bored yawning businessman working with laptopThe underlying reason companies spend time and money on training programs is to increase sales and boost performance. Those two things are what you’re supposed to get at the end of the training rainbow. Training software, programs and systems are a billion dollar industry. Training companies are making their money, but the real question is if companies are getting a return on their investment?

There is the option to invest in training, and simply get employees through it, but that’s not how you get an ROI. Improvements in sales and performance don’t just happen after training, they happen after good training.

1. Start With the Right Tools

Choosing training software can be tricky. Companies have to consider the effectiveness of the system, the support that the training system company offers, and last but certainly not least, cost. Training systems should have the following features:

  • Continued and effective technical support
  • Regular, scheduled updates
  • Self-help knowledge libraries available around the clock
  • Training videos
  • Progress tracking system
  • Appropriate and up-to-date technology

2. Gamification

It’s the new trend in training for a reason. Twenty-eight million people harvest their crops on Farmville everyday. It’s an understatement to say that people love online games; why not take this trend and make it useful. That’s what a lot of training programs are doing lately.

Companies like Badgeville are leading the way in workplace training gamification. They offer an out of the box SaaS service with customizable options for the organization to set any task or goal as part of the game. They have recently teamed up with Yammer to add the social media element. As employees finish levels or reach goals, it is socialized and made visible to the whole company. This has shown to create a healthy, competitive atmosphere in which employees are more productive and engaged.

3. Hands On

Leaders and managers need to do just that during the training process—lead and manage. It’s not enough to stick your team in front of a training video. Getting involved and being a part of the process means being hands on about the training. This can include the following:

  • Debriefing meetings where you discuss the information covered.
  • Reviewing the training material ahead of time and highlighting and expanding upon pertinent information.
  • Small presentations from each member discussing the training material to one another.
  • Holding a pop quiz over the material where the winner gets a lunch out, or a great parking spot for the week.

4. Tracking Progress

The proper training technology should have the ability to do this for you, but personalized follow through is important. Leading a team or individual through the training process means making sure that no one is left behind. If someone is struggling with the material, offer him or her the resources and time to properly grasp it. And going back a step, you won’t know who is falling behind if you’re not hands on.

5. Feedback

This is such an important step with every training program or session. Improvement and growth starts with knowledge. Gathering feedback from employees ensures a better training session each time. When soliciting feedback, you will almost always get like responses indicating what did or did not work for them. You will know what workshop or video was a waste of time, and you’ll find out what to expand upon the next go around.

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