You may or may not have noticed quite a few changes to The NEWS staff this year. We’ve lost a few people and gained some new ones. The most recent change has been my taking on the role of web editor. Now, I’ve worn many hats during my last four years at The NEWS, so while I already knew quite a bit of the new job’s responsibilities, there were some functions where I was absolutely clueless. Luckily, our parent company, BNP Media, has quite an extensive e-learning network, which contains numerous training videos and documents for editors.

We’ve all heard about the different types of learners: visual, auditory, and hands-on. I truly believe this to be true — everyone learns differently. And I believe myself to be the only millennial in the world who prefers reading training documents rather than watching video presentations.



On-demand training programs like BNP’s e-learning network are gaining popularity. I’ve heard numerous stories of contracting companies and wholesalers implementing such programs into their organizations. According to Stratistics MRC, the Global e-learning market accounted for $165 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $275 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent during the forecast period. The key factors that are favoring the market growth are flexibility in learning, low cost, easy accessibility, and increased effectiveness by animated learning.

Believe it or not, there are currently seven generations in the U.S. workforce — more than one-in-three (35 percent) of them are millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. So, keeping in mind the different types of learners, companies need to be adding more than just videos to their e-learning programs.

The ideal training program should combine class lectures with printed or digital handouts, hands-on labs, and e-learning offerings.



Additionally, diversifying training offerings and materials — while a step in the right direction — is not enough. Simply put, training programs should meet the long-term objectives of the business, according to Frank Besednjak, president and CEO of Training Source Inc. Besednjak touched on the topic of how to make training stick late last year while he reminisced about his time managing the training department for GE appliances.

The problem Besednjak encountered was that instead of having an objective to teach an employee to do something better or more efficiently, the objective became to hold training because of an obligation to provide a certain number of training hours.

“There are two simple lessons to be learned here,” Besednjak said. “First, training development does not have to be difficult. Create an assessment that very closely resembles what it is that you want them to be able to do; now, teach them how to pass it. Secondly, make sure every student does clearly understand that they must be able to prove they know what was taught after the training lab or course is complete, then make them do it.

“I’ve sat in on many workshops, trainings, and seminars and felt that the objectives rarely matched the curriculum and that 90 percent of the information presented was not useful and/or remembered, nor had any connection whatsoever to the reason why people were sitting in that room,” he added. “This all happens because people do not know the fundamental objectives of teaching and learning.”

So, with these details in mind, when was the last time you took a good, hard look at your training program? Does it operate as intended? Can your employees demonstrate they have learned the new material after taking the training? If not, then it may be time to overhaul your program.

Publication date: 8/27/2018

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