Have you ever heard complaints from your employees about how much time is spent on training? They may express the fact that, while training is helpful, they can't afford to spend so much away from their daily responsibilities, especially if the training requires travel. So, how do you reduce time consumption in employee training without compromising effectiveness?
It's a valid concern. One of the biggest challenges is how to get employees to make time for training. This is a bigger challenge if the training requires hours and days away from work. There are also costs of not training employees with lost productivity, safety and harassment issues, lower sales, cybersecurity breaches, and the list goes on. The idea is to reduce time consumption of training for employees, your trainer’s, and administrators while maintaining efficacy.
Tips to Reduce Time Consumption of Employee Training
Think about it. How can your internal team possibly create 100% of the training content you need for 100% of your employees. It makes sense to outsource some of your training needs. Focus your internal team on creating the training that is unique to your company. Let them handle the specifics on your benefits package, mission/vision/values, internal processes, topics related to your culture, etc.
When you work with a company like ej4, you gain access to a full library of off-the-shelf content that is ready and accessible to all employees day one.
- Use our safety videos on fire extinguishers, PPE, electrical safety, etc. and use your team to create courses specific to your buildings on evacuation, emergency exits, and procedures.
- Use our foundational sales and selling skills courses on uncovering customer needs, handling objections, making sales calls etc. Use your internal team to create custom content with your value proposition, messaging, features/benefits, etc.
- Use our series on project management to cover the basics of the project charter, timelines, communication, etc. Then create your own training on your project management software like Basecamp or Teamwork.
Convert to Microlearning
Another way to reduce time consumption of employee training is to convert to microlearning. Research shows that employees get interrupted every 11 minutes. That is why our training videos average around seven minutes.
Look at your outline for a session on anti-harassment, for example. There may be obvious shorter “chapters'' to the content that could be converted to microlearning modules. This is how we break up our series on understanding harassment:
- Introduction to Understanding Harassment 7:51
- Understanding Offenders 8:14
- Understanding Targets 8:13
- Bystander Training 5:38
- Warning Signs 5:16
- Healthy Culture 4:19
- Understanding Harassment in Review 8:37
Rather than clearing a full hour on the calendar, an employee could squeeze these videos into the natural breaks between meetings and other tasks.
Video training is perfect for topics where trainers find they are repeating themselves over and over. Onboarding new employees is a perfect example. Your HR team has to have the same benefits conversation with every new hire. Why not record that content in an informative video the new employee can watch at home with their family. Imagine filling out the online onboarding forms for health benefits, 401K etc. with the help of a video you could watch side-by-side to show you exactly where to click and what to fill out!
Video training offers several additional benefits.
- Consistency: Ensure everyone receives exactly the same information in the same way. Live instructors may vary their delivery or story examples with each class or person. A video will not.
- Accessibility: Videos can be watched anytime, anyplace. This helps shift workers, traveling salespeople, and learners in different time zones have equal access.
- Efficiency: Your training team records the content once but it can be used by hundreds and thousands of employees.
Allow Self-Directed Learning
Instructor-led classes have to occur at a scheduled time and place which may end up being inconvenient for an employee’s work schedule. While video calls and webinar events don’t require everyone to be in the same place, they do have the limitation of the designated time.
The combination of microlearning in video form makes self-directed learning very easy. With the right platform, managers or admins can assign required courses with a deadline but allow the learners to complete the training at their own pace. Microlearning videos can be squeezed into a schedule in between meetings, while travelling, or after hours.
In addition, with a full library of training videos learners can explore topics they are personally interested in.
- A newly promoted supervisor might seek out a course on going from coworker to boss.
- An introverted, quiet employee might take a course on assertive communication.
- An entry-level employee might need courses on business attire or email etiquette.
Offer Mobile Learning
In today’s world of smartphones and tablets, your training must be mobile-ready. This is another important method to reduce the time consumption of training. Eliminating the time to travel to a training session whether it is out of town, in a separate building on your company’s campus, or simply traveling to another floor in the same building.
Some of our clients use company-provided tablets for training in factories and warehouses, with vehicle-based employees like truck drivers and maintenance workers, and for travelling sales teams in the field. Several of our clients in the agriculture industry use our content in literal fields as they work with farmers.
Leverage Blended Learning
While we are discussing time-saving methods for your training programs, we never want to compromise on quality or effectiveness. This is where your in-house team of instructors can spend their time more efficiently when combined with the training videos for a blended-learning experience for your learners.
Trainers can run a more interactive classroom environment by assigning eLearning videos as "pre-work." All learners come to class with a basic knowledge in common. The classroom time can be spent discussing more meaningful, real-life application scenarios.
Instructors could use videos in the classroom to reinforce training points and encourage discussion.
Managers can use videos in 1:1 coaching meetings with their direct reports for more targeted conversations.
This may sound like a complete overhaul of your current training program but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. It’s simply a reallocation of resources using your team’s time more effectively with the benefit of a more far-reaching training program.
- A Guide to Creating an Employee Training and Development Program
- How to Promote Training Courses to Employees
- 8 Staff Training Ideas to Spice Up Your Learning