Corporate training is no longer a privilege, but a necessity that is a vital part for any company's long-term investment in growth. A huge percentage of HR managers consider training to be an essential business enabler and are working towards it, but they also acknowledge that there is a lot more to be done to foster training opportunities for employees. Today, business leaders realize the investment needed in manpower capability building through training interventions to achieve business results and for the growth and sustainability of the organisation.
It has been noticed that one in three employees quit their job within the first year simply because they were disengaged. Many HR managers fail to realize the financial implication of exits at this stage, which can be up to three times the employee’s salary. In addition to this, the cost incurred to retain senior and settled employees through training is considerably lower than the cost of replacing them.
The new approach of incorporating Technology Enabled Blended Learning (TeBL) to impact business outcomes seems to be the appropriate solution for imparting customized corporate training programs. When blended with instructor led training programmes, e-training solutions produce remarkable results in terms of training retention and overall productivity enhancement. Any training solution is ineffective if it doesn’t impact the company’s primary objective which is positive business outcomes. Corporates quickly need to realize that if they want to stay competitive in business, it's time to get serious about training and invest in it.
Training companies now work closely with clients even post the training interventions. Over the years, it has become obvious that learning and development (L&D) programmes have positively influenced an employee’s decision to work within the company. A lot of companies are also realizing that one-time induction training or annual process training programmes are inadequate.
The companies are working on a lifelong learning concept where technology is helping the HR professionals to ensure that the right training interventions are created for each individual making the trainings very personalised. These trainings are delivered in blended mode where trainings through e-learning mode are conducted post face to face interactions, hence making the process of lifelong learning effective, giving the best return on investment for the HR teams and the business as a whole.
Today, when majority of sectors are seeing hyper active competition as well as an ever changing environment, the workforce needs to be trained not just on the products and processes but they need to be trained on professional skills like cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, complex problem solving, to name a few.
Training service providers have realized the need to increase the value and return on training investment by designing courses which are clearly aligned with corporate strategy. Precise and powerful training framework should be directed to achieve key business goals. The starting point of companies should be to provide in-depth contextual training which has become the biggest tool for retention in order to gain competitive advantage. This starts from the moment an employee is inducted in an organization. Formal training at the time of onboarding is now as important as training programmes during the span of their career.
Trainers conduct in-depth ‘Need Diagnostic’ study to map the learners’ requirements before developing the content. Uninspiring content and methodology not only are a barrier to the employee’s learning but also creates a mind blocks for learners who then stop considering trainings as a value enhancer to their work as well as career. It has also been noticed lately that a lot of mature and evolved organizations are doing away with nominating employees for any specific training.
The employees are now empowered to volunteer themselves for the programmes basis the training calendars which are published from time to time. This has shifted the focus of training responsibility from HR to employees, therefore the onus increases subsequently leading to the growth of the employees post training. Team leaders and managers take special care to not assign work during that time.
It is also important to mentor the company management who need to be responsive and responsible so that they invest enough in employees’ training. Employees also need to nurture their learnability: their desire and ability to learn new skills to stay relevant and remain employable. Companies need to take immediate action to fast track the upskilling and reskilling of existing employees to ensure that they have a workforce with the skills required for the future. With competitive markets and ever-changing dynamic business needs, most organizations prefer synchronizing learning interventions for employees across locations. Hence, technology becomes the most important enabler to drive business growth.The writer is CEO and MD, Centum Learning