do It Right?
Have a clear understanding of the learning goals and business objectives of your training program, and use it to scrap anything in your content that doesn't fit them.
Write simply and lightly. Throw in a few jokes or engaging anecdotes to keep the learners engaged. Take the time and effort to put things succinctly.

3. Writing Irrelevant Content
Even when you know your business goals, its still easy to pile up lots of irrelevant content. The tendency of content writers to stray off topic, go too deep, or add useless flourish is another common corporate training mistake.

How To Do It Right?
Don't approach your subject abstractly. Focus on the information and skills that your employees can use to ease their everyday workflows and increase their productivity.
Consult with employees to learn from their real-world experiences and their ideas for dealing with it. Give plenty of examples (and actionable tips) on how to solve the actual problems that your employees are facing.

4. Over- Or Underestimating Your Audience
Each learning audience has a certain average knowledge level. A training program that goes above or beyond this knowledge level will fail to engage the audience.
Treating corporate employees as if theyre postgraduate students, for example, and giving them page after page of heavy concepts and hard equations will only result in your training going above their heads.
Alternatively, if you over-explain everything to an audience of senior employees, theyll think that your training is beneath them and that they already know everything you mean to teach them.

How To Do It Right?

Organize your training program so that it fits the knowledge level and general background of your employees. Adapt your training and tone to your target audience: dont expect the average office worker to be interested in the finer scholarly aspects of a training subject, but dont over-explain simple things to them either.
If your employees show a great variation in their educational background and knowledge levels, consider splitting your training into several classes (e.g., introductory, intermediate, and advanced) according to their specific training needs, to assign your courses as appropriate.

5. Not Puting Any Thought Into Your ILT Training

As everyone that has ever been a student can attest, boring lectures are the most ineffective ones and the easiest to forget. The same holds true in the corporate world: it takes real effort to create an interesting and engaging in-person, ILT training experience.
The easiest way to ensure a lackluster ILT experience is to go unprepared, put up some slides on a projector (or the webinar screen-sharing equivalent), and just read them out loud (as if your learners couldnt do it themselves). For maximum effect, adopt a hypnotic and monotonous delivery, and be as still and uninspiring as you can be.

How To Do It Right?
Pay attention to how you speak and present yourself. Watch great speeches (TedX presentations, popular webinars, motivational speakers, Steve Jobs keynotes, even charismatic politicians) and try to pick up little tips and mannerisms that you can use in your ILT sessions. Have a clear idea of what you want to teach, and try come up ahead of time with ways to spice up your delivery and make it more entertaining.

6. Treating eLearning As Traditional Learning
Another classic corporate training mistake is treating eLearning as if it was traditional learning. Some instructors, for example, upload decades-old, print-based corporate training content into their eLearning portals and call it a day, instead of adapting the material to fit an online course. Many more, still, fail to leverage multimedia assets and rich interactive options in their training.
Its also common for corporate training programs to place so much emphasis on regular attendance and ILT sessions that they lose the asynchronous benefits of online learning over traditional training. Namely, the ability for learners to study at their own pace and from their own preferred place.

How To Do It Right?

Understand that eLearning is not just a digital version of classroom-based training. Learn how to leverage the unique features that your LMS supports. These include multimedia, interactivity, gamification, teleconferencing, automated tests and quizzes, chat and forums, mobile and offline learning, and many more.

7. Leaving Your Training Program To Stagnate
Letting your training program stagnate is another common corporate training mistake. Conditions change. What worked for 2010 might be laughably obsolete today. Keeping your courses, training curriculum, presentation, and delivery options stagnant means that you will be left behind. Even something as seemingly innocuous as an outdated eLearning UI can make things difficult for your learners.
A non-responsive eLearning portal, for example, will either look bad or be unusable in most modern smartphones. And of course, a native mobile learning application would be an even better option to offer in 2018.

How To Do It Right?
You should stay up to date with training developments and be ready to adopt whatever cool new tools technology makes available (e.g. in 2010 mobile learning wasnt a very viable option today it is).
You should also periodically update your presentation and delivery. The design elements that were in vogue a few years ago might look out of date today (and reflect poorly on your corporate image) or, worse, be unusable.
You should revisit and update your content to keep it relevant. This includes adding chapters about newly developed technologies and workflows, as well as taking out old sections whose content is now obsolete. Even your cultural references, jokes, and asides might need some revision.
Last but not least, you should incorporate feedback from your learners and LMS reporting to improve your courses over time iteratively. Simplify and shorten overly long or difficult to read passages, integrate employee comments and suggestions, and so on.

8. Making It Inflexible
The key benefit of eLearning is not the use of computers, training automation, and so on.
It's freedom.
Employees hate sitting throuh traditional classroom-based seminars, as much as kids hate going to school. Only, unlike kids, they do have more important things to be doing instead: their actual jobs. Not taking advantage of the flexible schedules and delivery methods of eLearning is just bad employee training and a sure-fire way to have your employees hate your corporate training program.

How To Do It Right?
Don't insist on rigid training schedules. Use an LMS that gives them the freedom to study at their own pace and from wherever they happen to be.
If you need to have in-person training (and not all training use cases do), try to avoid imposing strict time-and-place attendance requirements to your learners. Take your ILT sessions online in the form of webinars so that they can watch them from anywhere, or record them so that your employees can watch them on demand.

Creating an eLearning program that employees love is not that difficult, and it indeed becomes easier with practice. It does, however, require focus, attention to detail, and avoidance of a few basic corporate training mistakes.
It's also easier if you have an LMS that makes the technical part easy, and allows you to create rich eLearning content and deliver it engagingly. TrainEasy, which gives you all of these and more, is an excellent choice. And with its free 7-day trial, you don't even have to pay anything to get started.

10 Oct 2018

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