4 Key Steps to Implement a Blended Corporate Training Program
This article is a continuation of the previous article that talks about the benefits of developing a blended learning experience for your employee. This article covers the how of it, including the platform for the delivery, content, and needs of the employee.
Given below are 4 key steps you need to follow to design, develop and implement a blended training program.
1. Build an employee profile
The success of any blended training program boils down to meeting the needs of the employees. In order to produce an effective corporate training program that uses a blended model, these needs must be documented, analyzed, and understood.
Start by arranging your employees’ needs and preferences into different categories such as:
- Time available for training
- Geographic attributes
- Technological aptitude
- Preferred training medium (mobile, classroom, laptop)
The best way to gather this data is conducting surveys on either a sample of your employees or, if your organization is an SME, surveying all of your employees.
2. Determine the focus of the training program
Once you have an employee profile, compare it with the requirements of your training program. Try to determine what ‘need’ to focus on to maximize the benefit for your employees.
For eg, if a majority of your employees are tech-savvy and have packed routines, try to focus on online training using mobile devices for your blended learning strategy. However, if you have blue-collar employees who are uncomfortable with technology, you should give them an introduction to the entire training program — including instructions on how to install and use technology, as well as participation and attendance/completion requirements. You can transition their training program to a fully blended one once they have gotten used to the concept.
Note that, if you have a large number of employees, you will definitely come across multiple learner profiles. To tackle this issue, simply pick the commonalities among all the profiles to maximize the effectiveness of your training program.
3. Break down your content
You need to make your training content easy to digest and engaging if you wish to maximize knowledge retention among employees. Break down your topics into bite-sized chunks while making sure that they meet the learning requirements for all learner profiles.
The fastest way to do this is to determine topics and subtopics that make up the entire program. Start with broad topic headings and work your way down to determine sub topics, sub topic sections and so on.This can be done by using mind mapping, white boarding, spreadsheets or even post-it notes.
As an example, consider the topic ‘The use and effects of drugs on patients. One possible breakdown of this topic is given below in the form of a hierarchy diagram.
With the program now outlined for all employees in the hospital, the specific requirements of different learner profiles can be overlaid.
Finally, once the topic and all of its requirements are outlined and the target audience has been overlain onto it, we can refer to our learner profiles and make some informed decisions as to what elements the blended program requires.
4. Use an LMS as a gateway
Most HR managers know what an LMS is, however, they tend to view it as more of a compliance platform rather than a training tool. You can use a Learning Management System to manage the delivery, reporting, and tracking of training programs across a group or groups of learners.
With an LMS, you can deliver content in a number of ways such as Face to Face training, eLearning Videos, PPTs, Docs. Some top of the line LMSes can even go beyond this to incorporate embedded content from 3rd party websites(YouTube, SlideShare, Vimeo), allow downloadable content and offline viewing, and provide inbuilt, intuitive course creation tools.The LMS that you choose should also have an inbuilt, comprehensive notification system that allows learners, managers, and administrators to keep track of every aspect of the training.
Lastly, the reporting feature found in most LMSes allows admins, course authors, and managers to get an overview of the training program and get answers to questions such as ‘who is enrolled?’, ‘how far have they progressed?’, ‘what has been completed?’, ‘what is pending?’ etc. Some LMSes, such as LearnBee, push reporting to a whole new level with in-depth analytics. Expanding reporting beyond just pass and fail metrics provides insight into how effective your blended training programs are actually are.
You have a number of options for delivering training to your employees. If you combine any 2 of these options, you would, technically, have a ‘blended’ training model. However, in order to create a truly effective blended training program, your initial strategy, mediums of delivery, platform, content should all focus on only one aspect of the program, which is the employee.