If your organization sells products or services, both employees and external users need to be trained properly. This involves the development of a framework that delivers this information as efficiently as possible.
To do this effectively, your company can implement an enterprise learning strategy.
Enterprise learning intends to deliver knowledge in a way that helps organizations achieve business goals, both inside and outside the company.
Most companies will have overall goals that relate to the direction of the business as a whole. Those goals may rely on several business areas to successfully carry out the required actions.
An enterprise learning strategy must take an organization's high-level goals and break them down into desired competencies for various departments and other groups in the company.
1. Conduct a training needs assessment
Conducting a training needs assessment involves three major steps:
- Write down the organizational goals to be addressed.
- Gather information from company leaders, department heads, and other stakeholders to identify what knowledge and skills are required to achieve those goals successfully.
- Work with the same stakeholders to prioritize the competencies created during the needs assessment.
At this point, you will have a list of learning and training needs that is divided by business area and appropriately prioritized.
2. Selecting the type of training
So now you have a prioritized list of training needs. These should address organizational objectives as a whole and goals for each team. Now, it's time to select the type of training that will best meet your needs.
Here are some of the most common choices:
- Classroom training at external sites
- Internal classroom training
- Self-paced online training
- Instructor-led online training
- Video training
- Conferences and seminars
- Self-paced training that's not online
- Instructional and demonstration videos
- Frequently Asked Questions documents
- Discussion forums
- Manuals and guides
All of these are means for workers or others to receive training or obtain the knowledge they need proactively.
Figuring out which training solution will best satisfy each of the identified gaps is a crucial step as you create an enterprise learning strategy.
3. Complete a skills gap analysis
Once you've identified your organization's needs, it's time for the skills gap analysis. This analysis uncovers the gap between what your teams need to know and what they already know.
As you conduct the gap analysis, consider that the goal of an enterprise learning strategy is to make knowledge and skills development as accessible as possible.
To get a better understanding of your stakeholders' skills gap, try these methods:
- Team member interviews - one-on-one sessions conducted with team members, supervisors, and other stakeholders to uncover a lack of skills or knowledge.
- Surveys and questionnaires - you can expand the reach of your research by using tools like employee surveys, polls, and questionnaires. These same tools can also help you reach customers, partners, and others outside of the company.
- Group interviews - when you interview people in groups, they tend to discuss ideas, seek consensus, and challenge one another's recollection. This approach can help you gain valuable information on where your knowledge and training gaps exist.
4. Determine the required training
Once you've created the skills gap analysis, you should have identified where your training needs lie. Now you can prioritize those needs according to organizational goals and necessities.
Here are some questions to ask when determining if a training need rates a high priority and if pursuing it is currently viable:
- Does it solve a problem? You want the changes you make to be effective and solve your identified issues. If the team had access to proper training, they would develop the skills they need to meet or exceed the requirements.
- How much will it cost? To calculate the total cost of a particular training initiative, take the total cost of training and multiply that by the number of people who will receive the training. However, remember that expense alone shouldn't determine how you prioritize.
- What is the ROI? This analysis determines whether the benefit to the organization is worth the cost of the training. It can also identify how long it will take to recoup the money spent on training through improved sales, growth, fewer incidents, etc.
- Is it a matter of legal compliance? Unfortunately, your gap analysis may uncover some issues of safety or compliance. For example, you may determine that you have employees processing financial transactions who haven't received mandatory training on customer data protection or fraud detection.
- How long will training take? When people are in training, they often aren't doing their jobs. This overlap can interfere with daily operations and make it challenging to meet customer needs. Usually, you can resolve this with planning and intelligent scheduling.
- Do we need this to remain competitive? Any training that allows you to increase your ability to compete in the current business ecosystem should be a high priority.
5. Use customer support data
Customer support or help desk records can be a goldmine of information. When you search through these records, look for patterns that indicate an inability to meet customer needs. Organizations thrive when their customers have access to training materials they need as well.
Identify where customers seem to lack the understanding to the point that it hinders their ability to get the best use out of your products or services. Creating an enterprise learning strategy might include plans to provide learning resources for your teams and customers.
6. Research existing training resources
Before you invest in expensive training solutions, take a closer look at your existing resources. Do you have guides, instruction manuals, diagrams, or other information that can be digitized and added to a knowledge base? What about instructional videos?
The chances are that you don't have everything you need to execute your enterprise learning strategy, but you may have some assets to build on.
Additionally, this is an excellent way to determine where you have training and knowledge resources that have only been made accessible to specific employees or departments. Now is a great time to break down these silos as part of your effort to create an enterprise learning strategy that benefits your entire organization.
7. Select an enterprise LMS
How will you deliver the training you need to implement your corporate training strategy? Many fail because they didn't involve selecting and implementing an enterprise-level learning platform.
An enterprise LMS is a platform used to create, store, deliver, and measure the effectiveness of learning and training initiatives. A learning platform also allows supervisors and managers to assign courses, review assessments, and otherwise track the progress of their team members.