As you may have followed in SpeakingDIRECT, we’ve been tracking IWCO Direct’s progress with new tools and practices for learning, training, and professional development, along with how it helps us deliver better marketing. We’ve always used standard corporate training resources (like SOPs, process diagrams, and online conferencing) that make our work better by making our team better.
But we’re also using two new platforms to help us train more efficiently:
These programs help our instructional design team create and edit videos, quizzes, and interactive on-screen learning activities/games for eLearning modules that learners can take independently from any device, any time of day. They help us avoid “death by PowerPoint.”
Our LMS is the system where we store all eLearning modules, launch new modules to learners, track attendance, track quiz scores, and gather training survey feedback. It’s a great tool to help us avoid the administrative bog that’s often associated with training deployment.
eLearning and LMS are new tools for getting ahead of the same challenge: How do you cultivate a team to support their long-term professional growth while delivering better, more efficient solutions to IWCO Direct clients? Better yet, how do you do that at a corporate level? Here are a few of the ways we approach corporate training.
Process Diagrams & Stakeholder Analysis
As soon as our team is engaged in a project, we immediately study or create current-state and future-state process diagrams. These visuals provide answers for the following important questions:
- Who does what step today compared to who will do that step after training?
- What are the new steps certain employees will need to learn during training?
- What are steps that certain employees can stop doing?
Denise Olszewski, a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer on our team, says, “While it’s tempting to jump immediately to future state and focus on what that will look like, it’s important to take time to thoroughly capture current state. That helps us see how the future can be different, which puts the change in context. For example, we often include people in the corporate training who will be able to STOP doing something once the new process is deployed. This improves overall communication about the project’s impact and reduces confusion and stress. Yet this audience would likely be missed if the focus was only on future state.”
All these answers give us a clear picture of our stakeholders and their corporate training needs. Making sure a process is understood is vital to the success of any project. It helps us avoid process “gotchas” that come up mid-training and derail the class or even the entire project. We prepare each course curriculum to explain the process changes and focus on the new tasks each learner is expected to be able to do after the course.
Designing Learning Modules for Corporate Training
Based on the unique learning needs of all stakeholder groups, our team of instructional designers create corporate training modules that cover all learning objectives. Sometimes, several stakeholder groups can attend the same course; sometimes these courses are so different that it’s important to separate the groups so they can learn differently. For example, some groups may need hands-on computer training to learn how to use a new system while another group simply needs a quick eLearning course that explains the new process.
Denise explains it this way: “Another corporate training strategy is to think about who will need to DO something different. While our largest training audience is usually everyone who should be AWARE of the change, there is usually a subset of that group who will need to do their job differently. That audience should receive more time and attention than the awareness-only group.”
We offer a variety of training module styles. We often provide a combination of these module styles based on each project’s needs.
- Online group classes with a presentation and interactivity between learners and instructors.
- Classroom, computer-based learning with activities that give learners the confidence they need to work independently after training.
- Self-paced eLearning modules that learners can take any time, any place; often including interactive games or quizzes. These courses can be referred to after the initial training, when the information comes in handy during real-life work activities.
- Q&A sessions after a course is completed so that learners can bring real-life examples forward to receive instruction.
- Workshops where a learner and trainer work side-by-side to complete a real-life task.
Feedback Influences the Future of Corporate Training
We believe that any training that’s worth delivering is worth evaluating so we can ensure learners found the course worth our development effort! We follow up with learners from every training class to find out:
- What they liked about the training so we can continue and standardize best practices.
- What could be improved about the training so we can improve the next class.
- What additional information learners may need now that the training is complete and they are practicing their new skills.
With feedback like this, we can identify the most effective elements of our training tools and adapt areas that may need reevaluation.
IWCO Direct has a culture of continuous improvement; changes to our roles and responsibilities are constant and make our team better—sometimes incrementally, sometimes radically. It is a testament to our employees’ positive, flexible work ethic that we are consistently improving our products and customer experience.
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