A strong learning culture: a direct impact on productivity9 August 2016
Optimizing the impacts of investments in training: Example of a project2 November 2016
Author : Marie-Pascale Nadeau, Project Manager and Instructional Designer at HumEng International
Remaining competitive is a constant challenge for all companies, and, the need to do more with less is now the norm. This reality directly affects companies’ training. Since budgets are limited, the goal must be to increase the impact of training investments.
Before addressing blended learning, let’s look at a study conducted by Kirkpatrick on the impacts of training investments. This American researcher evaluated how dollars invested in training preparation, content development and training follow-up have an impact on knowledge transfer.
In the first group, the company invested 90% in content development, which resulted in 15% sustained new behaviours.
In the second group, 25% of the invested money went to pre-training preparation, 25% into content development and delivery and 50% in post training follow-up. This strategy completely inversed the results by obtaining a transfer rate of 85%!
According to this model, efforts should therefore be distributed throughout the training process, and not mainly in content development.
Targeted Blended Learning
“Blended Learning”, is a training mode combining e-learning, which covers the “what” and “why” of a job and taken at the learner’s own pace, and structured practical training, which covers the “how to” and is done either via classroom training or coaching.
Blended learning is often considered ideal: it reduces training time and costs and allows for a more flexible training schedule.
Beginning with the required generic content, training that is already available on the market can be used, and employees can be trained quickly and at less cost. Meanwhile, the part of the training that is specific to the mill, process or equipment is developed.
The main challenge of blended learning is the development of a pedagogical path adapted to the employee and company’s needs.
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, the production of a sound targeted skills profile and the identification of a job’s key skills is the foundation of the skills development process.
Blended learning becomes even more efficient when it is complemented with structured on-the-job training (OJT). This training focuses on the evaluation of practical skills through direct observations, feedback from the coach/trainer and post training follow-up. This follow-up allows for the rapid correction of undesired behaviours, reinforces correct behaviours and standardises best practices.
Following a needs analysis, a skills development process begins with the production of job skill profiles and identifying those skills that are critical to the operation. The best approach identifies the critical skills on which employees must be trained and evaluated.
HumEng offers generic e-learning content for skills that require it and then, with our clients, we develop customized content adapted to their needs. This content can be in the form of standard operating procedures, customized e-learning modules, videos or guides. The content is simple and efficient, to ensure that it can be easily modified if necessary, making it less onerous and expensive to keep up-to-date.
The deployment of this content is done in a modular approach and the learning sequence includes “theoretical” training followed by structured on-the-job training. Different training medium are used, in order to obtain the best transfer of skills.
Allow yourself to move beyond the management of a list of training to be done: think more broadly and adapt our method to your reality. Allow yourself to evaluate training activities, to measure learning, to evaluate skills transfer and to measure and quantify the organizational impact of training.