The corporate world today is in a state of constant change and evolution. In this scenario, corporate learning has become more relevant than ever before. While organizations – big or small, have started to realize the immense worth of training and learning in the workplace, there are still many constraints that stand in the way of effective training.
Here are some common barriers in the way of corporate learning and the means of going around them.
Time is often the biggest challenge faced by Training Managers when planning a training project. There are multiple steps within the development cycle of a training course – Assessing learning needs and identifying objectives, design and development, piloting, evaluation and so on. The key to creating a work-able timeline is to identify the steps that are necessary and spend more time and effort on them.
For instance, when a stakeholder within the organization brings in the need to create a training program for a group of learners, it can be assumed that the training need is indeed pertinent and need not be assessed. The stakeholder can also help in identifying learning objectives for the program. Thus spending less on the ‘assessment’ step, more time can be spent on designing and development of the program.
However, if the stakeholder is not clear on the need or objectives of the training program, a bulk of the timeline needs to be spent on assessment. Once the objectives have been identified, the designing can be done rapidly.
Using available learning materials and resources, a training course can be developed in an express manner to cater to the immediate needs of the learners. The course may be further developed and perfected over time.
ELearning development takes due time – so in when timelines are restrictive, a blended delivery may be the solution. For instance, the course can be delivered on an online platform, but the background material can be shared through short classroom sessions and the session can also be used for discussions on the topic.
Budgetary concerns and constraints also stand in the way of a corporate training program – especially in the times of market upheavals and financial uncertainty.
One way to deal with budgetary concerns for training development is to assign multiple roles to the existing training staff. For instance, trainers and instructors can contribute proactively into course design and development. SME (Subject Matter Experts) can give their inputs within pre-designed templates to create storyboards on the go. They can also give audio inputs that can be utilized to create an audio script for the course.
Creating e-content on a budget is not as difficult as it sounds. For one, there are many free resources that can be utilized – from e-learning development tools to elements like graphics, audio and video. Using these, it is possible to create training pieces that can be utilized for just-in-time training delivery within a budget.
Existing learning assets like presentations, images, audio or video pieces can also be re-used in multiple courses to save moneys. Here is an informative article which details out the various means of developing e-learning on a tight budget.
Change is another constant in the corporate scenario but is often not received well. Change management can be directly or indirectly related to training within an organization – in both cases needs to be handled carefully.
The way that an organization learns is ingrained in its culture. New training methods are outside this cultural norm and thus often rejected.
The key is to communicate consistently and effectively to stakeholders as well as the learners themselves – about the benefits of the new training mechanism illustrating with examples and success stories.
For the existing knowledge guardians like trainers or instructors, the idea of new learning platform may be uncomfortable – the main reason being that they are not able to see their own role in the new training mechanism. Assay their fears by reaffirming that their knowledge will be still utilized to improve the organization as a whole. Further, assign fixed roles so that they would feel like a part of the new process of learning.
When all other aspects fall into place, technical constraints can still derail a training initiative and have to be anticipated well in advance for impactful training delivery.
A common technical constraint of online training delivery is that the learners do not have access to the necessary hardware to access e-learning. For instance sales staff who are not in the office a lot or assembly line blue-collar employees so not have computers in their immediate work environment. This problem can be anticipated in the planning stage of the training project and dealt with quick-fix solutions.
‘Learning kiosks’ can be created within the work environment with basic computer hardware, where the learners can come as per schedule and take up trainings. The IT department can pitch in with refurbished computers and other hardware like webcams, audio speakers or headphones to create a learning center quickly and within minimum budget.
Working around the constraints of corporate training, it is possible to deliver impactful learning – continually and effectively. For more on the ways of creating effective corporate learning, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill the form below: