Providing employees with professional development is critical for developing an equipped and effective workforce. Select companies have seen up to a 25% average return on investment after investing in a corporate training program. But how as a business leader can you ensure that your employees will actually learn from the program you design, and successfully apply those skills in their work?
Evaluate your Needs and Goals
Adult learning theory emphasizes that learning sticks when it is targeting a definable, real world need. Before beginning the design phase of your education program, allocate time to evaluating the specific needs of your organization and setting goals for the outcome of your training program. Data gathering and needs analysis can be done through surveys and employee interviews. Soliciting feedback from managers and employees themselves will help you see patterns and highlight skills gaps in your workforce.
For example, in the United Kingdom, surveyed employers identified oral communication as one of the critical skills gaps in today’s workforce. Being aware of this gap, a manager of an international workforce may set a goal of building language skills in the dialects his or her company does business in. This goal could be achieved by investing in a language training program.
Design in Response to Your Specific Needs and Goals
Once you have set your goals, you can begin your design phase in response to them. It is important to continually reflect on your learners’ needs and your targeted goals to ensure you stay on track during the design phase. There are different avenues to achieving your business goals. Focusing on the specific needs of your workforce will help shape your program design, and ensure your learners retain the information taught.
For example, if you have many remote employees who work across different time zones, you may have a goal to build language skills amongst employees. In that case, you would be likely to opt for a Blended Learning experience as it will offer more flexibility than a traditional in-class lecture style.
Reflect on and Fine-Tune the Learning Experience
Your program may have been designed and delivered, but there’s still more for you to learn. With all instructional designs, it is important to take time at the end of each learning experience to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Make sure to once again send out surveys and solicit feedback. Find out what skills have been acquired and how they are being used.
The post-delivery reflection will also be the time to hone your learning strategies and perhaps even augment your goals. For example, if your goal was to have employees learn another language, you may have begun your training program focused on both oral and written language. However, you may find that your employees, like the engineering industry leaders surveyed here, found that learning to communicate verbally had more bearing on work performance than written language skills.
After delivering your program, you may notice that certain skills that were retained and used more than others. Consider changing up your program design for future iterations to focus on those skills.
An effective corporate education program goes beyond reimbursing employees for classes. It is a well-designed approach that addresses employee needs in a way that works for them.
Looking for more resources to help your business succeed when it comes to language training? Check out our blog post on setting up your virtual classroom or register for one of the free Speexx Webinars.
Ready to implement an effective corporate education program? Get started with Speexx today.
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