Is it time to refresh your training program?
A popular session at Vision Conference tackled options for using a fresh start to reinvigorate learners
The most successful training programs are those able to adapt to changing needs and circumstances, and sometimes that means starting over. That was the key topic in a session on training culture at Grace Hill’s recent Vision conference in Scottsdale. Grace Hill Director of Account Management, Maj Roembke, and Account Manager, Yvette Evans, led attendees through the process of deciding when a fresh start to training is needed and which approach they should take to change things up.
When to Change Your Training Program
Every company experiences periodic changes that may require a fresh approach to training. Maj and Yvette discussed common examples, including:
- Changes in leadership – New leaders might affect the priority of training.
- Changes to policies, procedures or laws – New training might need to be added to stay compliant.
- New courseware and features – Course load may need to be reevaluated in order to add new courses without overwhelming learners.
- Changes in employee preferences and demographics – Current learners may prefer a different approach to training, such as millennial learners preferring mobile and self-guided learning.
- Company growth – New markets may require different skills; increases in personnel may require a new training approach in order to reach all learners.
- Shifts in learner engagement – Low completion rates and scores may mean past-due forgiveness, change in course load and/or a training program relaunch is needed to boost learner engagement.
How to Change Your Training Program
Maj and Yvette detailed multiple strategies for refreshing a training program depending on how much of a revision is needed:
- Forgive all past-dues – If your learners have become overwhelmed by constant past-due alerts, you might want to wipe out past-dues and allow learners to start over as though it’s their first day. This can be an effective way to boost morale while still maintaining the current assignment schedule.
- Revise training requirements – Recently many companies have had success in providing more optional courses for their main positions to allow learners to have more involvement in their own learning. If you want to try a more self-guided learning approach, add new required courses or reevaluate course load, you may want to overhaul your current assignment schedule. This can be an effective way to reinvigorate learners and keep them from getting overwhelmed by two years’ worth of assignments every time they log in.
- Relaunch your training program – If your training program needs what Yvette refers to as an “extreme makeover,” you may want to combine either or both of the above changes with a campaign designed to generate enthusiasm and buzz for better learner buy-in. Use emails, events, contests and learning system rebranding to excite learners and give them a more personal connection to the training system and assignments.
No matter which approaches you take to revamp your training program, Maj recommends starting at the top. Getting buy-in from leadership is the first step to getting buy-in from learners. Review your training requirements, determine what changes need to be made and then approach leadership with a solution ready. Remind them how investing in employees’ education directly benefits the company and then include them in your refresh efforts. Be sure to use reporting and email alerts to keep leadership engaged and aware of what training is (or isn’t) being completed. Involving leaders, she says, whether they attend a meeting or write an announcement email, can go a long way in motivating learners and demonstrating the value your company places in training.
Refresh Session Q&A
Q: If we want to make a change to our core Vision curriculum during the year, do we need to completely revise our training requirements?
A: No, changes can be made to individual courses or positions at any time by an administrator. You don’t have to reset ALL courses for ALL positions and locations unless you want to.
Q: How do you preserve course history when you use any of the revision methods you’ve covered?
A: No matter which approaches you take to change your Vision training program, all course history is maintained.
Q: How do you keep people who have done the work motivated to continue when everyone gets forgiveness for past-dues?
A: Use Awards or contests (or both!) to reward those who have completed the work. For example, everyone who completed their compliance requirements is eligible for a contest. Everyone else gets forgiveness of past-dues.
Q: Can all the elements of a training program refresh be timed to happen on the same day?
A: Yes. We’ll work with you to develop and refine them and then release them when you’re ready.
Q: We’re trying to engage ourselves so we can engage our staff. Can Grace Hill come in and explain to personnel why it all matters?
A: Yes! We are always happy to do this, and training program refreshes are often paired with learner re-engagement training. You can use that time to show learners around the system and talk to them about the contests and new initiatives. Grace Hill loves partnering with you to lead these virtual sessions.