How to Create Effective Training Programs
Along with the e-learning industry growing constantly, the number of online education providers increases, spreading over more niches. No matter what kind of industry you are experienced in, if you have quality knowledge and skills people want to learn, you may become an e-trainer and share this experience with people who need it. However, the most critical point is to offer the best strength training program that will be unique in the competition and potential learners will put their trust in you. But how to create an effective training program your students will be satisfied with? Let’s discuss this below.
Step-by-Step Guide on Creating an Effective Training Program
People are always in search of good career training programs as they are always interested in learning more, improving their skills, and going deeper into professional development. Effective training programs are developed through and following a detailed process. The main objectives are set and organized in a way to meet the members’ expectations. Taking into consideration that these days there is an increasing number of remote workforce we may say that the need for effective and ongoing training is really high.
At this time, I am going to make a list and highlight the most important steps to build an effective training program - the one your potential market will be satisfied with. Here we are!
Step #1 Assess Training Needs
The first step in implementing any action is to analyze the market and identify the needs and requirements. If you are working on a training program from scratch, you should research the target market and assess the areas to focus on. Let’s imagine that someone in a working staff faces some problems and a good training session would help them easily overcome the situation and organize the working process smoothly. Doesn’t it sound great? Of course, it is.
In such an environment, the education providers need to assess the situations in order to realize the requirements. First of all, it is needed to analyze the performance in the target market group and find the point that causes inconvenience. Now let’s consider another case. Maybe you have already analyzed the performance problem in the working environment and identified that training is really the right solution, then it's time to start your research for the training. This is the reason why you need a training assessment. You may even divide the overall assessment process into several steps:
1. The Business Goal
In this step, you should determine your business goal. Avoid presenting training programs that have no real reasons and you do not clearly understand why you do it. A good training session should have a concise objective of reaching any business goal. So, it should be a support.
2. Tasks and Assignments
Choose the tasks the participants need to solve. When determining these assignments, take into consideration what the learners need to do in order to reach the business goals. This will help you to focus on the right points.
3. Training Activities
Once you have already identified the business goals and choose tasks, it is already time to go for activities the learners will take part to implement these tasks and reach the goals. These activities may be games, interactive tests, practical activities, or whatever you find appropriate for the specific cases. By the way, gamification is very effective in the learning process.
4. Characteristics of Workers
The last step of assessment is to consider the characteristics of the employees. Once you clearly imagine it, you will easily choose the best way of training to meet their expectations and gain efficiency.
So, assessment is the first and probably the most essential step of building an effective training program. A properly implemented assessment may be considered to be the firm basis of useful employee training.
Step #2 Keep the Learning Principles in Mind
When you know the preferences of the people who are members of your target market, you think about the learning style that will be preferable and easy to understand for them. The learning method and theory are very important in developing an effective training session. Whether you focus on discovery-based learning, blended learning, live lessons vs traditional lessons, multimodule learning, or something else, the method of teaching is one of the most essential points in achieving success.
There are many advantages of choosing the right teaching method. Let me mention some of them.
1. An industry-specific teaching method makes it easier to transfer knowledge and skills, makes points more clear and easy to understand.
2. Less time is spent on explanations.
3. The topic is easily and clearly realized by the learners.
Also, take into consideration the learning principles in the target market in order to reach the desired results. For instance, identify if the learners are self-directed, goal-oriented, or task-oriented. Learn about their preferences of learning, as well as the level of their background knowledge. Find out what will be good for them cause your final goal is their satisfaction.
Keeping these principles in mind, will help you better concentrate on the right points and implement processes easier.
Step #3 Set Objectives
Before starting the training creation you are highly recommended to write down a list of your learning objectives. This is a set of things the learners will be able to do after completing the overall training session. This will make the process easier to continue and will add value to the quality of the teaching activities.
To increase the efficiency of objectives you may rely on a widely accepted approach in marketing - SMART goals. Make your objectives SMART. This term is explained as:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Relevant
T - Time-bound
These are the characteristics of a SMART goal. If you set a goal following all these points it will be easier to reach as every element is set according to research and you do your best to achieve it.
Step #4 Build a Training Action Plan
A comprehensive action plan should also be considered. Usually, it covers all the teaching theories, learning styles, construction design, types of content, material, and other elements.
When planning the process do not forget about the above-mentioned points, including the learning principles, and teaching methods to reach the objectives. Resources and methods for training delivery should also be planned in detail. When developing the program, the level of training and participants’ learning styles should also be taken into consideration. It is recommended to work on an action plan and gather feedback to make adjustments well before launching the program for the wide audience.
This is an accepted approach for many companies and individual education providers as all the points are considered in advance and the risk of failure is decreased to the minimum.
Step #5 Prepare the Training Material
Making the training materials is something like getting ready for a dinner party when you come up with a menu, or write the recipes. This may be considered to be the “plan before you do” phase of training creation. Keep in mind to check out the following points when you work on designing the learning materials:
- Designing the training session before you hurry into the next step (development phase) is very essential as it makes the process smooth
- Mainly focus on the learning requirements of the participants (employees), and do not just consider what is easy for you as a trainer
- Develop educational content and assessments that directly relate to your learning objectives
- Keep in mind the learning principles in your target market
- Include as much relevant practice or simulation as possible. Remember that people learn better by doing
- In the cases it is possible, put the employees in control of the learning process
- Do everything possible to establish a connection and communicate with the employees. Talk and interact with them as well as make the communication possible for the employees with each other during the training
- Make sure you offer plenty of opportunities for feedback during the session
- Break your training materials up into small pieces that are easier to take in and realize
- Order your small pieces or topics in the overall training material in a logical manner — one step that builds on top of another, or chronological order, etc.
- Try to make use of the blended learning approach that, as we have already mentioned, covers several different formats (computer-based, instructor-led, etc.) in the training process.
- Try to integrate storytelling and scenarios into your training
- Ask for a variety of participants about their senses during training — sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste (when appropriate). By the way, sight is the most essential sense for learning, but adding the others when possible does help.
Step #6 Implement the Initiatives
The implementation phase is the point where the training program comes to life. When working on the program implementation you should consider employee engagement and learning goals, as well as thoroughly plan the scheduling of training activities and any related resources (for example, types of equipment, facilities, automation tool, questionnaire creating process, etc.). Then the training program is officially launched, promoted, and conducted. During training, participant progress should be monitored to ensure that the program is effective.
One of the essential points to keep in mind is that an LMS can play a big role in helping you during this step. As you may already know, this is a software application used to assign, deliver, track, and report on training. Good learning management systems cover notification systems that make it automated to send emails to the workers when new assignments are made or due dates are approaching.
To make the long story short, an LMS can automate a lot of mechanical work that is done manually and takes a lot of time. Such activities may include lesson planning, scheduling, notification procedures, test checking, etc. - processes you had to implement yourself in this step (and they do a lot more than that, too). Additionally, you may also have to do things like reserve rooms for training, buy any necessary supplies, print the material, work through any scheduling or traveling logistics, and perhaps even have food and drinks available. So, your training goes off as smoothly as possible. Moving forward to the actual training, the implementation can take a variety of forms. If you choose the online version, it may be through video courses, webinars, live lessons, practice opportunities such as role-playing exercises, focus groups, case studies, or small group assignments. On the pieces of job skills-based training, the delivery of paper-based hand-outs for individual reading and study is omitted and online pieces are available for everyone to complete e-learning modules on a computer, and even more.
With the help of Uteach, you may get such a personal platform that will help to automate a lot of manual activities and save your valuable time for more important points. Uteach offers 35 days of a FREE TRIAL.
Step #7 Evaluate the Training Results
Once the training material is launched and available for the participants, and there are even some participants, the time comes to evaluate the process, ask for reviews and feedback, and assess the final results. This will help you realize how effective your services are and what improvements may be implemented to make things even better.
In this stage, pay great attention to the learners’ opinions. Take into consideration which points they fail, what mislead them, or what was explained in a complex way. Knowing all these points you may repeat any of the above-mentioned steps that will help to increase the quality and offer better training services.
Good Luck to Your Future Endeavors!