What are corporate training programs?
Corporate training is the act of equipping employees with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs successfully. While training new hires is one example of this, it isn’t limited to an employee’s first few weeks on the job. Rather, as job descriptions across industries continuously evolve, corporate training can be a means of keeping up with ever-changing skill and knowledge demands in the workplace.
Your organization may deliver corporate training either online or in-person depending on your goals and your employees’ needs. In-person training usually embodies the traditional classroom setup, where one trainer leads a session as multiple learners in the same room participate. Online learning offers much more flexibility in how you deliver training. You could either lead a synchronous session — like through a live lecture or group discussion on Zoom — or an asynchronous program, where learners can complete e-learning courses and reading assignments in their own time. In some cases, you may want to employ elements from both online and face-to-face training to create a blended learning approach.
Examples of corporate training programs
While upskilling is one reason to train employees, there are many areas in the workplace where corporate training can add value both to individual employees and to the entire organization. Here’s a list of corporate training program ideas:
Security and compliance
Many organizations require employees to complete compliance training in accordance with certain laws. For example, you might need to train your employees on workplace safety or on your company’s code of ethics. You can fulfill these needs with a corporate training program that educates employees on company policies and codes of conduct, perhaps through an online course, a downloadable reading guide, or even a gamified learning activity.
Assessing your employees’ understanding of the company’s product or service is a great opportunity for corporate training — whether you have some updates to announce or just want to provide a refresher. You could create an e-learning course with different chapters and include short quizzes to measure their progress. You could even host a live webinar to go over key features or services and host a question-and-answer session at the end.
Training new employees
Even though new hires typically bring prior experience and existing skills, corporate training programs are still valuable for helping them adjust to their new roles and workplace. New employee training has long been done through face-to-face classroom sessions in an office, where a subject matter expert might lead presentations as employees take notes and ask questions. You could also host new employee training programs online, through a live presentation and discussion over a video call, or through an e-learning course.
And of course, as we’ve briefly covered, employees can rely on corporate training as a means of upskilling. For example, your sales team might benefit from soft skills training to better communicate with customers. Similarly, your marketing team might benefit from hard skills training to optimize their digital strategies.
Advantages of corporate training
As we’ve seen through the examples above, corporate training can bring many benefits to the organization, whether it’s by sharpening professional skills or by ensuring everyone has a strong understanding of the product they’re selling. But in the long run, there are several benefits of corporate training that go beyond fulfilling a momentary learning need:
More efficient workplace
Effective corporate training programs equip employees to be more efficient in the workplace. When you’ve created training that accurately targets your employees’ learning needs, they’re more likely to have the exact information needed to succeed at work.
Increased employee engagement
At the same time, when employees know how to do their jobs confidently, they’ll be more motivated to contribute to their team and the company’s success, making them more active participants in the workplace.
Higher employee retention
And employee engagement and efficiency can also impact the bigger picture: how happy employees are in their roles. Research shows that more and more young professionals want to work for a company where they have the room to excel in their work and grow in their careers, among other important factors that keep them from looking for new jobs. Corporate training programs can play a major part in keeping turnover rates low, which can be a significant cost-saver for companies. With access to high-quality training programs, employees are more likely to stick around, knowing they are supported and valued members of their organization.
Start training online
So, now that we have a clearer sense of what corporate training looks like and the value it can bring, how can you go about creating it? While we’ve mentioned earlier that it can come in various forms, we believe that online training is better suited for the future of corporate learning than face-to-face training is.
Online training offers employees more flexibility in how they can engage with their learning materials. The possibility of asynchronous learning, for example, can give employees more ownership over their time, allowing them to complete training activities at their own pace.
To help you get started with creating online training, we’ve put together a few steps you can take:
Define your training goals
A corporate training program should have a clear purpose. This means you need to know why your employees need training before you can create an effective program. Is it to improve your sales team’s communication skills when dealing with prospective clients? Is it because your employees need to refamiliarize themselves with the product’s key features?
Defining your goal can also help you set clear learning objectives for your learners, giving them a sense of what knowledge or skills they can expect to gain by participating in your program. It can also help you identify what tools you’ll need or who you’ll need to work with. It might even shed light on what training mediums would be most suitable, whether it’s a live video lecture, an online course, or something else.
Determine how you’ll measure your learners’ progress
Once you’ve established the goals of your training program, determine how you’ll assess your learners’ progress. For example, will you include a quiz or a short exercise? Making these decisions upfront can help keep you accountable as the content creator. Knowing what questions you want your learners to be able to answer, for example, will help make sure you don’t include any irrelevant learning content in the program.
Identify the people you will work with
As mentioned, who you’ll need to work with will depend on your training goals. Perhaps your priority is to create highly engaging content with fancy animation. In this case, you’ll likely need to involve an instructional designer. Perhaps that’s too time-consuming and you just want to create effective content quickly. In this case, consider an Employee-Generated Learning (EGL) approach where employees can create content themselves. For this, you’ll need to work with subject matter experts in the organization, as well as your company’s learning department to oversee the process. But we’ll cover EGL in more detail later.
Identify the tools you’ll need
Now that you know what you want your corporate training program to look like, it’s time to get practical. Creating online corporate training is more than just putting together a PowerPoint presentation. In fact, slides are far from effective for learning. You’ll likely need an e-learning authoring tool that’s specifically meant for designing training content.
For example, you could use a Learning Management System (LMS) with a built-in authoring tool, allowing you to create and store your content in one place. Still, this option can be limiting. Creating content within an LMS can lead to vendor lock-in, meaning you won’t be able to transfer your content out to another LMS. To combat this, we recommend using a separate authoring tool that still allows you to export your content in LMS-friendly formats. Our own solution, Easygenerator, is an example of a tool that meets this need.
Taking these steps can help you get started with developing an effective e-learning strategy. But you may also be wondering how much everything will cost. And we understand this concern. E-learning can be costly. At the same time, we believe a more important question to ask is what value e-learning will bring your organization.
In our view, costs shouldn’t be the main deciding factor when it comes to meeting your employees’ learning needs. And with Employee-Generated Learning, you can develop a scalable e-learning strategy that meets learning needs and saves time and costs in the long run. We’ll dive deeper into this next.
Make your corporate training more effective with Easygenerator
We understand that creating online corporate training can be both expensive and time-consuming. That’s why we’ve developed a scalable solution that combines our authoring tool, Easygenerator, with an Employee-Generated Learning approach (EGL).
Under EGL, subject matter experts throughout the organization are empowered to create learning content themselves. This means they won’t have to rely on a central learning department to create, distribute, and facilitate training programs. In other words, EGL enables a peer-to-peer knowledge sharing approach, where employees who are subject matter experts can create training content for their colleagues. At the same time, your company’s learning department can benefit from their newfound time to focus on other high-stakes projects in their backlog that can’t be handed off as easily.
But to successfully execute EGL, you’ll need a user-friendly authoring tool that any employee can use, even if they aren’t a trained instructional designer or educator. Easygenerator’s cloud-based, drag-and-drop creator enables anyone in your organization to seamlessly create engaging content. You can easily create courses and include a wide range of assessments, like quizzes or fill-in-the-blank exercises, for example. But instead of just seeing whether your learners passed or failed, you’ll have detailed learner insights to draw from, including data like how many attempts someone made at a question, or where in the course they might have clicked out.
Most importantly, whenever you feel your published course is at risk of being outdated, you can easily update the content without having to share it all over again. This is a much more cost-effective alternative to creating new, high-quality courses on the same subject repeatedly.
We understand that your organization may not be used to such an approach, which is why we’ve developed some tips to help with the shift to Employee-Generated Learning. Ultimately, we believe EGL adds immense value to corporate training. When coupled with a zero-learning-curve authoring tool, it can speed up the process of knowledge sharing significantly, ensuring employees get the training they need just in time.