The Training World Has Changed
Digital technology has revolutionised the world of training. Most companies today that invest in training their employees have what is known as a Learning Management System. An LMS is a software application that centralises and manages all of the training done within the organisation. Some of the main features of an LMS are: the ability to track learner progress, generate and issue reports as well as track your training budget and expenditure. At GES, we have recommended a number of solutions based on the size and needs of the company.
Large scale companies
There are now hundreds of large companies around the world with their own corporate universities. These are not your traditional university but the term is used to represent the training solution of the company. Some of the best known examples are perhaps Google University and McDonald’s Hamburger University.
Corporate Universities seek to solve the following issues:
1. Link organisational strategy to employee training and development.
2. Retain employees by tailoring their training to the needs of the organisation.
3. Offer training that is specific and relevant to the functions of the organisation.
4. Create knowledge portals within the organisation.
5. Enhance the organisation’s culture by promoting “our way of business”.
The content in corporate universities can be developed in-house, purchased and procured from third parties or a combination of both. It is also interesting to note that the LMS is a by-product of the Corporate university.
Small and medium sized enterprises
Owing the high investment cost most LMS products on the market, we tend to recommend on-demand training for SMEs or hiring of training consultants to meet their needs.
However, there are some freebies on the market and top brand Blackboard has created a free LMS suitable for SMEs. GES recommends www.coursesites.com for smaller companies. Additionally, SMEs are always encouraged to practice train-the-trainer as a means to save money.
Here are some recommendations:
1. Make sure that your in-house trainers are well prepared (and possibly certified) in adult learning and training techniques.
2. Negotiate training contracts that give you access to courseware for at least two years giving your company access to new developments and updates.
3. Integrate all your training with your existing management information system if you cannot afford a high-end LMS.
4. It is important to track your training dollars and link them to your company’s strategy.
5. Remember not to waste training dollars and give your employees the leeway to implement what they have learnt so that you see a positive return on your investment.
Giving your employees value
Finally, GES always recommends an exchange of value as a means to incentivise your employees and augment their interest either in your corporate university or training offers. Here are some tips:
1. Make your training a real benefit:
* Link training to performance evaluation
* Use training as a prize or premium for recognition
* Link training to promotions and salary increases.
2. Where possible, make sure that your training programmes offer some form of certification that can be transferred to the wider market place. Employees are more energised if their training is recognised and offers them Continuing Education Units that they may convert to credits on other university programs or use them for their professional designations and development.
3. Award outstanding participants with a tangible gift.
4. Allow those trained to come back to the workplace and implement what they’ve learnt and award them for results and improvements.
These are some of the techniques that we at GES recommend to make your training investment worthwhile.
In part 4 we will examine the new trend toward mentoring and coaching. For access to the entire series of GES articles in pdf. feel free to download them from http://www.scribd.com/GlobalExpertSystems