5 trends to ensure Performance in Training
Training and Development, T&D for short, is an area of expertise that needs to be constantly improved with new information, technology and methods of learning. These improvements should be very well documented according to the clients’ needs, based on a study of the best and most efficient learning methods.
If in 2015 the major trends for improvement were Mobile, Social learning and Gamification, this year, the same trends are constantly improving, but the focus is on a much bigger movement: strategy and execution. This vision regarding the training and development field of expertise is about: connecting the training sessions to the business’ goals and objectives strategy, which means collaborating with all the departments in a company in order to achieve higher levels of performance, better, consistent and improved methods of measuring training results, problem-solving skills oriented towards training design that bring out effective solutions which can successfully adhere to the current demands of the company.
This in turn leads to satisfying the clients’ needs for knowledge and information as much as possible, in the shortest time available and with low-cost solutions, by using multiple methods of training delivery and different environments.
Taking into consideration the new strategic vision for 2016 in training and development, teams will work together to build a stronger and more effective foundation for training, which will improve training performance levels.
The first challenge and trend to keep track of is aligning business goals to the company’s vision and values, which means that training sessions should not be done just for the sake of doing trainings. Training strategy, materials and methods should be aligned to the big-picture of the company’s overall plan. Otherwise, there will be a negative impact on the customer experience and the training session is meaningless. First we analyze the business’ strategy, company profile, then we run a needs assessment project and afterwards, we start creating a training strategy aligned to the aforementioned needs.
Following this, the second challenge is collaborating with all the departments involved, in order to achieve a performant training program that answers the needs of the company. This is a good trend to take into account, as we cannot conduct a relevant needs analysis if we don’t involve the other departments, with their relevant statistics and perspectives for the scenario that requires training. A compilation of perspectives can bring useful insight on the situation and based on it, we can develop successful materials that will aid us in our process. Working together means having a shared vision for short-term and long-term goals, correlating training results easier and more efficiently.
Moreover, another important trend and challenge for trainers and companies is a better measurement of training efficiency. More and more companies ask for short-term and long-term results. Results of surveys should go beyond satisfactory completion rates. The challenge is to implement methods that measure the effectiveness, changes and behaviors within a company through KPIs, gathering data and finding a suitable way to calculate and analyze them, correlating results to training initiatives.
The next trend which the training and learning field is focusing on in 2016 is problem-solving oriented training designs. As we’ve already seen in the previous challenge, the most important hurdle is aligning training sessions with the business’ goals. It is important to take into consideration this fact when conducting a needs analysis process and is recommended to try and customize the materials and information in order to answer the needs of the company and be directed towards the most optimal way of solving the issues encumbering the company.
A problem-solving oriented training design will create an effective training matrix that has clear focus and will provide pertinent data to be later analyzed, which will then become the basis for taking the necessary decisions.
Finally, one last important challenge and trend that makes a training program successful is constantly being up-to-date with the use of multiple methods of delivery. Today’s methods of learning are constantly improving and becoming more varied, according to the evolution of technology, in accordance to the participants’ needs. So, there are face-to-face training programs (the main advantage is the live interaction feature), but there are also other methods, which use technology, different tools and platforms and involve many new, high-tech learning procedures.
These have arisen due to the need of decreasing costs, as a result of geographically dispersed employees; furthermore, such training methods also come in handy for designing desirable features in a learning environment and are appropriate in cases of contingent employees and alternative work environments. By mixing up different programs and tools, we are constantly improving the quality of our training sessions and learning methods.
All things considered, there are many trends for 2016 that can bring performance to your training doorstep, but most of them are leading to the same main objective: the synchronization between the company’s strategic goals and visions and its training design and delivery, so as to achieve better results in the short and long run.