Companies perform well when their people achieve high levels of innovation, productivity, and efficiency. Businesses spend billions of dollars yearly to attract, train, develop and retain top talent, and the shift is underway to training on demand, particularly using online and mobile formats.
According to the 2016 annual industry report from Training Magazine, U.S. companies are spending $70.65 billion per year on training. The average is $14.3 million for large companies, $1.4 million for mid-size companies and $376,000 for small companies. The share of training hours in a stand-and-deliver classroom format continued its steady decline, now down to 41 percent.
Gone are the days when formal training counted as an optional item on your corporate budget. Given the globalized economy and the rapid pace at which business information can be generated, accessed and shared, companies tend to compete more intensely for both market and talent share.
Without the advantage of skilled personnel, equipped channel partners, and knowledgeable customers, companies will find it difficult to keep afloat, much less achieve business growth. This makes training — for all stakeholders in a product or service — a key factor in your organizational success.
How to provide on-demand training to today’s workforce
Not every type of training will make the cut. As a rule of thumb, go for platforms that provide training on demand. Among many other reasons, the changing workplace demographics necessitate this choice.
Always-on millennials — who prefer to learn when they feel like it — have already surpassed baby boomers as America’s largest generation and will comprise the majority of the workforce in the foreseeable future.
Similarly, many decision-makers among your channel partners and customers will also be millennials, and getting them to know your products and services will be a lot easier if you have training on demand in place.
Just as cell phones with physical keypads eventually gave way to ones that use touchscreen technology, legacy training and development approaches will take the backseat in favor of agiler learning management systems (LMS).
These LMS solutions not only integrate relevant technologies such as cloud computing and mobility in their architecture but also tap the science behind human behavior to deepen engagement and ease the learning curve.
If your current LMS leans heavily on in-person, classroom-type training, then it’s time to consider an upgrade. Here are the baseline requirements of an LMS solution that can position your company on par with the most competitive firms:
- Device agnostic
- Intuitive user interfaces
- Customizable and versatile
- Support for course design and authoring
- Support for gamification and certification
- Support for collaboration and feedback
- Ability to handle all types of multimedia content
- White labelled
- Rich analytics and report generation
Impact and advantages of on-demand training
Many companies have already adopted LMS solutions that offer training on demand because of a number of demonstrable advantages. Boosting productivity, meeting compliance standards and reducing costs are just some benefits that will also help you achieve business growth.
Here’s a rundown of the most compelling online training advantages that may persuade you to make the transition:
Drive productivity. An LMS that aligns well with the learning preferences of its users tends to generate a high level of acceptance and engagement across the board. In turn, an engaged workforce with updated skills and product know-how is a very powerful resource any company would want in its corner.
Staff productivity translates to bottom line benefits through a number of possible routes, including direct sales, product or process innovation, cost efficiencies and other factors that improve profit margins.
Improve employee satisfaction. Millennials value training more than most other employment benefits. If your LMS design and deployment match the sensibilities of your staff, then your employee retention rates tend to improve. Low turnover rates reduce the significant cost of hiring, onboarding and training new hires.
Moreover, satisfied and happy workers deliver better performance than bored and unmotivated employees. Finally, the same factors that keep your people satisfied will rub onto other professionals looking for employment opportunities, making your company highly attractive to job seekers.
Reduce costs. As mentioned previously, online training can boost the bottom line by improving profit margins.
Traditional training programs that involve brick-and-mortar venues and in-person instructors tend to bite a big chunk of your HR budget. In contrast, cloud-based training on demand reduces and even eliminates on-site training expenses such as instructor fees, printing expenses, and site rentals.
More importantly, cloud-based training can be scaled easily according to your business needs or the size of your workforce.
Provide on-time business intelligence or training on demand. Contemporary LMS solutions enable learners to take courses whenever they want at their own pace. Equally important, though, these solutions also empower your workforce to immediately access any critical data they need to engage customers or navigate a challenge.
Reduce onboarding and training periods. Compared to traditional training platforms, customizable online training shortens the learning curve for many skills and knowledge areas. This translates to significant savings in training costs and enables your organization to deploy competent people sooner.
Fill leadership pipeline. Empowering your people by offering training on demand allows many staff members to build domain expertise, coach junior hires and eventually assume leadership roles.
Since hiring externally entails greater cost compared to tapping from an in-house roster, grooming future leaders within the organization represents a smarter route. This way, you can reduce recruitment expenses across your organizational hierarchy.
Strategize talent deployment. Having a versatile LMS in place enables your management team to meaningfully brainstorm on how to develop and deploy your people better.
Emerging skill competencies, leadership requirements, best practices for customer engagement, performance metrics and industry climate are just some core issues corporate training covers.
Training on demand keeps people competent and motivated for success
Your ability to grow your business depends on your team’s ability to deliver. Without motivation, skills and relevant knowledge, your people will flounder, making targets harder to reach. With the appropriate training platform, you can build a highly competent and motivated team capable of taking your business to the next level.
Explore the LMS market to find the best solution based on your goals and budget. Determine your team’s training needs and design a learning program that will keep them on top of their game.
Author: Carlos Russo is the Digital Marketing Manager at SchoolKeep, a modern training platform building a new category of learning management systems (LMS). Their platform provides managers a better way to train teams, customers, and partners.