How Can You Transform InCompany Courses into Business Solutions?

Training has evolved significantly in recent years, as technology has made a great many resources available to companies that make it more engaging and improve its quality and reach. But technological resources are only a means, not the end, which is why the true transformation is achieved when training and development bring about greater growth in individuals and contribute to the organization being more effective, productive, differentiated, and profitable.

Below, you can find a checklist used at IDESSA to help companies on their way to perfecting and professionalizing their training system. The left-hand column shows the traditional training approach, and to the right, you’ll find the characteristics that give the training the potential to become a business solution for the company.

The training has an “isolated” purpose without being directly tied to the company’s results. The training has an “isolated” purpose without being directly tied to the company’s results..
The training does not take the company’s cultural factors into account. The company has a clear strategy and considers cultural factors.

An organization with a history of training is not the same as one that hasn’t promoted it. A company with a leadership team that gets involved and is supportive is also different from a company that’s oblivious to its results or that only promotes training as a requirement. Many other factors should be taken into account.

The Training Needs Assessment (TNA) is based on job descriptions that list the responsibilities and activities that the person in that position should carry out as well as a list of knowledge and skills that are compatible with those responsibilities. The TNA identifies the competencies that will allow individuals to do their jobs (the way they perform their activities) at a high level. That way, they’ll prepare for the future. It consists of identifying the skills needed for upskilling and reskilling. The needs are prioritized according to what is most important for the business.
There are only group trainings, as if the same “recipe” could work for everyone. Development is individual; however, there can be trainings for groups. The personalized solution consists of the sum and structure of the elements that each individual has available to them for their growth (personal assessment, feedback, 1:1 guidance, live and virtual courses, etc.). The purpose is to have a design that is carefully customized for each individual.
Only traditional training is used, that is, groups of people taking a course. Traditional training is just one of the many experiences available to an individual for their growth. Methods are applied that are the most effective for the objective to be achieved. Moreover, the training is seen as a process that’s offered as part of the individual’s existing work flow and not as a special event.
The solution is simplistic, as it tries to solve complex problems with courses that have a general objective and theme. The solution goes beyond simplification, which, in this case, consists of solving problems by dividing them into units and designing different resources for each part.
The instructional design is restricted to one objective and theme. The training design is based on identifying what business challenge the company has. Then, the KPIs that will make it possible to measure the result are determined. Next, the courses and/or the other learning experiences are designed and the corresponding objectives, themes, methodology, and evaluation mechanisms are determined. Ways of applying what has been learned at work are planned in advance.
eLearning isn’t used. Or, if it is, it has a low level of interactivity [1] or only uses isolated resources without a comprehensive strategy. The company has a comprehensive digital strategy.

There’s a mixture of eLearning customized for the company and enhanced with resources and eLearning courses that are available on the market, which enriches the individual development plans.

Simulations, virtual reality, augmented reality, and other similar resources are used. Special attention is paid to the infrastructure that is needed for proper implementation (internet + LMS, live online) and a help desk is made available to assist in implementing the training without setbacks.

There is only collaboration during the training courses. Sharing knowledge and collaborating among employees is part of the organizational culture, and the company has the infrastructure and tools to facilitate it.
The training evaluation is limited to finding out how satisfied participants are with the training events. Above all, the evaluation consists of confirming that participants have attained the expected growth from the training and that it has had the desired effect on the company’s activities in terms of productivity.
The emphasis is on reducing what is spent on training. There’s a focus on return on investment (ROI). That is, what’s important is not how much is spent, but rather the multiple of the benefit vs. expense indicator. It can be useful to ask: What needs to happen for the training’s benefits to surpass the investment? It should be clarified that, to measure the ROI, the KPIs need to be determined in the program’s planning and design stage.

To turn training into a business solution, it isn’t necessary to apply all the mentioned variables at the same time. The evolution can take place step by step. What’s important is that the company “does business” with the training, which means that the financial benefits far outweigh their direct and indirect costs. Sometimes, having an external training partner [2] can be of great help, and new doors will open insofar as the ROI can be demonstrated so that the company’s training and development area may demonstrate and take on this strategic role for the business.

[1] For example, a video uploaded to the internet is considered eLearning, but it has a low level of interactivity, as participants only listen and watch; they don’t do exercises or answer questions, etc.
[2] Here, an external partner does not refer to a trainer but rather to an expert in training-based business solutions.

About the author:

Rene Mena Seifert

René Mena Seifert is the creator, founder, and CEO of IDESAA, TRUE e-Learning, and Foro Pro-Talento Empresarial. He specializes in the design and implementation of business solutions based on training and talent development projects that are customized for companies.