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Training & Development That Delivers Value

Is your industry struggling to fill vacancies, retain employees and have adequately skilled teams? These issues can be addressed through training and development. However, there remains a reluctance to invest in valuable training, why is this?

We Haven’t Enough Time for Training & Development

When I talk to business owners, one of the reasons given for not providing a training and development programme is lack of time. This was also identified as a barrier to learning in the 2023 CIPD Learning at Work* report.

I don’t believe time is the issue. Firstly, when training and development offer the knowledge, insight, resources and support that individuals and organisations need, we make time for it. Secondly, modular and bite-sized training makes it possible to allocate as little as an hour a month to develop skills and knowledge.

Is this idea of time limitations based on the idea that all employees need to participate in an annual training day or attend an industry conference? Whilst those events still exist, these are seldom the best ways to learn.

Creating a Learning Community

In a recent Masterclass, I shared ‘5 Key Learning Trends for 2024’. One of these is the shift towards learning communities. Insight reveals that employees value private, online communities of direct relevance. These member-only groups are viewed as a safe space to connect and learn.

An online community inspires open discussion, problem-solving and the sharing of good practices. As such, it is a supportive learning environment. Equally, members gain access to insight and resources that aren’t available to the general public. Although structured, these online groups respond to what members bring to the table.

My Premier Training Club focuses on supporting in-house and freelance trainers. However, there are learning communities for an expansive range of roles and industries. So, find one that relates to your field of interest!

Learning Communities: A Solution for Corporate Trainers

As a trainer, creating an online community offering could increase learner accessibility. A Goldman Sachs survey revealed that 50% of people have valuable knowledge which could help educate others. Of these, 28% of these were considering starting an online learning platform. If you are one of them, my recommendation is to map out a members-only community offer!

A learning community typically features a regular virtual training session and open discussion. Prepare a theme, yet be willing to be flexible. If members are keen to pursue a particular point, it makes sense to adapt and give this more air time. In addition to group sessions, give members content to access at their convenience. You could include e-learning modules, podcasts and guides.

Learning Communities: A Solution for Employers

As an employer, have you considered online communities as a practical way to equip your employees with knowledge and resources? This could be far more affordable and valuable than a training day or conference. That’s because your employees don’t want to wait a month or two to attend a course. Instead, they want support now.

Have you previously considered online communities as a training resource? If not, I assure you that this is an untapped opportunity for upskilling your team. The key is to research existing and new groups. Find ones that align with the company’s goals and desired learning outcomes. Who are the thought leaders in your field and can they contribute to employee and business aspirations?

Measuring Training Outcomes

Unlike a training day, membership groups may run for several months or be ongoing. This helps embed learning and address issues that may arise in the process. As such, it is likely to result in improved performance and productivity. These are outcomes that drive impact.

On the flip side, your employees are unlikely to get an attendance certificate. Equally, it isn’t straightforward to tick a box and say they’ve completed a training course. However, these means of measuring training and development are not meaningful, so let them go!

In Summary

We have a national skills shortage in many industries that needs to be addressed. Online learning communities provide a practical, accessible and meaningful opportunity to share knowledge, insight and best practices. As such, they can drive employee performance.

* https://www.cipd.org/uk/knowledge/reports/learning-at-work/

people sitting working together

Training & Development That Delivers Value

Is your industry struggling to fill vacancies, retain employees and have adequately skilled teams? These issues can be addressed through training and development. However, there