Have you heard complaints from employees or managers about how much time is spent on training? While training is helpful, they can't afford to spend so much time away from their daily responsibilities. How do you reduce time consumption in employee training without compromising effectiveness?
1. Convert to Microlearning
Another way to reduce time consumption of training is to convert to microlearning. Research shows that employees get interrupted every 11 minutes. Convert your hour-long or day-long training to shorter training segments to allow for the interruptions,
Look at your outline for a session on anti-harassment, for example. There may be obvious shorter "chapters" to the content that could be converted to microlearning. For example:
- Introduction to Understanding Harassment
- Understanding Offenders
- Understanding Targets
- Bystander Training
- Warning Signs
- Healthy Culture
2. Outsource Content
It's extremely difficult for your internal team possibly create 100% of the training content you need for 100% of your employees. It makes sense to outsource some of your training. Focus your internal team on creating training that is unique to your company.
When you work with a content provider you gain access to a full library of off-the-shelf content that is ready and accessible to everyone on day one.
- Outsource yearly employee training on diversity, anti-harassment and cybersecurity. Create your own on culture, mission, vision and values.
- Outsource safety videos on fire extinguishers, PPE, electrical safety, etc., and use your team to create courses specific to your buildings on evacuation, emergency exits, and procedures.
- Outsource training on foundational selling skills on uncovering customer needs, handling objections, making sales calls, etc. Use your internal team to create custom content with your value proposition, products, features/benefits, etc.
3. Incorporate Video
Video training is perfect for topics where trainers find they are repeating themselves. Onboarding new employees is a perfect example. Your HR team has to have the same benefits conversation with every new hire. Why not record that content in an informative video the new employee can watch at home with their family.
Video training offers several additional benefits.
- Consistency: Ensure everyone receives exactly the same information in the same way. Live instructors may vary their delivery or story examples with each class. A video will not.
- Accessibility: Videos can be watched anytime, anyplace. This helps shift workers, traveling salespeople, and learners in different time zones have equal access.
- Efficiency: Your training team records the content once but it can be used by hundreds and thousands of employees.
4. Allow Self-Directed Learning
Instructor-led classes have to occur at a scheduled time and place which may be inconvenient for an employee's schedule, especially in today's increasingly dispersed workforce.
With the right platform, managers or admins can assign required courses with a deadline but allow the learners to complete the training at their own pace. In addition, with a full library of training learners can explore topics they are personally interested in.
- A newly promoted supervisor might seek out a course on going from coworker to boss.
- An introverted employee might take a course on assertive communication.
- An entry-level employee might need courses on business attire or email etiquette.
5. Offer Mobile Learning
In today's world of smartphones and tablets, your training must be mobile-ready. Eliminate the time to travel to a training session whether it is out of town, in a separate building on your company's campus, or simply travel to another floor in the same building.
Some companies use company-provided tablets for training in factories and warehouses, with vehicle-based employees like truck drivers and maintenance workers, and for traveling sales teams.
6. Leverage Blended Learning
While discussing time-saving methods for training, we never want to compromise on quality or effectiveness. Your in-house team can spend their time more efficiently when combined with the training videos for a blended-learning experience.
- Trainers can run an interactive classroom environment by assigning videos as "pre-work." All learners come to class with basic knowledge in common. The classroom time can be spent discussing more meaningful, real-life application scenarios.
- Instructors could use videos in the classroom to reinforce training points and encourage discussion.
- Managers can use videos in 1:1 coaching meetings with their direct reports for more targeted conversations.
This may sound like a complete overhaul of your current training program but it doesn't have to be intimidating. It's simply a reallocation of resources using your team’s time more effectively with the benefit of a more far-reaching training program.