Corporate Training Best Practices
In a $200 billion marketplace saturated with vendors of all kinds, finding corporate training classes is easy. However, finding quality corporate training solutions that align with your business goals and enable your talent to gain needed skills, takes more than a mere internet key word search. There are five factors you can use to ensure you get more than just a class with a good title, but that you secure an effective training solution for your team.
Proven and Effective Needs Analysis
If the first question your potential training vendor ask is, “what is your budget?”, then they are not focused on your outcomes. A corporate training best practice is to start with the analysis: determine the root cause for the training request, identify the needed outcomes, and discover the best learning approach for this particular team.
The Society for Human Resource Management shares that once the goals are known, then you can design the targeted learning solution. Those goals can include “…better performance, productivity, quality or customer satisfaction, to name a few.”
Targeted and Customized Courses
From the Needs Analysis, the potential training company should provide you with recommendations for your team’s learning approach. The courses available may include classes targeted to a specific knowledge areas like Emotional Intelligence, Managing Meetings, or Managing Stakeholders. Or, the recommendations may include standardizing your company’s talent bench with a focus on industry certifications including Project Management, Business Analysis, or Agile.
As a conscientious departmental or training manager, you need a training partner who can right size the solution to fit your team. An existing class can be customized to reflect your corporate culture while still delivering industry best practices.
Professional and Quality Training Materials
When reviewing the corporate training company’s proposal, ask about the materials provided for each class. A pretty course pack does not automatically mean it is an effective training resource. Corporate training best practice is to provide materials that are:
- Professional in appearance and user-friendly
- Available before/during/after class to reinforce the learning process
- Aligned with the class objectives
- Easy to access (including print or online options)
Relevant and Deep Course Catalog
Just as the training company should work with you to analyze your team’s learning needs, as a Training Manager or People Leader, you should do some analysis work on their class options considering:
- Delivery options (online, onsite, hybrid)
- Depth of topics including skill levels
- Range of topics including those of greatest business needs
- Employee support including coaching and materials
And keep in mind, the length of a catalog does not equate to a strong course selection. Weaker companies can take one set of content, and merely change the title to give an impression of more options to try and lure new business. The catalog should provide clear information on how the training company will serve your employees before, during, and after the actual class in addition to class descriptions and objectives.
Qualified and Experienced Instructors
Ask someone about their school memories and often the first response is the name of a favorite teacher. Instructors, just like those teachers from classrooms in your childhood, have a big impact on your learning as an adult. Class surveys almost always call out what the employees thought of the instructor, and that is part of why the learning is only as good as the trainer.
When you are seeking best in class corporate training, make sure that the company provides professional biographies on their instructor team. Ask about meeting with the instructor to talk with them about your company culture and see if there’s a good fit.
Your Company Deserves the Best Corporate Training
Companies that provide high quality training to their employees reap many benefits including higher morale and longer talent retention. Research has shown that a “significant relationship was found between job training satisfaction and overall job satisfaction”. As part of your due diligence in selecting the best in class training for your team or company, look for these 5 things: Needs Analysis, Targeted and Customized Courses, Professional and Quality Training Materials, Relevant and Deep Course Catalog, and Qualified and Experienced Instructors.
About Megan Bell, MPM, PMP
A multi-hyphenate of corporate training, higher education, and creative agency work, Bell’s passion for connecting people to impactful information fuels an evolving career journey. Her portfolio includes conducting learning analytic research and reporting, managing a corporate mentoring program, authoring a blog series, facilitating leadership and career programs, serving on a non-profit board, and even occasional voice work. Bell’s education background encompasses UNC-Chapel Hill, Western Carolina University, and North Carolina State University.
- Connect with Megan Bell, MPM, PMP