Rethink Training - It\\\'s Different Now
Nov 23, 2011 English for Special Purposes (ESP) 2235 Views
With the fourth quarter closing in rapidly, most companies begin the race towards achieving final year end results along with their 2012 Business Plan and Budget. As you contemplate your budget, reconsider your training needs and possible solutions. It's time to rethink training for your firm.
Here are five recommendations to upgrade your training strategy:
- Select the top two training priorities for your sales team and your service team. Many firms see the Training Strategy as an absolute plan for the upcoming year. Expect the year ahead to continue to change - whether there are good surprises or ongoing business challenges. Start off with small goals. They will eventually become part of the overall training strategy. Aim for a three to six month plan first. What are your priorities? It may be technical training for greater efficiency; sales skill refresher training; client relationship skills; insurance coverage education; supervisory training, etc. Identify two priorities and then make it happen.
- Research and locate a solution. You know your training needs; next, find options for the right solution. Blend your reach and resources. There are quality offerings available through industry consultants, insurance carriers, agent associations, community colleges, etc. Many business leaders are well connected. Even though you may not have a resource in mind, reach out to your network for recommendations. People are always interested in referring successful solutions or experts to fellow colleagues.
- Consider an online, instant solution. According to the Training Industry Inc. publication "Learners want content that is easier to consume, read and interpret." Find a solution that is accessible from anywhere at any time and appeals to all generations. Interactive, online learning is at the top of this list. The training courses should be repeatable and integrate a form of measurement such as a final assessment or knowledge checkpoint. You should have access to your employee's scores to view the level of knowledge acquisition. Online training solutions with technology are expected to become the preferred training approach within the next three years.
- Multiple sessions or training offerings on the same topic will further reinforce. Studies reveal that adults prefer shorter spurts of consecutive training sessions. They allow for flexible scheduling and greater retention/concentration. It's tough to let your entire team attend a full day training program. Incorporate two to three small sessions (2-3 hours long) on one topic. The gaps between the sessions can be used for further learner accountability and application. Assignments between sessions support learning reinforcement produce favorable results.
- Communicate your commitment and learning to your staff. Create a 'buzz' internally by announcing the upcoming sessions and the importance of investing in ongoing learning and staff development. Photograph your team in training sessions or publish testimonials from employees about the sessions. Encourage the positive vibes for training. Employees will embrace the training and understand the expectations. Communicate the positive message about the firm's commitment to developing skills and competencies.
Start with the "Micro" Training Plan first focusing on the most impactful needs. This will enable you to respond to your business needs and changes within the market. Eventually, you will have a warehouse of solutions that can be repeated year to year.
New Level Partners LLC
Princeton, NJ 08540